A lot depends on what type of event you are hosting. Is it an all-expenses paid internal or VIP event; or maybe free to attend, or are your delegates paying? It’s fair to say that if you’re picking up the bill, then you can choose pretty much wherever you like, just bear in mind that if it’s difficult to get to, then this will still prevent your invitees attending and increase your dropout rate. If your event is free to attend, but the delegates have to take care of their own travel and accommodation, then the same rules apply, make it easy and cost effective for them to attend and offer a great agenda. Finally, if it’s a paying event, then you really have to provide value and incentive for your delegates as well as making it really easy for them to attend.
Ease of travel
Are your delegates international or local? As a rule, nobody wants to change trains or planes 4 times to get to a destination. After a ten hour international flight, asking your delegates to travel three hours to the venue under their own steam is certain to generate no shows. If you’ve found an amazing location and venue that is some way from the travel hub, then think about arranging the transfer for your delegates if costs will allow. Make sure it’s as easy as possible for everyone to get to the venue whether local attendees are driving or international delegates are flying in.
A huge factor, of course, is your budget. At the risk of teaching you all to suck eggs, working out a cost per delegate is always a great place to start. You can then play with the figures on your spreadsheet to work out what you can get for your money.
Choosing an interesting location is sure to attract more people. Think about the hottest weekend destination at the moment – odds on, if the delegates would like to stay on for the weekend with their partners, they will ensure they attend your event first. If the location has to be a business hub, find an amazing venue, whether it’s newly open and the hottest ticket in town or has the most amazing views. Make sure your agenda is packed full of incredible, relevant content and make the event an experience with extra touches.
Make sure that the location you choose has plenty to entertain your delegates. Whilst you can’t please everyone, ensuring that there are plenty of options goes a long way to a successful event. If it’s a multi-day event, think about off site hospitality to ensure the delegates see some of the local area.
Time of year
Think about the time of year and any holidays that may be particular to the location. For example Ramadan in Muslim countries – you will be able to secure any venue at a very reasonable price, but may experience other challenges in service and supplier availability. Weather is also a factor to consider, will it be too hot, is there a risk of hurricanes, snow or storms..
Again, we may be stating the obvious, but do you have to consider your emerging markets? Is there a particular region where a majority of your clients are located? Are there any VIP’s who you really need to attend? Think about creating a specific hosted programme for attendees from this target.
Finally, make sure you check that there are venues that can accommodate your numbers, room lay outs, signage and accommodation requirements in that location. If you have a choice of more than one venue, then you may be able to negotiate on cost. Finally, we fully recommend a site visit so that there are no surprises!
Need help to organise your events? Contact Denise Sharpe at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 0208 995 9495
By Deb Jowett Google