So, today is your lucky day and you’ve been assigned the daunting task of choosing your company’s next conference venue and you have no idea where to begin. But before you start stressing yourself out, take a breath and allow us to share with you 10 tips for choosing your next company conference venue. We will show you how to simplify the task at hand and make the company’s next conference a complete success. OK, first things first:
- Plan well in advance. Give yourself plenty of time to organize the conference if possible. You should know how many people will be attending, the number of hours you’ll need a space, and whether or not you want to host a meal. Then there are the questions of setup; audiovisual needs and a timeline. You get the idea … the key is to start planning early as possible so you can account for everything you need, and give yourself time to correct any problems that may occur in the process. This is what makes Brookshire the perfect venue of choice because they are adamant about making sure you don’t miss any of these items and that your event goes off without a hitch.
- CHOOSE a VENUE and CONFIRM a DATE! Immediately after finalizing your plans, choose your venue and confirm your date. While this may seem obvious, you’d be surprised how easy it is to finish planning and right away begin researching caterers and food options without confirming a venue and a date to accommodate your plans. Brookshire will make sure this doesn’t happen. They will assign a conference organizer that will work with you to carry out your agenda and make certain that you lock your date in. A small deposit is typically needed to reserve the date. Because of all the things you need to consider, your venue choice and date confirmations are paramount. Without them, obviously, the conference cannot happen. So first and foremost, confirm these two things before moving forward.
- Pick your speakers and presenters early. Be sure to pick speakers and presenters whose message coordinates with your agenda and give them the information they need ahead of time – including deadlines (if any) – so they can properly prepare for their delivery. Brookshire even allows for a test run a week before the event of any audiovisual equipment and speeches if your presenters are not yet confident.
- Consider parking. When choosing a venue, don’t forget to consider parking. If the conference is being held in a hotel or a building that doesn’t provide parking, this could affect turnout. Brookshire has a parking lot large enough to support your guests so turnout will not be affected due to a lack of parking. It is also always a good idea to carpool to encourage camaraderie and conversation.
- What shall they eat? If you decide to cater the event, of course, you want to sample the food first and witness how organized the caterers are. Ask the caterer to do a private tasting or better yet ask to be invited to an “open house”! Furthermore, you want to acquaint yourself with the chef and his/her team, in the event, you need to make any changes to the standard menu or request special meals for dietary needs. If you choose Brookshire’s menu, our award-winning catering team Gourmet Fresh will ensure your guests are provided an elevated dining experience. We consistently receive good feedback about the quality of food. Consider asking for a private tasting to try out different dishes in advance!
- Consider a venue that is close to a hotel for your out-of-town guests. Not everyone who attends the conference might live locally. Some will have to travel to attend and will need lodging for the duration. Thus, include in your packet, a list of hotels in the area to make the search easier for your attendees. If considering the Brookshire venue, there are a variety of lodging options a short drive away, making travel time for your guests a breeze. They can also coordinate transportation for you if needed!
- Select an area that has multiple activities to choose from. What will your guests do during downtime? Providing a list of things to do in the area will prove quite useful for your guests, as it will give them something to look forward to during their stay. Not to mention, go a long way with garnering their appreciation and support. So, consider crafting a list of concerts, movies, dining, dancing, shopping, shows, attractions, etc. to liven up their visit. Brookshire is close to Polaris Fashion Center, Star Lanes, MultipleG olf Courses, and sporting events in the Columbus area.
- Make certain the venue has a strong Wi-Fi signal. What good is the conference if no one is able to connect their devices to Wi-Fi or receive quality reception? Before signing the contract with the venue, make sure they offer outstanding Wi-Fi and that all the outlets in the contracted area are working properly before you commit. If there are presenters/speakers who need equipment, clarify with the venue whose responsibility it is to supply that equipment (projectors, carts, wiring, etc.) … yours or theirs. This is one check you don’t want to forget if you’re expecting rave reviews from the participants in the conference. Brookshire can help alleviate this worry with multiple networks designed to accommodate simultaneous device connections. With an all-new state-of-the-art sound system, VGA/HDMI capable projector, and portable 8×8 screen, they will make sure your attendees, presenters, and speakers are technically accommodated and that your event is an unforgettable experience for everyone.
- Market the conference and the venue. Let everyone know about the conference and the venue. Use all internal and external electronic advertising channels available (e-mail, outlook calendar invites, etc) to get the word out, as well as flyers in the office. Regardless of whether the conference is for company employees only, invitees only, or open to the public, the goal is to garner as much attention and excitement as possible and to inform as many [potential] attendees as possible. If you’re excited about the event, chances are, they will be, too!
- Don’t forget to solicit feedback after the conference. This is probably the most important tip we can give you. For the purpose of planning successful company conferences in the future, you need to know what your attendees think about how well you did putting together the conference and choosing the perfect venue. So, it is imperative that you provide them with feedback flyers or even index cards so they can leave their opinion before exiting the venue. Don’t take any of their feedback personally as everyone will have different opinions. Remember to appeal to the masses and make sure the attendees are simply comfortable!
If you follow these tips, your conference should go great! Please contact us for more information on how we can assist you with planning your next successful company conference.
Photo by RODNAE Productions