by: Gregory Hudson
So you're looking for a conference venue? Not the size of the Taj Mahal, but something just as impressive. A venue with the right amount of space, flexible catering, including accommodation and the right facilities.
This is where the elegance, style and the intimate nature of an independently owned hotel works well as a conference venue. These venues add their unique character and extraordinary service to your event. Finding the perfect environment sets the necessary tone, playing an important part in achieving your desired outcome.
Whether you're hosting a meeting, conference, workshop, training course or social occasion here are a few things to look for in a hotel venue.
Does the hotel have the space you require? Whether the focus of your event is a meeting, banquet or an exhibit, space can be the a factor that is usually underestimated.
Avoid hiring a venue that is big enough to seat 200 when you're only hosting a 20-person meeting. You only want to consider venues that can handle the event you’re planning. It is advisable to schedule a visit with your potential host prior to the event ensuring the venue meets your space requirements.
In the case of an event where the number of guests is uncertain, make sure there are sufficient break-away rooms to avoid congestion.
Bear in mind that catering needs to meet the special dietary requirements of your guests. Hotels have a flexible menu and unlike a catering company, the kitchen is at hand when you need it.
Check to see if the hotel can host various conference styles including a theatre for presentations, a classroom with a blackboard, a reception area and of course a boardroom.
Find a centrally located venue, close to stations and some of the areas main attractions as well as being within easy reach of the airport. With easy access by rail, tube or road, your guests will arrive for your event in good time and ready for the day you have planned.
Small details like air-conditioning make a huge difference. It helps a great deal if the hotel is equipped with latest audio-visual facilities, this way you can avoid lugging around your own equipment or having to rent from a supplier.
Another thing to check for is high-speed Internet or wireless Internet.
The one drawback with venues like convention or conference centres, is that you would need to use a nearby hotel for accommodation. If your event is extended by more than one day, a hotel becomes rather convenient. Depending on the number of guests, most hotels will provide a discount on accommodation.
The hallmark of an independently owned hotel is the unique ambience provided by the venue. Staging an event in the right setting is conducive to a receptive audience. The wrong venue, whether inappropriately large, under serviced or under equipped, can have undesirable results.
Consider one of your local hotels the next time you host an event.