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How to choose a conference venue

2 min read

1. Choosing the location

Metropolitan areas have traditionally been popular due to their accessibility and the multitude of entertainment options that are within close proximity. Why not dare to be different and look at rural areas – there are often more adventurous and unusual activities on offer for the conference program, plus you’ll have a better chance of getting the space and accommodation you want within your budget, especially if you’re a bit behind schedule.

Make sure you arrange transfer options for the attendees, so they don’t have to carry this extra responsibility.

Regional business tourism bodies or destination management companies (DMCs) can assist in your choice of venue, entertainment, accommodation and more.

2. Booking the venue

Your checklist should include:

  • Does the meeting venue provide all the necessary facilities and equipment, such as AV, video conferencing and wireless internet access?
  • Is the conference room big enough for your expected delegate numbers?
  • Is catering available and are refreshments included?

It is best to do a site visit and speak to the project manager personally about your requirements.

This should give you a good starting point when weighing up different options.

3. Planning the program

The number one priority is sorting out your educational content. Ensure there is an element of knowledge-exchange to engage your delegates in the conversation, such as a forum, workshop or a group discussion. There’s nothing more draining than sitting and listening to speakers for eight hours a day.

Most conferences will include entertainment and networking. Research your audience thoroughly since it has a significant influence on your activity plans; for example, it may be a stereotype, but middle-aged men like to play golf, while Japanese youths enjoy karaoke. Team building and socialising should be considered as well.

To find out more about planning an event, meet Australia’s premier suppliers of special events and conferences and learn further tips and tricks from industry experts; visit Sydney’s Event Showcase this month.

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