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Selecting the right venue is among the most critical decisions you’ll need to make when coming up with a conference plan for your next event. The venue sets the tone for your entire event and can make or break the attendee experience. It’s the foundation upon which everything else is built.  

Here are the key factors to take into consideration in picking the perfect event venue to ensure success – even established event experts like Veo Events look into such factors. 

Understand Your Event Requirements 

Before you start looking at venues, get crystal clear on the specific needs and goals for your conference. Then, develop a detailed list of must-haves and nice-to-haves. Prioritize what’s non-negotiable. This focused needs assessment will help you quickly narrow down the venue options and save you from wasting time on spaces that ultimately won’t work.

Location, Location, Location 

The venue’s location will have a huge impact on attendance, accessibility, and the overall event experience. Take into account the event venue’s accessibility, proximity to other facilities such as hotels and so on, general location safety, and so on.

Vet multiple event location options that you’ll be able to choose from. Reach out to various event space owners and managers to be able to receive multiple quotes.

Size And Layout Matter 

Room size and venue layout are critical considerations. Choose a venue with the right amount and type of event space for your specific needs and projected attendance. You want a space that feels comfortably full and buzzing with energy, not cavernous and empty or overcrowded and stuffy. Study the floor plans to visualize the attendee flow between keynotes, breakouts, meals, exhibitors, and networking areas. 

Ambiance And Amenities

The look, feel and functionality of the venue should align with your conference brand, audience and objectives. Is your event more buttoned-up business formal or laid-back business casual? Are your attendees expecting plush, high-end accommodations or is a more bare-bones, affordable approach appropriate? The venue should complement and enhance your conference vibe, not clash with it.

Dig into the amenities and services available such as high-speed WiFi connectivity, the latest A/V equipment, and so on. Check if there are enough bathrooms and charging stations to support your expected crowd size. Look for environment-friendly features to reduce your event’s footprint and planetary impact. Those are just a few to look out for. 

Price Isn’t Everything 

Conference venues are a major line item in your event budget. And while price is certainly a factor, it shouldn’t be the only consideration you need to take into account. Rather than just going for the cheapest option, prioritize value over cost. Look for a venue that provides the best combination of location, space, service and amenities for your budget. Get detailed quotes from multiple venues so you can compare apples-to-apples on the total costs.

Read the contract carefully and ask questions about the cancellation policy and attrition clauses. You may be able to negotiate concessions like reduced room rates for staff and the like. 

Get References And Reviews 

A respectable venue should be more than willing to provide you with references from satisfied past clients. Ideally, you want to talk to planners who have run events similar in size, scope and purpose to yours. Ask them pointed questions – How responsive and professional was the venue staff? Would you host another event there again?

In addition to references, scour online review sites and industry forums to see what other planners are saying. Check out the web for unfiltered opinions. Reach out to colleagues in your professional network to see if anyone has first-hand experiences or insights to share. You want to make sure you’re signing with a venue that has a proven track record of providing excellence to event organizers like yourself.

Trust Your Gut 

You’ve assessed your needs, compared the specs and amenities, crunched the numbers, and done your due diligence. All the facts point to this venue being a great fit for your conference. But if something still feels ‘off,’ even if you can’t put your finger on it – trust that instinct. 

Choosing an event venue is a big commitment. You should feel 100% confident and excited about your choice, not anxious or ambivalent. If you have a nagging reservation, it’s worth probing deeper. When you walk into the right venue, you’ll know that’s it’s the right decision to go with it for your event.

In Conclusion

Finding the perfect conference venue takes time, effort and careful consideration. But it’s one of the most impactful planning decisions you’ll make. The right venue elevates your event and sets the stage for learning, connecting and engaging. Thus, you need to start your search early, develop a clear rubric, take time to vet the options, and the like. 

Indeed, the ideal venue for your next amazing conference is out there – you just have to find it and book it to ensure success.