Planning a conference is no easy task! Not only do event planners worry about logistics and budgets, they also must select a conference location that will attract attendees and a venue that will boost attendance. With so many details to sort out, conference planning can become quickly overwhelming. However, once the destination is chosen, the remaining details will seem to fall into place. Here are a few ways your conference location and venue can make a positive impact on attendance.
Selecting a Conference Location
Because attendance plays a key role in the success of your event, the destination must be one that your constituency wants to visit. We all lead pretty busy lives and many exhibitors and attendees face limited travel funds. Therefore, hosting your conference in a location with appeal, character, and desirable climate and natural environment is sure to grow participation.When considering a city to host your conference, consider city amenities. Are city resources large enough accommodate the size of your event? The last thing you want is for your attendees to experience low customer service unrelated to your event because it will be a reflection on the location you selected. Also, be sure that maps, information desks, translator services and currency exchange services are readily available in your conference location for those who depend on them when traveling.
Selecting a Conference Date
Once you have selected your conference location, you must carefully consider the date. To maximize attendance and avoid conflicts, do not schedule an event on the same date that other known conferences are being held. When selecting your date, be sure to avoid religious and national holidays and sell out dates around festivals, concerts and sporting events.
Selecting the Conference Venue
After conference location and date have been established, the next task is to select the best possible venue to host your conference. Check with the city’s Convention & Visitors Bureau to narrow down your options by capacity. From there, narrow things down further by location within the city. Do you want to be near an airport? Do you want to be near an entertainment venue? Do you want to be in a central business district? Try to narrow your options down to two or three before making a destination visit.Be sure to get to know every physical detail about the facilities in question. Examine the size and quantity of meeting and exhibit spaces, and ensure that each facility has sufficient, current technology. Then, review each venue’s track record; check references from similar past events that took place at that location to hear what others have to say. Finally, consider which venue is able to fit your budget constraints and best match your event profile?Most importantly, get to know the area around each of the final venue options. You will want to ensure that participants will have a variety of lodging choices that are within walking distance of the conference venue, and that the area is easily navigable. Are you choosing a facility that is close in proximity to leisure activities, sightseeing, shopping, entertainment and dining? Offering attendees close, convenient options to relax and experience downtime will increase their attraction to your conference and therefore boost attendance!