How To Choose The Perfect Conference Venue
If you’re here, then that means you know how time consuming and daunting it can be to find the perfect conference venue. There are a lot of different options to choose from and it can become an overwhelming process. That’s why we’re here to help at Absolute Venues.
We work with conference events venues all across the UK. Absolute Venues has been in business since 2002, and now boasts a directory of over 160,000 venues throughout the country. With that experience behind us, no one is better placed to help you find the kind of venue that will make your conference a hit among your attendees. All you need to do is let us know what kind of venue you’re looking for and we’ll do the rest, compiling a shortlist of venues matching all your needs and requirements.
However, it can sometimes be difficult in knowing where to even begin. You might be struggling to decide what kind of venue is right for your conference in the first place. With that in mind, there are a few things that here at Absolute Venues we think you should consider regarding your venue when organising a conference.
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Finding the right location
There’s no doubt about it – the event location is one of the most important things for you to consider when organising a conference. There are a few things to think about. For instance, where are your attendees coming from? Finding a location with convenient transport links or free parking can make travel a lot easier for delegates.
On the other hand, if you’re expecting to have international attendees, choosing a UK city with an airport nearby might be a necessity. If you’re holding a national conference, finding somewhere with good rail and road links can also make things much easier for your delegates. For instance, given London’s size and dominance in the business world, ease of travel from the capital is often a big consideration.
Also, you might have a location-specific element to your conference. If you’re planning a tour of a local building or industry, or celebrating something locally, then the location of your conference is probably already decided for you. At that point, deciding where in the city you should secure your venue is the next thing to think about.
Here at Absolute Venues, we work with venues in major cities and event locations across the UK and Europe. So wherever you’re planning on holding your conference event, we can help you find a suitable venue in that location.
If you have a lot of travelling attendees, then finding a place for them to stay can be an important consideration. We can also arrange accommodation and hotel bookings as part of our free venue finding service. We are partnered with major hotel brands and chains throughout the UK, so we can help you to secure accommodation for any travelling delegates for your conference.
In addition to finding the perfect venue space for your social events, it is equally important to find somewhere that is easily accessible. City centre venues are a popular choice for hosting a conference or private event as they tend to provide the best transport links and convenient accommodation. When planning your social events, be considerate of how each of your guests – particularly those who may be travelling from abroad – will travel to your venue. In addition, event planners need to be aware of any circumstances that may require disabled access to your chosen venue.
Facilities and services
If you’re holding a conference, you need to be sure that your events venue has all the facilities and services your event needs. Corporate events may require facilities that other events don’t. You may need to think about your venue being accessible and having any PA system or projection your conference requires. Taking seating capacity into consideration and paying attention to the seating arrangement is an extremely important part of choosing the right venue. This is why it’s important to come with a clear plan of all your requirements.
Do you need multiple rooms for your conference? You might be planning on using multiple conference rooms during the event, like main meeting rooms, syndicate rooms, breakout rooms as well as having an exhibition space. You might have specific catering needs, such as making sure that dietary requirements and food allergies are catered for.
We work with conference events venues throughout the UK. With a directory of over 160,000 venues, we’ve specially chosen our own list of trusted and high quality venues. The best part? When you choose Absolute Venues, you can benefit from knowing that every venue we work with is fully equipped with the facilities and services necessary to hold a conference or other corporate event. All you need to do is get in touch with us about the kind of event venue you’re looking for, and we’ll help plan your event. That said, you might have specific requirements and needs, so it’s always worth taking these into account when finding the perfect conference event venue.
Size and space
How many people are you expecting to attend your conference? It’s always important to secure an events venue that is precisely appropriate for your needs. By overestimating, you can end up paying more than you need for a conference venue that exceeds your needs. On the other hand, and potentially worse, is getting a venue that’s too small for the number of attendees. A clustered and overcrowded conference isn’t fun for anyone. That’s why it’s important to have a clear idea of the number of delegates you’re expecting.
For smaller conferences, a more intimate and personal venue might provide your venue with a better atmosphere and a better ability to communicate in a small group. There are plenty of creative and unique smaller venues for this kind of event throughout the UK. For larger events, venues with plenty of open meeting space and multiple rooms, accommodation and perhaps leisure facilities might be better for you. Here at Absolute Venues, we have a great track record for matching clients with venues that are just the right size for them.
You want attendees to be comfortable during your conference. Having enough seating and space to relax and feel comfortable in is important. Nobody wants to feel crowded and claustrophobic at a conference, and you probably want people to be able to move around and communicate at different stages of the event. An open and relaxed environment encourages communication, networking and creativity at a conference.
Hosting a Hybrid Conference
During an age where the advancements in technology are ever-evolving, it is important that businesses adapt to new ways of communicating and holding events. Similarly, following the challenging impact on the events industry over the last few years, embracing a combination of virtual and in-person experiences is vital. Hybridity is a fantastic solution for many conferences, as the ability to access events in-person and online provides flexibility and can save a lot of time and money. As we move towards a future in the events industry where technology plays a large role in strategy and planning, it is important to understand how, when and why this type of conference would be beneficial:
- Large-scale events where the total capacity of a venue may reach its maximum – ensuring no guests miss out and can still attend via a video link.
- The business attendees invited are unable to fit travel and accommodation in their budget. Having the option to attend online enables them to attend without spending money.
- Attendees are unwell or unable to attend the conference due to a busy schedule. Providing them with a virtual meeting link allows them to be present from home.
