April 18, 2024   |   Molly Falco

7 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Venue for Your Conference or Tradeshow πŸ“βœ¨

Picking a venue for your next corporate event can feel like Tinder for empty conference centers – mostly no-go nightmares with a couple of gems in between. Fret notβ€” we’ve got your back with seven hot tips to help you land “the one.”

1. Location, Location, Accessible Location

When it comes to welcoming a diverse audience, your space has a lot to consider. How will attendees with physical disabilities get around? Is the space equipped with ramps, elevators, and escalators? Are rooms and areas marked in braille, or are there audio guides available? Where will neurodivergent attendees recharge? And new mothers nurse?

Whew. If that sounds like a laundry list to consider, think about how stressful it is for your attendees when they’re not sure your event will be able to accommodate them.

If you don’t know where to start, ada.gov has tons of helpful guides and resources to help you wrap your brain around what needs to be considered before you embark on your venue search.

2. Brand it Like Beckham

Go for a venue that lets you add your branding with Banksy-esque elegance. It should be a blank canvas that’s just begging for your logos, colors, and hashtags, so everyone knows this event is more “you” than your morning Starbucks order.

3. Variety is the Spice of Life 🌢️

You want a venue that’s the Swiss Army knife of spaces – diverse rooms and areas that can morph from workshops to panel talks to cocktail lounges or new mother’s rooms faster than you can say ‘networking’. Flexibility is key, so go for a place that can handle both your deep-dive sessions and the after-party.

4. Let’s Make it Exclusive

Having a defined registration area is an important and oft-overlooked step in venue selection. No matter how many signs are hung and volunteers are stationed, if guests can walk in without stopping at the registration desk, they willβ€” and that’s no way for you to keep tabs on your attendance data.

Consider a venue with a separate welcome area, like a lobby or entryway, and think about how you’ll ensure your attendees enter through those doors every time.

5. Is Anybody Out There?

A good venue is like a well-organized Netflix menu – easy to navigate without calling for help. A simple layout keeps attendees happy, not playing Marco Polo just to find the keynote speech.

Don’t book a venue that’s way too big for your event, where your attendees may find themselves wandering empty halls and wondering where the show floor went. Consider that the simplest venue and layout you can have for your event is the best one; no one’s impressed by a huge, empty convention center.

6. Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

A venue’s partners are like their sidekicks, ready to jump into action with everything from A/V to catering.

Hook up with a venue that’s got a little black book stacked with trendy and trusted suppliers; working within their network may land you steep discounts, and you’ll definitely benefit from integrating suppliers who already know how to work well together and with your space.

7. Be Insta-Ready πŸ“Έ

Last but oh-so-not-least, snap up a venue that makes people want to post selfies more than a tourist at the Eiffel Tower.

Social sharing is the best channel you have for communicating the event’s value after it wraps, and your ticket to even bigger registration numbers next year. It’s also a free ride to more brand presence on the webβ€” and that’s the whole point, is it not?

And there you have it – seven nuggets of wisdom so you can confidently ride off into the event horizon and plan the conference of the century. Now, gather your notes, charge forward, and claim your crown as Sultan of Spaces, the Champion of Venues.

Happy hunting! 🏹