Finding meeting venues is not necessarily as simple as you might imagine. For a simple meeting, it will not normally be too difficult; simply phone up a venue, advise them of your requirements, and then show up on the day, right? Well, up to a point. Certainly it’s easier booking meetings and seminars for small numbers, when your needs are simple and few; but even here there are usually quite a few considerations to bear in mind. For larger meetings such as conferences and conventions, there are any number of things to bear in mind, from technical requirements to catering, location to breakout rooms. For this reason, it may be wise to consider the services of a specialist venue finding service, as this can take a lot of the hassle out of finding meeting venues and AV Integrator rooms organizing all the add-ons that make a successful event.
The first thing to consider when looking to book a venue for your meetings or team building events is the size and location of your chosen venue. You should aim to site your meeting venue in the most convenient location for all attendees, and ensure that the venue where you’ll be holding the event is large enough to cater adequately for your needs. This may seem obvious enough, but stop to consider ancillary requirements such as space for lunch and coffee breaks, breakout rooms for subgroups and smaller working parties (if necessary), and how delegates are going to get to the meeting.
Other issues to bear in mind when finding meeting venues can be broken down into the following categories; catering facilities, technical requirements, and accommodation needs. Consider, when arranging meetings, how much hospitality you wish to lay on for your attendees – bearing in mind any rules or guidelines that may exist in your business – for example, the rules on permissible hospitality that pertain to the pharmaceutical industry.
If you have any specific technical requirements, it is important to flag these up as early as possible. Most meeting rooms will have basic projection equipment, but if you have extra requirements, you may find that a surprising number of venues simply can’t fulfil your requirements. For example, you may wish to use internet conferencing facilities to include remote attendees in your meeting, and for everyone round the table in your own meeting room to have a laptop to access spreadsheets as the meeting progresses. This is a special requirement that some meeting venues won’t be able to meet – so be extremely clear beforehand on what you expect from your chosen conference centre or meeting rooms, and don’t hesitate to look elsewhere if necessary. And ensure that, if your meetings or corporate events are likely to be lengthy, that suitable accommodation is available and booked. We will come back to this issue presently.
It’s important when finding meeting venues to book as far ahead as possible. A surprising number of companies aren’t set up to hold large or important meetings, and go to outside hosts for team building events or training courses. This can lead to pressure on places, and make it difficult to find a suitable venue at short notice. There are ways round the problem of holding meetings at short notice, as we’ll see in a moment; but if it’s at all possible, do try to give venues as much notice as humanly possible.