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CHOOSING A PERFECT MEETING VENUE POST COVID – 4 STEPS TO CONSIDER

As we continue to move into the new norm and now business events for up to 30 have been given the green light and with a timeline in place for meetings over 30, what makes the perfect meeting venue?

1. What is the aim of your meeting?

It is important right from the start to establish why the meeting is being held, and what the desired outcome is going to be.

Who is your target audience and what is the best platform?  Is it a meeting for 10 senior staff with a set agenda and required outcomes or a conference with multiple options and agendas?

Whilst many meetings having been held virtually for the past few months a recent Exhibition News article suggested 4 in 5 people are keen to return to live events. But do not disregard virtual solutions, instead review the pros and cons of hosting virtually or in person. For larger conferences or workshops a hybrid solution may be the best way forward as this has the positives of a live event but can also reach a wider audience.

If you are arranging a creative think tank / brainstorm or planning event, then now is the time to return to face to face. Virtual meetings are less effective in facilitating any creative-type processes, such as brainstorming ideas or pulling together a strategy or plan.

2. Location and ambience

Once you know who will be attending, the issue of location and accessibility will need to be addressed. Are you looking for a relaxed country retreat or a smart city setting? Delegate confidence is a big part of the return of face to face events, does the requirement for onsite car parking, an out of city location or venue which encourages delegates to travel in their own vehicle become a key criteria rather than within a walkable distance of a mainline train station where delegates may not be confident or comfortable using public transport.

The perfect location will depend partly on the aims of your meeting and partly on where your attendees will be travelling. Do they all live in or around a particular city or will they be travelling from across the country or even the globe?

The size, character and atmosphere of a place can affect how productive people are and how well they take in information. A venue needs to be right for both speakers or trainers and attendees. No one wants to spend the day in a poorly lit, cramped, stuffy room. The perfect venue should be airy with natural daylight.

A venue which you have previously used may no longer be viable to host your event, organisers need to put the venue functionality over personal preferences – you want to ensure your delegates feel comfortable and confident attending the event.

3. Facilities

Many venues are continually reviewing their capacities and facilities, a degree of flexibility may be needed to secure your preferred venue.

Be clear from the start about the facilities you will need to make your meeting work and make sure that your venue either has these on site or is suitable for them to be brought in. Do you need WiFi, projection, AV equipment and catering for example? For larger meetings or conferences will sound and lighting and breakout rooms be required? Can the venue offer or support with a hybrid set up?

Careful thought in advance of your venue search is vital for success in finding that perfect place, and something our team can definitely assist with

4. Does the venue meet government guidelines?

Venues have been working hard to put measures in place to safeguard delegates and have risk assessments in place. This risk assessments can be requested and shared with any delegate who may have concerns. Track and trace requirements will be part of the venue risk assessments

By using a venue finding agent, you have additional peace of mind that they would only propose venues who can confidently demonstrate they have the correct safety measures in place.

The Meeting Industry Associations Roadmap to reopening and operating safely outlines the guidelines for venues.

Are you ready to press play on your events? Bien Venue are here to support!

The team at Bien Venue are here to help, support and guide our clients whether it be support in writing a risk assessment for your event or consultatively making recommendations on location and logistics for the event you are looking to arrange.

During lockdown Bien Venue have re-identified our strapline ‘Our Team is Your Team’ to include alongside ‘Event Management – Professional, Proactive with a Personal touch’ and our commitment throughout has been to support our clients and come out the other side more resilient, we are adapting our commitment to help our clients shape their future of meetings and events.

We have been encouraged by the venue’s response to safeguard guests with safety and adhering to social distancing guidelines being top priority. The response has been magnificent, and all venues have plans in place to welcome back business events. However if you are considering pivoting to virtual / hybrid in the future, please do keep Bien Venue in mind as we have fantastic partners to deliver hybrid events and are more than happy to share our thoughts and outcomes from our extensive research with you.

With this in mind, Bien Venue’s team are here and ready to go, venues have re-opened and we have the green light for the return of business events – are you ready to press play on your events?