Do you become perplexed when trying to find a suitable workshop venue for your next event? Occasionally, when trying to find a suitable workshop venue, it is either too expensive or it is difficult to travel to. Perhaps, you are not aware of the key things to consider when looking for a venue. In this post, allow me to share with you 5 areas that I personally prioritise when I am looking for a suitable workshop venue.
Ease of getting to a venue is really important. The last thing you need is for the venue to be miles away from the train station or there are no taxis available to transfer your delegates to the workshop venue. Also, parking is non-existent or expensive.
Usually, if I find a venue that meets the spec, I find out directly from the workshop venue who are their preferred transport providers. I would then approach the vendor directly to find out how they can support my event. I also check at the local train stations for taxis and obtain their details and provide to my delegates. Some delegates may choose to drive. It is important that the venue you choose provide free parking to reduce costs. Research all train stations and bus stops near to the venue and ensure you give your delegates many options to get there. No matter how nice a workshop venue is, I resist the urge to book it if this is going to be a nightmare journey for people to attend.
Why not test the journey yourself before committing to a venue? This will help with your decision making.
Nothing is more frustrating when you find a workshop venue but the Event Manager is not flexible.
Before you sign any contract, make sure you cover off areas where you need flexibility. For example, you may want to adjust choices on the menu, use breakout rooms for half day instead of a whole day and would prefer they reduce the rate accordingly, using a breakfast room or an evening restaurant for break out rooms or allowing early or late check out on a complimentary basis.
Why not make a note of the areas where you require flexibility for your next event and be sure to discuss these with your event manager before you sign a contract.
This is an area which should be given consideration. A venue may be great but it may have poor internet reception. This can be frustrating if you require internet for your event.
Check the internet speed for the venue when making your assessment. Also check which areas you have internet access and the costs involved. I would also check how certain internet providers respond at that particular venue. Some corporate clients use a specific provider. This can be a problem if the programme team or delegates experience poor reception. Many venues give free internet access only to the lobby area. If you need internet access in your meeting room, you should discuss the cost implications.
There are number of facilities that require attention when choosing your workshop venue. When choosing a venue (depending on the event being supported), consider how the venue can support your business requirements. Do they have a Business Centre and, if so, can they provide the kind of printing that you need for the event? In my experience, facilitators often need documents printed at the last minute. This can be quite frustrating if a Business Centre cannot print in colour or A3 if this is needed.
A check on rest rooms is important. Depending on how many people are attending, I always make a check to see how many stalls are available especially for ladies as well as how accessible the facilities are to the meeting room. A lot of valuable time can wasted if these facilities are not accessible or limited.
Meeting Room Suitability
Having the right meeting room is crucial to the success of your event. Depending on the duration of your event, it is important that you have natural daylight. Check that the room is large enough for the proposed room set up and that there is sufficient room for movement between tables. Check pillars or anything in the room that restricts views from seeing the facilitator or hinder conversation. Other things to check in the room are the ability to change the temperature, acoustics, ambience and suitability for your Brand as well as type of chairs being offered. Ask questions about the screen and projectors and be sure you understand the charges.
One bug bear is the overnight hold charge. This can be expensive. Be sure to table this subject early in your negotiating process if you need to leave your room set up in place over several days.
These are my top 5 tips for choosing a venue for a workshop or learning event. Obviously, there are much more and I would love to hear from you about the other things that are on the top of your list for sourcing a workshop venue. Do let us know in the comments below.
Finally, do contact us if you need advice with regard to organising your next training event.
If you enjoyed this post, check out our previous post on this topic in 2014.