Conference Venue Mistake 2: Not knowing your conference program
While searching for your conference venue, you really need to know at minimum a general outline of your program.
This is of course much easier for conferences with a history, however, prior to commencing your venue search you need answers to these questions:
- Do you need an exhibition space, and if so roughly how many exhibitors?
- What types of presentations will your conference comprise and what space will you require to accommodate this?
- What technology will be required for these presentations?
- What will your catering and social event requirements be?
- Will you hold your social events in the same venue or an alternative one?
- Do your delegates need accommodation?
- And most importantly, what is your budget?
Create an overview of your conference venue requirements so you can create a shortlist of suitable venue options.
Top Tip: Remember your aim is to find a venue that is adaptable to your program, rather than you needing to adapt your program to a venue.
Conference Venue Mistake 3: Over or under estimating your delegate numbers
With regards to conference numbers, event history is once again a blessing, yet it’s an area that can be a minefield.
Book a space too large and you end up paying way too much, while booking a conference room too small can lead to your guests being cramped and uncomfortable. Neither are a welcoming scenario.
For an annual conference, take a look at the conference data of past attendance. As a general rule attendance will be affected by the state it will be held in – numbers tend to be larger in the Eastern states – particularly Sydney and Melbourne – than in the west.
If it’s an inaugural conference, it’s best to be more on the cautious side when estimating numbers.
We recommend reserving a larger space, with the option to be able to reduce space once numbers become clearer. This will minimise impact on your budget.
Top Tip: While it is essential to make sure your venue can accommodate your maximum numbers, only contractually commit to minimum numbers to minimise any potential financial ramification of low delegate numbers.