Location, understandably, is high on the agenda of any event organiser when looking for a venue. Does the venue have good transport links? Is it in a central location with other attractions nearby? Are there neighbouring hotels for delegates to stay at once the event is over?
These factors – along with the obvious budget considerations – are all very important, but what about the venue’s surrounding environment? For example, the venue may have excellent connections to the motorway but will the delegates’ view from the window be an uninspiring concrete landscape? Does the venue create a good first impression on arrival? Will the noise of the motorway distract delegates throughout the event?
It’s a well-known fact that, as human beings, we’re heavily influenced and inspired by our surroundings. In the workplace in particular, a great deal of research has been carried out to determine the impact our physical environment has on our productivity. With conferences and events being such a significant investment of time and money for both businesses and delegates, it’s important that organisers take care to ensure a similar positive environment.
With that in mind, here are my top five tips for finding a venue that will encourage, not hinder, productivity at your event:
- Always make sure you arrange a site visit beforehand – It sounds obvious but not everyone does it. Websites and brochures are great but you won’t get a feel for the venue until you’ve gone to see it in person.
- Put yourself in the delegate’s shoes. On your site visit, try to imagine how the delegate would feel if they arrived at the venue and how they would perceive your brand as a result of this first impression.
- Consider the theme of your event and whether your chosen venue complements this. For example, a pharmaceutical company may want to look at a venue that has a connection with science to help get delegates in the right frame of mind, compared to a generic hotel function room.
- Many people argue that dedicated venues are more conducive to productivity because they minimise distractions. This may be the case for some events but don’t discount multi-purpose venues – often they have a real ‘buzz’ about them and this can rub off on delegates, which is particularly beneficial if you need some creativity and interaction at your event.
- Do your research and choose a location that’s up and coming. Again, the buzz and excitement of the area should influence delegates and create a more dynamic feel to your event.
Any comments? Email Zoe Vernor