Step 4: Date and venue selection

Setting a date

When choosing a date you should avoid religious and school holidays and actively avoid clashes of date and subject with competitor events, as this will affect delegate attendance.

Select a date that provides enough time to market the event. We recommend as much marketing time as possible, ideally three months and no less than six weeks.

Booking a venue

The venue can play a very important part in holding a successful event, both from the number of delegates wishing to attend to maintaining a balanced budget.

When seeking a venue things to consider include:

  • spaces requirements - areas for registration, refreshments, sponsors and the seminar / lecture room
  • seminar/lecture room - make sure that the venue can easily accommodate your expected target audience size in a comfortable and relaxed manner, with the required equipment (audio and visual, exhibition stands, catering tables)
  • venue facilities - disabled access, parking availability
  • location - ensure location is easily accessible, with good transportation links

Consider booking the venue an hour or so before the start of registration to ensure room set-up in advance of the delegates arrival, and an hour after the event to pack away.

Room set-up

Where possible we would advise a visit to the venue. By performing a site visit you will be able to visualise the areas being used and decide if they are suitable for your plans.

The venue should be able to provide advice on appropriate room set-up, capacities and provide a housekeeping notice to inform delegates of fire exits, health and safety etc.

Audio visual requirements

When booking the venue it is worth agreeing audio visual requirements for the day, for example microphones, lapel microphones, laptops, laser pointers. Some venues charge a considerable amount for these services and prices should be identified as soon as possible.

Catering

It is usual to provide refreshments mid-morning and mid-afternoon for a full day event. Tea, coffee and water are standard offerings. Lunch need not be extravagant; a sandwich lunch is normally acceptable.

For an evening event we recommend that you provide tea and coffee.

Book basic catering requirements when booking the venue; the venue will then advise when they need to know final requirements and numbers. Also check if the venue has a minimum number to cater for.