Top conference facilities to look for in a venue

Having access to the modern conference facilities helps ensure your corporate events are as productive as possible. If you’ve been put in charge of planning your businesses next conference, venue selection will most likely be on the agenda.

Choosing the perfect venue to host your conference can be a time-consuming process – especially if you’re not quite sure what you need to be looking for. To help lighten the load and make the planning process easier, here are the top conference facilities to look for in a venue.

Before booking a venue, think about the following tips:

  • The venue size is large enough to comfortably a
  • Seating arrangements and room configurations should accommodate the predicted number of attendees.e flexible, allowing you to choose the best setup for your needs.
  • It’s situated in a quiet location away from crowds and noisy areas, preferably not facing a freeway or busy street.
  • The interior should have good acoustics that limits reverberation and adds clarity to audio and speech.
  • Windows should have blinds or UV film to reduce glare on any presentations.  

Conference facilities to look for

There are plenty of mod cons and add-ons to help make conferences go with a bang. But before you start looking at adding those extra touches, you’ll want to get the six basic conference facility elements sorted first. If you can tick all of these off of your conference planning checklist, you’ve found a fantastic space to get started with.

1. Seating Arrangements

Depending on the nature of your conference, seating setups will vary. As attendance numbers, agendas and business needs can change on the flip of a coin, a flexible meeting space should be at the top of your list.

Seating should be comfortable, especially if your conference will last for more than 60 minutes. Setup should be suitable for the meeting type and ensure there is plenty of space to avoid discomfort among guests.

Some common seating setups include:

  • Classroom setup: placing attendees in rows, much the same as seen in schools. Ideal if there’s one main speaker and many listeners.
  • U-shape: seated around three tables with all attendees able to view a presentation at one end while facing each other.
  • Conference: attendees placed around all four sides of a table for easy discussion. Normally, presentations are done on laptops or tablets.
  • Hollow square: similar to the conference setup but with a large space in the centre of the tables for more distance between attendees.
  • Cabaret: seated around a round, oval or square of table(s) with an open end so that the attendees can collaborate and watch the presenter. 

Theatre: Chairs set in rows side by side and facing the front of the room, this configuration allows for maximum attendees whilst also remaining seated. This is a great set up for when there is not a lot of note taking required as the attendees don’t have tables to lean on.

2. Climate Control

A hot, sweaty and uncomfortable conference is not going to lead to great results. At the end of the day, the comfort of your attendees should be toward the top of your list. When people are comfortable, productivity is improved. Likewise, if you’re holding an evening event, you may want to be able to add a little bit of warmth to the space.

Another thing to consider is natural light. Strip lighting and fluorescent bulbs can be uncomfortable on the eyes. Choosing a space flooded with sunlight can lift the spirits and improve mental clarity. Of course, if it’s a north-facing room; you’ll want to be able to block the light during video presentations. 

3. High-speed WiFi

It goes without saying that having access to high-speed Wi-Fi is an absolute must when it comes to conferencing facilities. You’ll want to look for a venue that has a fast internet connection and unlimited bandwidth to prevent any embarrassing delays or data loss.

High-speed Wi-Fi also makes it possible for attendees to join by video conferencing. While nowhere near as beneficial as a face-to-face conference, video conferencing allows those with prior commitments to still take part. 

Internet access also allows all attendees to work together at the same time throughout the meeting, forward on important documents and research on the go. Relying on mobile data is never a good idea when it comes to business, especially if you’re visiting a new area and are unsure of network coverage.

4. Refreshment Facilities

Nobody wants to attend a conference or meeting that eats into half of a day without at least taking a few breaks. Having access to tea and coffee making facilities is a must. When it comes to taking breaks, it’s a good idea to step outside of the conference room and relax away from the work at hand.

Finding a venue with breakout rooms, an outdoor space or an on-site bar or restaurant will keep tired guests happy. Taking care of the needs of your attendees will likely result in better output and performance. 

If the conference is scheduled to be held during lunch or dinner hours, you’ll want to make sure everyone is fed properly. The great thing about a venue with an on-site bar or restaurant is that you can do a little bit of networking or enjoy a post-conference wind-down in a more relaxed atmosphere. Definitely something you should consider.

5. Presentation and AV Equipment

Modern technology changes the way that conferences are held today. In the past, a simple whiteboard and handouts would have been more than enough. Today, presentations tend to be more complex, involving a variety of interactive displays and can be costly, so make sure you source a venue that offers the right AV for your event for a reasonable fee, or even better, for free!  

While it is commonplace for conference attendees to use laptops, netbooks and tablets to get to work, other equipment can come in handy. As an example, if you’re presenting in a particularly large space, microphones and speakers might be needed. Perhaps you need a projector to display sensitive information to the group as a whole instead of emailing it out. Having an easy, wireless connection to the projector or TV is super handy in sharing the screen to a variety of presenters. Knowing what your plans are will help you work out exactly what you do and don’t need.

6. Accessible Location

While the location of your conference venue is not strictly a facility, it’s definitely something you want to get right. When it comes to high attendance, convenience plays a large part in this. Especially if you have people travelling from other states or over long distances.

An ideally located venue should be near the central business district (CBD) of the city you’re hosting in. Easy access to train stations, airports and taxis will improve attendee travel to and from the venue. Thinking about the convenience and comfort of your attendees should definitely be factored into your final decision.

Another thing to consider is overnight accommodation options. Should the need arise, guests will appreciate having somewhere to stay the night after a long day of travelling and meeting. Finding a conference venue with guest rooms on-site, along with easy access to the city and places of interest can increase attendance numbers. 

Choosing a venue that’s best for business

Choosing the right venue for your conference is as important as planning the agenda and the business of the day. With dedicated meeting rooms and conference facilities in major cities and business hubs around the country, we have the perfect space for your needs. 

Don’t let a low-quality, featureless venue bring your meetings, conferences and events down. Our venues are designed with getting business done in mind, meaning you have one less thing to worry about.

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