What makes a great conference venue?

When it comes to deciding on conference venues for special events, there are countless options available to you. Where do you even start? And how do you know what to look for?

To take any pressure off and help you make the right choice, we’ve compiled a trusty guide to what makes a great conference venue, helping you to make a choice that fits your needs just perfectly.

What makes a conference venue great? 

Think Location

Perhaps one of the biggest considerations is the location of the conference venues. You’ve got options in big cities, from busy central London and Manchester, to quieter rural areas like the shires of Oxford and Warwick.

The best location for you depends on what the event is, and who it’s for of course. You must think about accessibility too for both you and the attendees – whether walking distance is necessary, or whether a car park is all you need? A city centre location, such as central London, may be better from a logistics perspective to allow attendees to travel via public transport and walk.

Equally, an unusual conference venue in the rolling countryside with beautiful sunny views and high ceilings offers an eclectic atmosphere, and would definitely leave a lasting memory for those who attend.

Be strict in your planning as to what you hope to get out of the successful event, to help you choose a convenient location.

You want to make a good impression; the perfect location is out there! A great conference venue will be remembered for years by its attendees, so it’s worth taking time to consider where it is as the first step.

Think Size

Another important consideration is the physical size of the conference room. Perhaps you’d like to hire an entirely unique venue for your event? Or just rooms in purpose built centres would suffice? You also want to be taking into account the amount of space your set and stage will take up and how this will affect the capacity, as well as seeing if there is enough storage space for you.

You certainly don’t want people cramming into a conference room. Consider whether you need access to breakout spaces or meeting rooms? Or perhaps you’re planning large scale events in a great hall with a booming sound system and speakers.

Think Layout

The layout of the ideal venue is essential. Where would you have people congregate for drinks receptions, or would you rather people be seated immediately upon arrival?

Venue layouts are usually flexible (to some degree), so have an idea of what you’d like beforehand, and don’t be shy to stress your wishes to venue managers when it comes to setting everything up.

The layout of the venue affects things like lighting and airflow (the details!)

Also, consider if there is going to be any movement of delegates between spaces during your event and if any extra signage going to be required

Whether there’s natural light in the room or it’s dimly lit by characterful oil burners and lanterns, it’s all in your decision.

Lecture theatres have a particular charm, as can performance theatres, some of which can add a Gothic or Victorian flair. Or perhaps you’re after an industrial yet modern look? All things to think about!

These three concepts; the location, size and layout of the conference spaces are a great start for getting your event underway.

How to choose the perfect venue?

Start With Good Research

Before you dive in and make any bookings – pause – and make a plan! There’s a lot to consider when it comes to conference venues, and getting clear on how you want the event to be is essential. Do your research before you do anything else. These questions will help you.

Questions To Ask Yourself

  • What event am I organising?
  • How many people will attend, and who are the attendees?
  • What location is most appealing, and why?
  • Which are the most popular conference venues?
  • What do I need access to at the conference event? Facilities wise? Space wise? Size wise?
  • How do I want the event space to look inside and out?
  • What theme do I want at the event?
  • Will the event need any security?
  • How easily accessible must the venue be?

There is a fantastic range of venues throughout the UK. We’re spoilt for choice in some ways, often making the decision overwhelming. This is why research is paramount to pulling off the best event you can think of.

Another thing to plan for is what will actually happen at the event itself? Will you need chairs, tables, a restaurant, a disco, WI-FI? Breakout rooms or onsite parking? Meeting rooms or a big hall? A gym? A hotel? Air conditioning? Heating? All worthwhile considerations to find your perfect space, depending on the season and the event in question.

Venue Experience and Story

Read up on the history or story behind event spaces, to add a unique experience for your guests. You want to create an event that will be cherished, and that will bring attendees back again and again to your business. So research the ‘behind the scenes’ story on a particular venue, and see how that can contribute to the overall feel of the event. London conference venues have a particular charm, simply because they’re in London!

Where’s Popular Right Now?

Not that popularity should be the foundation for choosing a conference venue, but looking into which venues are popular for events similar to what you’re planning can be a smart move.

The reason?

It’ll help you make the right decision in terms of venue facilities, venue size and venue location, as well as choosing affordable conference spaces.

If a successful event has been held at said venue before, it’s probable that it can happen again. Success leaves clues. By looking at those who’ve made a venue work well, you’ll gain a big advantage and be sure to pull off an amazing event.

While looking into what venues are popular, you can also look at photos of previous events. Spend time browsing social media posts and websites to get a feel for what the venue is like when it’s full of people, or when the tables and chairs are set out in a certain style.

Many conference centres share their photos on social feeds purely for this reason – to encourage more people to book them. Use this to your advantage.

