There are many considerations to take into account as a conference planner and if are not a professional events planner and have been thrown into the ‘deep end’ by being asked to get your company’s annual or bi-annual conference together, we hope that this article on making clever choices when choosing conference venues will be of some real assistance to you.
There are 10 things that we believe you really need to give consideration to, to help you make the best choices, because, after all, the venue itself is without a doubt the most important aspect of the conference – and when you see what the venue needs to be able to offer you, you will see why.
Position – Obviously the position of the conference, relevant to where your business is, or where delegates wish to travel is very relevant. You may want to be in a city venue near the business hub and shopping facilities, or out in the country in a more chilled atmosphere. A suggestion is to partner with a good hotel group, who can offer the best of many worlds!
Choice of rooms – Having found a few venues in the right place, now consider the size of the conference in terms of numbers and the relevant conference room that will be required. It can be anything from a small boardroom to a large outdoor reception area – sometimes size does matter! So check it out.
Professional equipment – In this world where state of the art presentation equipment is available, it needs to be on hand at the venue of your choice. It can be brought in by outside service providers, but good conference venues invariably include professional equipment as part of the deal – thereby saving on costs.
Accommodation – Delegates need to be comfortably and adequately accommodated at the venue of the conference preferably, or at least nearby. Some hotels near to very large conference centres like the Sandton convention centre may not be chosen as the venue for the conference, but need to be available to offer the required accommodation, so ensure this is the case!
Service – Without doubt, the level of service can make or break any conference – this applies to service on every level, from food – to accommodation – to the service within the conference area. Where ‘Service by design’ is a motto, this may be a good indicator to you that service excellence is adhered to in these type of venues.
Flexibility – You may find that your specific conference needs are somewhat different to what others may usually require. Is the venue you choose flexible enough to meet your specific requirements? Here, once again there may be an advantage to working with a professional Hotel group like Faircity Hotels, where the hotels all work in partnership with each other.
Amenities/Activities – Consider in advance whether delegates will want to do extra activities, as part of the event or just in their free time. According to the venue of your choice – are the relevant amenities available – i.e. should you choose a relaxed country hotel or one in a business centre?
Reputation – This is probably the most important consideration of all. Does the venue or hotel have a good track record? Is it a renowned business with a good name? Have they, like Faircity Hotels won excellence awards and grown their business and offerings over the past few years? These are important considerations.
Planning – You may have the luxury of engaging a professional conference planner, but if you’re reading this you probably are seeking advice to do it yourself. Why not enjoy the free planning advice that an experienced group like Faircity hotels offers all its conference clients? We have been doing it for years so why re-invent the wheel? We would love to help.
Partner with a great Hotel group – In essence we believe that the best idea is to hook up with professional people in the conferencing and hospitality industries, who have more venues to offer! Whether you are travelling for business, conferencing, or just holidaying, each of our hotels has something unique, ranging from the inner city buzz of Mapungubwe Faircity Hotel, to the country relaxation at Roodevalley Faircity Hotel. So keep your choices wide open within the safe infrastructure of a recognized respected Hotel group.
We hope this article on making clever choices when choosing conference venues has really been of some help – and check out our website for our great current conference packages! Remember our ethos is to provide “Service by Design”, so contact us, we love to hear from our guests and corporate clients, so we can ‘design’ our service around their unique and discerning needs.