When choosing a venue for your conference, trade show, or other event, there are several key factors that you should keep in mind to ensure that the venue meets your needs and that your event runs smoothly. Get to know your target audience and what they want from the event, then evaluate your potential locations from the below essential criteria.
Make sure the venue is conveniently located for your attendees. If many will be flying in, choose a venue close to the airport and hotels. You might also want to choose a location based on whether or not the event will be appealing to those working close by. In that case, you will want the venue to be easily accessible by public transportation and with plenty of parking available.
The venue you choose will project the image of your company, aim to find a venue that will be aesthetically appealing to attendees and will leave a favorable impression. It must be clean and in good condition, free of distractions, and with plenty of accessible restrooms. The size is also important; estimate the number of attendees and make sure you have just enough space, as a venue too small will feel cramped and a venue too large will make your event appear underwhelming.
Pay close attention to the venue staff when you visit to evaluate a potential venue. How is the staff’s performance? Are they attentive, diligent, receptive, and experienced? Much of the success of your event depends on the venue staff and their ability to provide quality arrangements and speedy problem solving when needed. An ipad survey app can help you gain more feedback on the service and guest satisfaction.
Keeping your attendees’ appetites satisfied is essential to ensuring a positive experience. Provide quality food and beverages that fit the mood of the event and accommodate potential dietary restrictions. If the venue itself does not provide on-site catering, make sure that they will allow external caterers and that they have appropriate facilities for food preparation, storage, and serving.
The best venues are well prepared with the equipment you will need to run your event: tables, chairs, and other furniture; advanced audio visual equipment, complimented by good acoustics; and wireless internet and other technology.
Keep a running checklist as you visit potential venues, and the one that best matches the above criteria will likely be your best bet. Once the conference is underway, you can collect feedback from attendees on your choice of venue and other aspects of the event by asking them to complete a real-time survey. Attendees can access the survey on their iPhones or on iPad kiosks set up in designated areas. Results are recorded instantly, and management is immediately notified of any negative responses or red flags in order for the issues to be promptly addressed. You can also use a variety of analysis tools to conduct an in-depth review of attendees’ responses after the event has ended, using their feedback to improve your future events.