15 Foolproof Conference Venue and Booking Tips for Project Managers

15 Foolproof Conference Venue and Booking Tips for Project Managers

Industry pros of all types love going to conferences to learn more about their industry, researching competition, and spending time with the like-minded. But what about project managers? What is their duty to make sure events satisfy their attendees needs? The trouble is, finding and planning the perfect event is far from easy. Whether you are trying to find conference centres in London or want to rent the best meeting rooms in Edinburgh, you have to plan your event like an expert for the right results. Need some help planning your next conference as a project manager? Then check out these 15-foolproof venue finding and booking tips. 1. Choose a Venue Close to Landmarks This is especially true if you are having a two-day conference. Landmarks make your conference more enticing to would-be attendees. Think ahead by searching for the top landmarks in and around the conference venue itself. If it is in the middle of the countryside or a long way away from any highways, you can almost guarantee your guests will be unhappy. Save yourself time with a quick Google search or a TripAdvisor look through. 2. View the Venue Online to Save Time Save time by doing an online tour of the venue you are interested in booking. If you want to make sure it is the right fit for your needs, another option is to hire a venue finding service to do the looking for you. At Conference Venues UK, we provide complete venue finding services including touring of the venue itself. We will report back to you to make sure it is exactly what you were looking for. At a bare minimum, you should view pictures of the venue online before you sign any contracts. 3. Make Sure the Venue has an Appropriate Staff to Attendee Ratio The average conference requires a full-time staff to guarantee everything goes smoothly. Ask the venue to provide a full list of staff members who will be available for the day of your event. This includes wait staff, concierge support, and security. The day of the event you will not have time to fuss with minor details like a lack of wait staff, so be sure to check that there are plenty of on-site staff available and dedicated to your event. You can also request the staff assists with surveys, promotion, and on boarding to get the most out of every marketing dollar. Gain the attention of your attendees, ensure they enjoy the event, and take some stress off your plate by checking the staff to attendee ratio. A good rule of thumb is to account for a 2% loss of staff just in case of an emergency. 4. Ask if Equipment is Available for Rent Do not Waste time finding equipment. Instead demand it to be a part of the venue package you purchase. Plenty of venues have equipment in their meeting rooms. Sometimes all you have to do is ask to get what you need. If you require projectors, screens, lighting equipment, chairs, tables or anything else you will have to rent, see if the venue will throw it into the pricing. This ends up saving you time you would spend bartering with other vendors. 5. Inquire about Catering Options Do not rush around trying to find catering options. Instead, ask upfront if that can be included in the offer. Many conference venues in the UK offer catering as a part of their overall offer. If they do not, they likely have a referral suggestion ready to go that might even provide a discount if you use them. Again, this tip is all about saving you time while simultaneously getting what you need to keep your attendees happy. 6. Never Guess About What You Need If you are not quite sure what you need for your conference venue, then you need to enlist the help of experts. At Conferences UK, we help businesses of all sorts locate the right conference centres in London for their needs. If you do not want to end up with the wrong location, enlist help to get it right the first time. Our services are available free of charge, so you cannot go wrong. 7. Do not Wait to the Last Minute to Book a Venue Like anything else, waiting until the last minute to book your venue is a costly mistake. There is several reasons for this: - Last minute booking costs extra - You may not find an event space that works for your needs - A low attendance is likely to be the result Start planning well in advance to avoid these issues. 8. Budget Your Conference well in Advance-Making the Venue the Biggest Cost Besides branding and marketing, conference venues should be a top cost budgeted in your marketing plan. Why? Because they effectively alter the direction of your event. A conference is a great cost. If you do not plan for it well in advance you could end up with a budget that does not even cover the basic costs. The average costs of running a conference in the UK in 2016 was 40000 pound. At that rate, you certainly want it to be a success. Do not wait, start planning asap. 9. Understand Your Options Universities, hotels, and independent venues are the three categories you can choose from for venues. As a project manager, you will be tasked with selecting the perfect location. Out of the three categories available, we typically break them down as such: - Universities are typically more affordable and ideal for small events - Independent venues, are more expensive but have to be booked nearly a year in advance. - Hotels are the most expensive but are great for corporate events You can also partner with Conferences UK to have us find the right conference centres in London and beyond. 10. Make Sure Your Venue Addresses the Top Three Venue Concerns Your venue should address your attendees concerns. The top three are: - The Conference Facilities - Accommodation - Parking and Transport As a project manager, it is your job to make sure all three of these concerns are addressed before you book your event. Parking should be easy and spacious, accommodation should include food options, and the facilities should be appropriate for your event. In Part II we will discuss a few more tips and tricks for finding and booking your next conference venue.

Author: Gladys Requina

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