Planning a corporate or professional event depends on several factors, so it’s a success. The Basics: What’s the purpose of the event?
An effective business event should serve as a catalyst for increased sales, improved customer service, and enhanced employee morale. It also helps build relationships with customers, suppliers, employees, and other stakeholders.
A successful business event requires careful planning. You must first determine what type of event you want to host.
Do you want to hold a conference, trade show, or seminar?
Are you looking to recruit new employees, train existing staff, or reward current employees?
Once you know the event’s purpose, you’ll be able to choose the right venue. For example, if you’re holding a training session, you might consider renting a hotel ballroom. If you’re hosting a product launch party, you might opt to rent a restaurant space.
Your top priority is choosing the right location and venue. Create a checklist of requirements including:
- Travel – public and parking
- Technology – Wireless connectivity, Venue Tech
- Food and beverage
How many people will attend your event? The size will narrow down your venue choices and also locations. There will be more choices available for smaller functions. From a handful of employees to a giant corporate gathering, the venue has to have enough space for everyone.
Avoid choosing a venue that will cram attendees, so their experience is tainted by the lack of personal space. Plus, one sizeable open-plan room may not be conducive to productivity. Your event may need a few meeting rooms too for private meetings.
Take into consideration where your participants are traveling from. Are they coming from down the street, or are some coming from across the country or offshore. Several venues cater to local and international guests, with hotel accommodation, eateries, and entertainment.
Does your event need a location close to an airport, a central railway station, or intercity highways?
When traveling to an event is uneventful and straightforward, event attendance is higher. Remember, you’re asking people to change their routines to attend your function. Another way to ensure high attendance is to provide transport or free parking.
If you plan to host a business meeting, consider renting a conference room at a local hotel or restaurant. This will allow you to save money by not having to rent a space at a convention center or other location.
The cost of renting a conference room varies depending on the size of the room, the number of people attending, and whether there are additional amenities such as catering services. A typical rate for a standard conference room rental is $150-$300 per hour.
However, if you choose a venue that hosts meetings, conferences, and seminars, you could find yourself paying much less than what you would pay at a regular hotel. For example, the average price for a one-day seminar held at a hotel is around $1,000. On the other hand, a similar event hosted at a restaurant or banquet hall costs approximately $500-$600.
In addition to saving money, choosing a venue specializing in business events allows you to enjoy the benefits of being near restaurants, coffee shops, and other businesses catering to your guests.
You want your group to be comfortable and have everything at hand to get the most out of the event. What amenities will you need to make your event successful?
Most professional or corporate meeting spaces have visual aids and tech, including AV equipment, wireless internet connectivity, and the latest online tech.
Choose a venue that connects your online attendees with your in-person crowd to impress your attendees. Ideally, this may include full or part 3D immersion using VR and AR. While choosing a venue is not all about tech – today, your guest will expect it to include WiFi and video conferencing.
Do you need to provide the event attendees with catering services? For example, if your event is longer than a few hours, your business provides food or allows attendees time to visit restaurants and bars.
Choosing a business conference venue is no easy feat. The needs and wants of participants are quickly changing with the times. Many companies are looking for ways to make corporate events more exciting and fun.
A modern twist on morale-boosting and team-building has opened the door for more unique venue choices. Call it mixing work and play. Activity venues, such as bowling alleys, bars, and arcades, often offer their spaces for corporate gatherings.
Another growing trend in corporate event planning is outdoor civic venues. These outdoor spaces mix amenities with plush landscaping, such as the latest AV equipment. These spaces also allow flexible entertainment and food options, like food trucks. Spaces for these venues are abundant, and some cities renovate parks to serve this purpose.
Philadelphia upgraded Dilworth Park with $55 million in renovations. With space for 4,000 people, the improved park offers top-of-the-line security, WiFi, and projection capabilities.
Convention Center Possibilities
To accommodate the needs of businesses, many convention centers are rethinking their design. More significant layouts with more options for groups are becoming a focal point. Rooms can be divided or combined. Sound-proof walls allow for multiple events to run at the same time. Technology is planned to run seamlessly from space to space.
An advantage to booking a convention center is the cost. It is sometimes cheaper to rent space at your local convention center than at a trendy upscale event venue. Also, most convention centers are located with travelers in mind, so your guests should have plenty of hotel, travel, and food accommodations at their fingertips.
Despite these advantages, many corporate events want to break out of the mold and use a more unique venue. It all depends on what you want to achieve with your event.
Once a great venue is secured for your professional business meeting, conference or retreat, the rest of the planning will fall into place. Especially when you can use the venue’s client manager to assume some event planning responsibilities!
Will People Come?
You’ll need to ensure that people will come to your event before booking a venue. Consider how much time you expect attendees to spend at your event and what type of food and beverages you’d like them to eat and drink.
Consider booking a larger space if you’re planning on hosting a large gathering. A room with a capacity of 200 guests is ideal for most types of events. However, if you want to host a smaller party, a room with a capacity of 50 guests is sufficient.