8 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing Conference Venues

Wanting to plan a big event but aren’t sure where to start? Are you a pro-planner looking for a fresh new space?

From picking the location to deciding on the perfect food, it can be tricky to find the right options for you. Plus, it never hurts to have a little extra inspiration when it comes to planning an event!

But, where should you start?

The first place to begin your planning is choosing conference venues. When you know where you’ll be holding your conference, everything else can fall into place. Below are some common mistakes to avoid so you can skip the headache and get to planning in no time!

1. Going Out of Your Price Range

Going over budget is one of the biggest mistakes when planning an event. Though it seems easy enough to pick a price point and stay within those limits, things add up quickly! Whether you fall in love with the banquet hall or love the location, it’s hard to say no to a venue that wows.

The best tip for avoiding budget spillover is to only look at venues within your price range! If you only look at places that fit your funds, it’ll be harder to fall in love with places you can’t afford.

When you do discover a venue in your budget, instead of focusing on things you wish the venue had or things you don’t like about it, be sure to focus on the aspects you love! When you find a site that doesn’t break your bank and works well with your vision, you’ll be happy long after the event is over.

2. Not Having Enough Space

Space is a factor you may have overlooked before 2020, but due to recent circumstances, this is a feature that you should keep in mind moving forward!

With the rise of the Coronavirus pandemic, people are much more aware of personal space. When you’re looking for a conference venue, you need to ensure that your attendees will not only have shoulder room but have enough space that they feel comfortable participating in the event.

To avoid cramming the room, keep in mind the venue capacity limitations. Then, work off of that amount. This is a good place to start when thinking about how many people you can fit into a room without overcrowding your guests.

Do not assume that there will be no-shows that will free up space at your event. Instead of presuming there will be too much room when people don’t show up, be happy that there will be ample space to keep each person safe!

3. Not in a Convenient Location

Before booking a venue, know the general region your attendees will be coming from and the demographic.

Are you hosting a conference for rural educators? If so, don’t book a venue in the middle of a city!

You need to keep your location relevant for the people attending the event and the content covered in the sessions.

4. Choosing Conference Venues With No Close Hotels

If you cannot find a venue close to the audience you are catering to or that is pertinent to your topic, you need to find a site with nearby accommodations.

While it could be difficult to find exactly the right venue in the perfect location, there are other options for your event!

Keeping your audience in mind, look for a space with quality hotels in the area. Even if the attendees need to travel to the conference, they’ll feel more assured if there are places to stay nearby.

5. Not Having a Rough Draft Schedule

To ensure you pick the best venue for your conference, you need to have an idea of your schedule.

Having a schedule in mind will help with envisioning your event in the venue space. If your conference is very active, you may need more rooms to spread out in. If you want to have break-out discussions, you’ll need to map out where the groups will go.

6. Picking a Venue With Limited Options for Layout

You will also need your schedule to ensure the venue you’re looking at can accommodate your event.

If you’re hosting a lecture-based conference, you’ll need to make sure the venue has enough chairs for your guests. Plus, you’ll need to find out if they have chairs, and if not, decide if you can fit the venue and a chair fund into your budget.

You may also need to consider alternative layouts.

Does the venue you’re touring have options for several different floorplans? Will your guests have enough room to social distance in this space? It not, it may be worth looking into other options for venues!

To get inspiration for different layouts and design, try looking at the venue’s website for fun photos of previous events. You can see the diversity of the site and get ideas of how other people styled the room!

7. Choosing a Venue With Little Support Staff

Depending on the complexity of your event, you may need a little extra help.

Choosing conference venues with support staff allows you to focus on what matters: your event! Whether it’s setting up chairs or cleaning up after a long weekend, you may need more support.

8. Not Considering the Atmosphere of the Venue

While this may not be at the top of everyone’s list, it’s important to pick a venue that your conference guests will feel comfortable in.

How many times have you sat through a stuffy seminar with bad lighting in a cramped room? No one wants to suffer through a conference, especially if it is a continuing education or professional event.

If you want to take a tour but the venue isn’t nearby, see if they offer virtual tours! By clicking around a venue online, you can instantly see what the space has to offer.

Where Will You Pick?

Choosing conference venues can feel like a daunting task, but when you go step-by-step, you can find the right fit!

Which venue will you pick for your next conference?

Feel free to reach out to schedule a consultation to chat about your upcoming event!

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