If you haven't ventured out much lately or tried planning a trip, you might not be aware, but DEMAND is back. As people resume their activities, roads have gotten busier, restaurants are fuller, and plane tickets and gas prices are at record levels. This also means that corporate meetings and events are returning, and the hunt for the ideal venue has many scrambling to book.
So what do you need to know when booking a venue for your office's upcoming meeting?
Before you pick up the phone (or send an email), you need to know the basic details of your event:
What are the dates?
How many people?
What's your meeting setup?
Are you planning on serving food? How many meals?
Tips for Selecting a Venue
Once you know the basics of your event, you can begin your search. Here are some tips to keep in mind when selecting the perfect venue for your next corporate meeting or event:
1. Location, Location, Location
Where will your attendees be coming from? Try and select a location that is central to as many people as possible, and ensure there is enough parking for everyone driving. If many of your attendees are flying in for the meeting, somewhere closer to the airport will save on long commute times pre-and post-flight and reduce transportation costs.
Determine your budget before beginning your search. Ask potential venues if they charge per person and what it includes. Additional fees like meeting room rental and resort charges can quickly increase the cost of your bill. If your budget is tight, consider being flexible on your dates and ask if another time would be more cost-effective.
3. Event Setup
Hosting in-person events post-pandemic has meeting planners wanting bigger rooms, spacious setups, and access to outdoor space to accommodate the various needs of their guests. The more space you require could result in additional costs. Outdoor space is in demand so if that is at the top of your list of requirements, start your search as early as possible.
4. Technical Requirements
Are your AV needs basic (microphone and projector)? Or do you have extensive AV requirements (video, lights, sound) and need a lot of wireless connections that could max a venue's bandwidth? Make sure you ask these questions upfront because these aren't easy fixes if your selected venue is unprepared. Nor are the solutions cheap.
Be very clear about what food functions you need to host for attendees and carefully consider your options. Many guests have varying palates that can't be easily satisfied with a simple sit-down three-course meal. And buffets seem to have lost some popularity due to the pandemic. On the other hand, if you can feed your guests outdoors, this gives them a chance to grab some fresh air and experience a change in scenery.
Guests' tastes have evolved, often looking for a more culinary experience. Food trucks are the ideal choice to allow your guests to choose their food in a fun yet relaxing atmosphere away from the structure and confines of the indoor meeting space.
Once you've been given the green light to begin your search, don't delay! Time isn't on your side, and things are booking up quickly. And the more complex your venue needs are, the more lead time you will require.
Also, it's important to be clear on the tone and objectives of your meeting before starting your planning. For example, if your meeting addresses topics that require significant focus or confidential information, you may want to choose a location and set up conducive to this type of business – think Boardroom or U-shape setup.
But if you're objective is to reconnect and do some team building, outdoor
venues or large indoor living room setups could work well and add to the
Finding the right corporate meeting venue requires careful planning. It's important to consider the meeting's objectives and the attendee's expectations. Keeping these needs in mind will ensure a successful and productive event that impresses your guests.