London is still one perfect place to hold a conference. One of the business centres of the world, it has splendid conference support system, and high-end technologies. It is important to know the options right, to make a discrete choice when it comes to venue hiring in a city like London. You have to meet a lot of requirements, and you are surrounded by enticing options. Find a right choice with these tips and suggestions:
By planning ahead you will often find better availability,so more choice of venues.
Is the space available on your selected dates? If so, can the venue provide you with rooms, AV equipment and everything else you need on those dates? How flexible are they if you have to change the meeting date?
Be clear about the details of your budget
List all of your venue expenses. This should include the costs of the facility, catering, equipment rentals, office services, guarantees and payment options. You also want to know what complimentary services the venue offers.
Does the venue fall within the budget for this meeting?
What type of rates do they offer i.e.: 24 hour per delegate rate, individual room hire rate, Can they offer any discounts?
Can the price be negotiated?
Does the overall cost, all extras included, compare favourably with other offers/options (i.e.: hotel accommodation at a separate location to the meeting or dining elsewhere)
Are there hidden costs?
When is payment required?
Is a deposit required and if so how much and how far in advance?
What is their cancellation policy? Will you receive a full or partial refund?
Location, location, location
Location is vital. If your attendees are travelling from overseas to the venue then airport connections are important. But even for local attendees they need to be able to find and travel to your venue with the minimum of ease. So ask the conference venues do they charge for parking, check the location of the local train or metro stations etc.
Know your numbers
My first recommendation would be to get an approximate number of attendees before you begin yourvenue search. One of the first things the booking staff will ask you will be “how many people are coming?” – this is so they can allocate the right space to the right parties.
Check the small details in relation to the conference room proposed by the hotel or venue. Ceiling height is very important especially for larger events, natural daylight and columns blocking the view can all be key factors. So ask for a recent image of the room as well as the floorplan.
Is the seating capacity suitable? Are the meeting rooms well laid out?
Do they allow for good views of the speaker without any obstructions?
Does the venue allow attendees to move around without bottlenecks and delays?
Safety and Security Is the venue you selected gives you peace of mind on the safety and security of the attendees, delegates or visitors?
Check room sizes, emergency exits and hanging points
Ask the venue for CAD plans, truss plans and any floor plans they have. Ask where the main access point in the room is for catering as you’ll need to make sure that this isn’t blocked. In terms of the loading points for the ceiling, you need this information if you’re planning to hang a lighting truss.
Catering All venues work differently. Some have onsite caterers; others don’t which would mean you would need to look for an outside caterer that can fulfil your needs.
Agenda and Speaker Besides networking, topics and speakers are the main reasons to attend a conference. It is important for the success of your conference to organise well-known speakers at an early stage. Famous speaker always help to gain more attention and attract more attendees. Big names are not only crowd puller but also help to obtain more well-known speakers.
See for yourself If you’re considering a new venue, choose one with a proven track record. Conduct a site inspection of the venue before you make your decision, checking for service, cleanliness and facilities.
Request a proposal Once you’ve decided on a venue, if you haven’t used them before, submit a Request for Proposal (RFP) to ensure they can meet your needs. Many venue websites have their own RFP online forms
Last Top Tip: Make friends with everyone at the venue. If you treat the staff well, they will generally do anything for you!
We hope these short tips will help you find the right venue for your next event.