- Hosting a hybrid conference with virtual attendance as an option can increase your reach dramatically. By using an online platform to engage your audience in an open event, you could gain additional viewers – expanding your brand’s audience in the long run.
Hosting a hybrid event would first require close consideration of how many delegates are expected to attend both in-person and online. This headcount will essentially inform your event strategy, allowing you to accurately plan capacity, video technology, screens, and room layout accordingly. Additional things to consider when planning a virtually accessible business event include:
The event space you choose should contain the conference facilities needed to stream the entirety of the event with ease. First and foremost, having access to a viable internet connection is essential for successfully hosting business meetings. For most large conferences, a standard connection will not suffice. If you plan on hosting events with multiple live streaming devices or projected video footage, a strong connection is crucial. Remember – attendee engagement is bound to reduce if the quality is compromised by an unstable network connection.
Virtual Streaming Provider
Over the past few years, streaming platforms have worked hard to refine and evolve their services. How you choose to stream your event will have a drastic impact on engagement and attendance. Poor quality streaming can negatively affect how your guest speakers are heard and how clear any visualisations are on screen. Consequently, it is crucial to experiment with a variety of providers, cameras and devices to ensure that the quality of your virtual meeting is of a high standard.
One key advantage of hosting a hybrid conference is that the entire event can be recorded and re-watched later. This allows the hosting business to provide each guest with a copy of the conference as well as any supporting documentation such as brochures, pamphlets and slides. As an event planner, it is imperative that all aspects of the content are thoroughly planned and optimised for both virtual and in-person viewings.
Balancing Your Agenda
The main challenge for event organisers to get right is balancing the agenda between the in-person audience and the virtual audience. It is difficult to engage both audiences in a way that does not disturb the flow of the event, which is why both elements should harmoniously combine seamlessly. To guarantee success, your conference should tailor to each audience’s needs in varying ways. Your in-person audience is highly likely to engage and network with other attendees, whereas virtual attendees are dependent on your hosts to continuously interact with them online. To find the perfect balance, prioritise sessions for your virtual audience, enabling them to watch pre-recorded videos at their own pace. If audiences feel overwhelmed with content, their engagement is likely to reduce – resulting in a loss of viewers.
Adaptable Meeting Spaces
The venue you choose to host your hybrid conference will form the basis of your event, determining how successful this event type will be. You must ensure that the chosen venue is capable of accommodating both sets of attendees. However, hybrid event spaces are uncommon and can be difficult to find. A suitable venue should have distinct features and contain the right technologies and software to allow virtual attendees to view and interact with the conference. Your ideal venue should contain cutting-edge equipment and smart technology – everything you could possibly need to host a successful hybrid conference.
Here at Absolute Venues, we can help you to secure purpose-built centres with excellent, high-tech facilities. As a leading venue finding service provider, we understand how important finding the right venue really is. Through our expertise and strong relationships with venue partners, we are able to source unique, cost-effective and attractive locations to hold your event – no matter how big or small it may be. By utilising our expertise and professional (free) venue finding services, we can ensure that your guests enjoy an exceptional meeting experience.
Why Use a Venue Finding Agency?
If you are tasked with the responsibility of booking a venue for formal gatherings, work parties or corporate meetings, the pressure of finding the right venue can be incredibly daunting. The plethora of venues available across the country makes the selection process extremely difficult, as the choices are endless. However, there are countless factors that need to be carefully considered before a venue is picked, booked and paid for. By working with an expert in the field, you can rest assured that their knowledge and experience will enable them to locate the most suitable event space for you. In addition to benefiting from the knowledge needed to book the ideal venue, using a service such as this also comes with the following advantages:
We Save Planning Time
Planning a large event can be one of the most time-consuming tasks to complete. Unfortunately, free time is a resource that many businesses don’t have a lot of. By handing the responsibility over to our trustworthy and reliable team, you can focus on other important tasks. From our first conversation with you, we will discuss your deadlines, time-scales and intended event date, which will enable us to complete the task in hand in a timely manner. As part of our bespoke services, we will take care of all the research, communication, site visits and booking so that you don’t need to. By utilising our competent services, we guarantee that all of the laborious tasks will be expertly handled by us.
We Save Money
When a member of our team is handed a brief containing a budget, we make it a top priority to stick within this budget. What’s more, our negotiation skills and contacts within the industry enable us to obtain the best possible prices for our clients. Through our buying power, solid industry relationships and venue knowledge, we guarantee to find a solution that is cost-effective and great value for money.
As a company specialising in venue finding, our core service involves understanding your needs to find a venue that complements your requirements. We possess a wealth of knowledge in the events industry which has elevated our ability to continually find and arrange venues for our clients. Our professional team has access to a wide range of conference venues in London, Manchester, Liverpool and beyond. Our diverse portfolio of venues ensures that we are always able to match clients to an appropriate venue in their chosen area. As a venue manager, we work hard to ensure we tick all of your boxes. We take into account your budget, date of event, meeting or event type, number of guests, catering options and countless other factors before contacting a fitting setting.
We’re Here To Help – Contact Us Today
Here at Absolute Venues, we can help you to secure a venue that meets all your criteria, in the perfect location for you, with just the right capacity for your conference event. Our free unique venue finder service is no obligation, so there’s no need to hesitate – simply get in touch with us today to discover how Absolute Venues can help you to find the perfect events venue for your conference!