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When you start looking for your conference venue, you must first and foremost keep in mind why you’re hosting this event and who is going to be there. What will they need from the venue, and how can you deliver that?

I always start with these fundamental questions, because if you’re not clear about the answers you may well make the wrong choice of venue.

You need to identify where your delegates are coming from. Do you need to be close to a major airport? A railway station? Or is proximity to the motorway network and onsite parking more important? Do you need accommodation under the same roof, or will they be happy to travel to nearby hotels?

What other facilities are you looking for? A gym, maybe? Or swimming pool? A four-star restaurant? A prayer room?

Once you have that clear in your mind, you can look at delegate numbers, how much space you will need, and what type of space. For example, in addition to hosting plenary sessions, do you also need to accommodate committee meetings, fringe meetings, break-out areas, speaker green rooms, and somewhere for media interviews?

Do you also want space within your conference venue for social events and — of course — for an exhibition if you’re going to include one?

Are you planning to have a poster exhibition, using either traditional poster boards or plasma screens for eposters? Depending on the number of posters, this may require a significant amount of space.

The other important cost element to pin down concerns audio visual equipment. Find out early what the venue will provide and what — if anything — you need to source elsewhere, and budget accordingly. What type of stage set will best promote your brand and create a stylish, professional image? What sound and lighting will be required? Do you need to encourage interaction with delegates with voting pads, Twitter walls, etc? Will you be providing a speaker preview room or speaker lounge areas?

These are just some of the questions you’ll need to answer, and that’s why we offer our unique Conference Collective free venue finding service.

We’ll find your perfect venue — for free!

Finding the right venue for your event can be quite a challenge, so why not let us take care of that headache right now? At absolutely no charge! Yes, that’s right: hand over your search to the Conference Collective’s experienced venue finding team and we’ll do all the hard work for you — for free! Just fill in the form and we’ll take it from there…

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