There are around 30,000 conference centres to choose from in the UK.
So negotiating your way through the maze of the right meeting location for your business can be tricky.
A venue can make or break the outcome of your get-together. But what makes a good meeting centre?
A good venue will give you a no-hidden-extras all-inclusive quote up front. Its managers will also welcome a pre-meeting site visit. This is particularly important if you are narrowing down your selection to three or four and want to see if your choices offer value for money and a suitable layout.
In these high-tech times, possessing a quality flipchart is no longer anywhere near good enough. Only 5% of meeting planners claim that Wi-Fi access will not affect their choice of venue, according to an InStat poll. The best venues should offer free, unlimited internet connection. Leading meeting venues are starting to offer complementary “throttled” internet providing enough bandwidth to allow attendees to access the web, tweet or check emails. This enables organisers to further the projection of their meeting to wider audiences. The more accommodating venues will also provide photocopying/fax services, stationery, e-whiteboard, LCD TVs and projector screens besides self-regulated air conditioning. They will also have disabled facilities.
An ideal meeting place will have good road and rail links and be central enough to be easy to get to, while being quiet enough to hear delegates talk.
You want a conference room to reflect the tone of your meeting, whether formal or something a bit more fun. The best ones should also be flexible enough to mirror your firm’s corporate image, whatever it is. The room should also give a clear enough view of the speaker.
These things should be planned in advance, with as much notice as possible, but conference centres should be able to accommodate you at short notice. A good venue will always reply to your initial inquiry as quickly as possible and be flexible if you need to cancel at short notice.
The perfect conference setting will have room capacities to suit all, from the smallest to the biggest. It should quote how many people it can cater for in the first instance. Its staff will be able to meet your needs by ensuring that the room you are allocated is neither too big nor too cramped for your requirements.
Car Parking Costs
Employees at a good meeting location will alert you to whether they have on-site parking or direct you to the nearest public car park. The most convenient venues have their own free on-site parking with plenty of spaces.
Food and drink
Smart conference centres will give meeting organisers the option of laid-on refreshments, catering for specific dietary needs, such as those of vegans. In-house restaurant and bar facilities are a plus after a hard day in the conference room.
Gyms, swimming pools, saunas, Wi-Fi facilities, some meeting spaces offer it all. If there aren’t on-site facilities, is the meeting space near any restaurants, bars and entertainment offerings you can unwind in after the meeting?
Posted by Julie Tucker
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