Choosing a Conference Venue

If you have been tasked with organising a seminar or conference for your company then it is more than understandable if it seems to you like a somewhat daunting task. Not only have you been charged with managing every aspect of what is already a reasonably complex event, but before all this can be taken care of you need to find a suitable venue in which it can take place. The most effective conference venues will be will equipped and well laid out. Not only this but they should also have a good selection of chairs, tables and furniture for your attendees use. If your conference is well organised then those in attendance will come away having had a positive experience and recommend it in future. With that in mind here are a few useful hints as to what to look for in a suitable conference venue.

One of the most important aspects of any potential venue is that is has a good atmosphere to it. If your conference location exudes a positive atmosphere then this will have a beneficial effect on on the delegates and contribute to the overall experience of the event. You may wish to use suitable technical equipment in order to add an extra visual element to the atmosphere.

The rooms available in the venue should of course suit the needs of your conference. The room you choose must be able to accommodate enough furniture and equipment depending on the type of conference that you will be hosting. It is for this reason that hotels are quite often a popular choice for these types of event as not only will they likely be able to offer catering to the attendees but they will also have suitable audio visual equipment on hand for whatever presentation purposes you may required. When drawing up a shortlist of potential venues then remember to ask what sort of facilities each location has available as this will be a key part in your decision making process. Any venue that is able to take some of the hard work off your hands will clearly be more desirable than one that cannot.

Delegates are likely to be attending your event with their laptops. It is with this in mind that you should also check that the venue has a suitable wireless internet connection available. Even if the venue does have this facility available you should enquire as to whether their connection will be able to cope with the volume of people you are expecting to attend.

As mentioned it is also important that your event is well catered. Your attendees should be well fed, especially if the conference is likely to go on for at least a day. Poor food is where many conferences can do themselves an injustice. You may think this a trivial affair but no matter how good the conference presentations themselves are, poor catering will literally leave a poor taste in the mouth of your attendees. You should make the most of any opportunity to leave a lasting impression and the last thing you will want to do is fall down on something as basic as the food.

It doesn’t matter if you are something of a novice when it comes to organissing such events as there are a plethora of event management companies on hand who will be able to take the hard work off your hands.

Trevor Richards is writing on behalf of Owl Event Management, one of the UKs leading event management companies.

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Four Types of Conference Speaker

As my career has developed as a speaker I have come to believe that there are four main categories of speaker in the market place. By “speakers” I am talking about people who perform at conferences and conventions across the globe, playing a specific role in the event. Herein lies the graveyard of many events where they make a fatal error of not deciding what that role should be. Is it simply to fill in some time during the event? Will the speaker be delivering the key new global strategy or are they there to rebuild the confidence of the team after extreme cuts?

Before a speaker can be chosen the objective outcomes of the event must be understood in order to get the best balance between in-house personnel, quality in-house speakers and external professional speakers and moderators. I make the differential here between in-house personnel and in-house speakers because we have all been to conferences where someone has been given the perceived “poison chalice” and had to get up and speak – they are so uncomfortable, unprepared and clearly do not want to be there. I believe the split between these two types of in-house speaker is at least 80:20, which is why there is such a huge opportunity and market for professional speakers. 

My four categories of speaker are as follows:-
(Please note that these are stated in their broadest terms and are not meant to be all encompassing)

The Entertainer:  ranging from the after-dinner speaker to the performer, magician or comedian – their role is primarily to entertain and have fun.

The Content Speaker:  more often than not these are the speakers who are driving home a message, either business or technology or theory related – their role is to engage and educate.

The Motivational Speaker: – someone who has achieved great things, regularly these are ex-sporting heroes or celebrities who share their tale – their message can often be “get off your backside and get on with it”.

The Inspirational Speaker: –one step further than the Motivational Speaker. Their personal story, often tragic, is their inspiration to get on with life and to coin a phrase from one of the best Inspiration Speakers I have ever had the pleasure to meet W Mitchel – ‘It’s not what happens to you, it’s what you do about it’.

Most speakers will fit partly into all of these categories but will have a leaning towards one particular category. I come under the category of Content Speaker. My objective is to get audiences to look at what they are doing in their personal and professional lives and as a result of hearing me talk they go away and improve their productivity and reduce their Faffing About.

Mike Pagan is a highly sought after professional motivational speaker, conference speaker, and business coach. He has half a lifetimes experience in the corporate world with HSBC Group and Forte Group with Granada Group.
“My passion is productivity, one of my greatest frustrations in life is seeing talent and opportunities go to waste because of faffing about.”