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8 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing Conference Venues and Meeting Rooms

by Uneeb Khan

Planning a corporate event? Your choice of venue plays a big role in the success of your event, whether it’s for a small meeting with colleagues and clients or a big conference. While choosing a venue sounds like an easy task, event planners can still commit a few mistakes that can hurt their budget and leave a bad impression on attendees. 

When searching for the right venue for your conference, make sure to avoid these 8 common blunders. 

1. Booking a venue without understanding the purpose of the meeting

Do you actually need to rent an expensive boardroom when the nature of the meeting can be done in a quiet cafe? Alternatively, do you think a coffee shop meeting can suffice if you plan to present AVPs? 

Picking the best venue starts with perfectly understanding the purpose of the meeting and its expected outcomes. Write down the things to be discussed as well as the results you want from the event. Then, see if your goals are aligned with the venue’s available equipment, facilities, and even its aesthetics and overall ambiance. 

2. Going beyond your price range

If your goal is to impress, it’s normal to have a “spare no expense” mindset when choosing a venue. You think holding a meeting in the most prestigious conference centre in the heart of the city would generate that much-needed buzz? You do you. 

The thing is, the venue alone isn’t the only thing you have to pay for — there’ll be speakers, catering services, marketing materials, staff costs, and more. Not to mention, things also add up quickly along the way. 

With this, it’s important to work on a realistic financial plan and only limit yourself to venues within or below your price range. Allocate a budget to each different area of the event and have wiggle room for unexpected costs too. 

3. Not enough space

Is your venue spacious enough? We’re not only talking about whether or not you can fit all of your attendees in the room. We’re also talking about comfort, the flow of traffic, event activities, equipment, and most importantly, safety. 

Due to the pandemic, people are much more aware of personal space and social distancing. Your venue should be spacious enough to accommodate all your attendees while maintaining safe and comfortable distances. 

Another mistake is booking the smallest meeting room (since it’s the cheapest) and assuming that there’ll be no-shows that will free up space at your event. 

4. Choosing an inconvenient or irrelevant location

When finding meeting rooms, where the venue is located is as important as what the venue can offer. You might discover a venue that’s complete with the equipment and facilities you need but it won’t be effective if it’s difficult to access. 

Before booking a conference venue, understand where most of your attendees will be coming from. Check the traffic situation, as well as the nearby establishments that would benefit your attendees. For instance, you may scope out venues near airports and hotels if most of your attendees are foreign delegates. 

5. Picking a venue with limited layout options 

Does the venue have a range of meeting spaces that can accommodate events of different sizes? Do they offer various meeting room styles like boardrooms, classroom-style lecture rooms, tiered seating, and theatre-style seating? Lastly, will your guests have enough room to social distance in this space? 

Aside from the size and capacity of the venue, take a look at the room styles the conference venue has to offer. Your best bet is to find a flexible conference venue that can accommodate different types of events.

6. Choosing a venue with little support staff

Are you hosting a complex event that requires extra manpower? Whether it’s tech support or just extra hands for set up and clean up, picking a venue with in-house support staff works wonders. It allows you to focus on what truly matters: your event. 

7. Picking a dated conference venue or meeting room

It’s 2022. With this, a venue with dated equipment and poor internet connectivity should be left in the distant past where it belongs. Even meeting rooms housed in historic buildings have modern facilities and equipment. And no, you don’t need to pay extra just to take advantage of these essentials. 

8. Failing to select a venue with professionalism and conference expertise

Want to keep things formal, professional, and seamlessly executed? Don’t settle for venues that provide nothing but spaces to occupy. Instead, find a venue that has held multiple events in the past to justify its expertise. When conferencing is their mainstream, you’re assured that their equipment and staff won’t disappoint. 

In most cases, a conference venue with a proven track record of successful corporate events also has a seasoned coordinator. They’re assigned to help you every step of the way, making your event a successful one.

Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a passionate writer for Meet in DCU, a unique conference venue in Dublin which is perfect for corporate meetings, conferences, seminars and events. Writing articles about travel and lifestyle is one thing she finds enjoyable, next to playing the piano. 

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