Another thing to consider is the feedback given on a venue by previous event attendees and organisers. Was the feedback good or not so good, and why? Use this as fuel in your event planning.

Is It Good Value?

Be sure to check the value you’re getting from the conference venue. What’s actually included in the price you’re quoted? Do the facilities meet your expectations? And is the price in alignment with your budget and goals?

Some conference venues have set packages and prices, others are more flexible, which you’ll find out by doing your research beforehand.

If you can, visit the event space in person before you book, so you get a real feel for the place. Try and imagine your event there. Does it fit your criteria?

This can help you visualise your event in real life before the big day kicks off, helping you brainstorm ideas and put other unnecessary ideas to rest!

How Can We Help You?

Avoid the stress of event planning, and contact your friendly team at Eclipse for a free consultation today. Anything is possible and we always go the extra mile to make your event one to be remembered.

Your Business Goals

Whatever conference venue you choose, always remember what your ultimate aim is.

What’s the reason you’re holding this event? What do you hope to achieve?

Run every decision you make by this. That way, you’ll know you’re on track to meet any business goals you’ve set, whether it’s to raise revenue or increase your brand awareness and following. Or, to simply have a great time with your staff members!

113 Chancery Lane

How Having The Right Venue Can Take Your Event To The Next Level

Atmosphere

The emotions created by a conference venue can leave a lasting memory on those who attend, and a legacy on your business. It can stand you in good stead for any repeat events in the future (if this is something you’re looking to do).

Ask yourself what atmosphere the venue needs to create to make the event a success? Do you want warm and cosy? Loud and brash? Funky and colourful? Rich and historical?

Also, how do you want the attendees to feel? What do you want them to say after the event? The atmosphere of a venue is key to pulling off an event worth remembering!

Notoriety & Legacy

The conference venues you consider will all need to be weighed up in terms of what they will bring to your business. How will this event make your business flourish? What reputation will the event and the event’s venue bring to your business?

You want this event to be a positive step forward – so consider the venue carefully. Whether that reputation ends up being positive or negative is all down to planning and executing the event well. So – no pressure – but you do want an event to remember that will boost your business for years to come!

Conference Facilities & Set Up

The best conference venues offer a myriad of facilities that should be up to date with modern, safe, reliable features. Think technical equipment – sound, recording, screens and lighting to catering options, versatile spaces, parking and accommodation as well as good internet bandwidth for hybrid events. You will want to consider if the venue facilitate everything you want to do technically.

The best venues go over and above to share their facilities openly, which means you ought to check them out prior to booking and make sure the facilities you need are available. Thought will also need to be given to how much time is physically needed for the setup and pack down and if the venue has time restrictions on load in/out. It all adds up to creating the perfect event!

Mistakes you should avoid when choosing your conference venue

  • Choosing on a whim. You may fall in love with the first venue you see, but remember to use logic and don’t automatically book the first place you see without considering other options. A steady, level-headed approach is needed.
  • Not choosing big enough. Again, coming back to cramped conference rooms… Not good! Choose space – everytime. And remember to cater for the number of attendees. Ideally, if you can afford to go bigger with a venue space, do! The attendees will enjoy it that much more.
  • Not asking for what you want! Do you have a conference theme in mind, but you’re too shy to request it? The best conference is clear with it’s intention and communicated well to the venue. Speak up and ask for what you want before making a booking – to ensure it’s available to you. Otherwise, look elsewhere.

How Eclipse can help find you the best venue

Finding a great conference venue for your special event is not a task to take lightly, as we’ve shown in this post.

There are so many things to consider, which is where Eclipse can support you from start to finish!

With over 30 years of experience in event planning, and in building quality relationships with conference venues in London and wider afield, Eclipse’s talent lies in the details.

Providing a full service to you from planning your event, to making a booking, to event execution and set up and design, taking all that pressure off you to simply enjoy the event itself!

Regardless of whether your event is a small party or a large corporate conference, Eclipse works with clients all over the world and no job is too big. Or small!

By using Eclipse to find the best venue for you, you’ll get:

  • A dedicated team of event managers and creatives, eager to pull off the best event you can possibly imagine.
  • A 100 person professional & technical team – from lighting, sound and design, to hospitality and style – it’s all covered! You can kick back and relax.
  • The latest knowledge in creating the perfect space – whether it’s a fashion show, a corporate dinner or product launch. We won’t say no to any request!

Why not talk to us today to discuss your event needs? Book a free consultation and let us take the weight off your shoulders.

How Can We Help You?

Avoid the stress of event planning, and contact your friendly team at Eclipse for a free consultation today. Anything is possible and we always go the extra mile to make your event one to be remembered.