It’s important that you choose the right location for your business convention to avoid the many common setbacks. But what should you consider when making your selection? How can you know what the right venue looks like? Here are five things that make a winner.
1. Plentiful Space
Plan for more guests than you expect. No matter how many swear they sent RSVPs appropriately, there will always be attendants, assistants, enthusiasts, family members and plus-ones who show up unexpectedly. There’s also the press to consider, the reporters, photographers and bloggers who will be covering your event. Whatever you think is enough room, find a venue that doubles it.
2. Easy Access to Hotels and Airports
Don’t just think about physical proximity, because distances can be deceiving when there’s traffic to consider. For example, if you’re convening early in the morning in Oklahoma City, hotels near downtown OKC might be surrounded by commuters at 7 am. Make sure you either account for obstacles or schedule your convention at a better time. Shuttling services are another consideration for guests flying in who won’t have access to their own cars.
3. Downtime Activities
Your convention won’t cover all hours of the day, so throw your guests a bone by planning your event in a well-populated area with lots of local attractions. Don’t make them go miles out of their way for a proper tourist experience. Host your convention near a mall, a good selection of restaurants, fun sightseeing opportunities and whatnot. This will make the convention more memorable long after it’s over.
4. Conference Services
What kind of benefits are included in the package you’re buying? Will they provide refreshments or in-house catering? Will they take care of the waitstaff? What about cleaning up afterward? The more services you accept, the more expensive your final bill, but sometimes it’s worth the cost to let professional event planners take everything off your hands.
5. Adequate Amenities
Let’s say you’ve decided to avoid traffic and shuttling issues entirely by hosting your convention inside a hotel. What kind of luxuries do they offer their guests? Do they have business suites for the working traveler? You don’t have to choose something directly in the city to get a good deal; places like Bricktown Hotel in OKC are located just on the outskirts of downtown for smog-less air yet close proximity to the action.
These are just a few of the major characteristics of a good convention location. Use them as a guide to find the perfect venue, and your gathering might just go down in the industry as one of the best.