If you’re in business, your working life probably revolves around meetings. Lots of meetings.
Board meetings (sometimes ‘bored’ meetings), staff meetings, client meetings and supplier meetings. Not to mention inspirational meet-ups, team stand-ups, interviews and quick get-togethers.
Online or offline, from one-on-one to a cast of thousands, meetings come in all shapes and sizes. And happily for you, so do your choice of meeting venues. So when it comes to conference room rental, where do you start?
To help you find that knockout venue, we’ve pulled together 5 key steps that every event organizer should take:
1. Location, Location, Location:
First stop, choose the right place. Consider your attendees before choosing a location — will they arrive by car? Train? Subway? Are they flying in especially for your event? City centre or airport venues are often best for public transport, while out-of-town locations tend to provide better parking facilities. The latter may have great outdoor space too, which can provide a great space for post-conference drinks and networking.
2. Size Matters:
The size of your venue is critical. If budget is tight, there’s no point going overboard on a large room for small one-on-one meetings. On the flip side, a day-long company convention will need an airy space with plenty of room for delegates to move around between events, including quiet space to answer calls and additional areas for catering, coffee breaks and drinks.
3. Cool or Corporate?
Style is an important consideration for any business. The trick is to find a venue that represents your company culture and fits in with the expectations of your guests. If you’re inviting clients and corporate VIPs, a formal well-presented conference room will likely match your values without raising any eyebrows. However, for a team gathering or staff onboarding day, you could really go to town and create a fun, informal environment that lets your business personality shine.
4. Top Tech:
Thanks to mobile technology, many companies now hire all over the world and rely on conferencing technology to keep dispersed teams in-synch. For those who can’t be at your meeting in person, A/V conferencing technology will ensure everyone has the chance to benefit from the event. It’s up to you to communicate with the venue and inform them of your requirements, and carry out pre-event tests to check the equipment works to your expectations. You should also familiarize yourself with the technology to avoid awkward pauses.
Larger venues will often bring in contracted specialists to provide lighting and sound requirements for conventions. If you’re planning a small meeting, most business centers will have a member of staff on-hand to help you where necessary. You could even request a dedicated service or have a technician on standby if you’re not confident using the equipment yourself.
5. Spend Wisely:
The best venue isn’t necessarily the flashiest place that fits your budget. Even if cash is tight, you should steer clear of cheap, low-quality venues to avoid disappointing attendees or setting a poor example. Likewise, small business owners may feel uncomfortable setting up in a top dollar venue, as investors and suppliers may question your expenditure choices.
The best way to start budgeting for your business meeting is by setting up a spreadsheet detailing your various planned expenditures (such as venue hire, catering, use of videoconferencing equipment, speakers and travel expenses) and your various income streams, such as sponsorship, delegate revenue and advertising. Work out your break-even point and that will help you set up targets for each income stream, and how many delegates or sponsorships you require to cover your expenses. This post by Eventbrite delves into further detail with help from event journalist, Bel Booker.
One final note, be sure to visit the meeting venue in person. Photographs rarely live up to expectations, and it takes personal scrutiny to ensure the venue, and the service provided, matches your requirements. Get that right, and you’re well on your way to holding a knockout event that delegates remember for all the right reasons.
All set? Start your search for a conference room online and compare some of the best meeting venues in your city.