Choosing the right venue for your upcoming conference can be a tricky prospect, particularly with so many conference centers in Boston.
However, you can eliminate much of the confusion and discord by asking a few select questions. Chances are, only a few venues will fit your parameters, and one will likely stand out above the rest.
If you’re in charge of finding an adequate conference venue, be sure to ask the following ten questions while you’re doing your interviews.
1. When Is the Center Available?
Your bosses may already have a set weekend in mind for when they’d like to hold their conference. If that’s the case, you’ll need to find out when different centers are available. Not only that, but you’ll need to ask about the number of rooms and AV equipment that is available during those dates.
2. Is the Venue Big Enough?
To the best of your ability, try to estimate the number of people who will attend your conference. This will help you find a venue that is large enough to accommodate you all, without requiring you to overpay for space you won’t be using.
3. Is the Center Easily Accessible?
You’ll likely be welcoming people from all over the country to your conference, so you need to make sure your venue is near airports, highways, public transport, and hotels so that your guests will easily find their way to the conference center. You should also ask about parking and shuttle service.
4. What’s the Atmosphere Like?
You need to make sure the atmosphere in the conference center is appropriate for your image and aims as a company. If you’re a cutting-edge technology company, you don’t want to hold a conference in an older hotel with dial-up internet service, for example.
5. Are the Right Facilities Available?
Depending on your conference, you may need different facilities available the weekend of your conference. For example, if you’re running an exhibit hall, you’ll need a ballroom or theater. If you’ll have breakout sessions, look for a center with different meeting rooms. You should also ask about lounge areas and nearby restaurants for downtime.
6. Does the Center Support Tech Equipment?
You’ll likely be doing several presentations, so you need to ask about AV equipment as well as WiFi and other internet services. Will you need public computers? If so, ask if the center has a computer center for printing, faxing, and scanning. This is particularly important for members of the press who may be covering your conference on an assignment.
7. Does the Center Cater?
If you’re holding a conference that stretches over several days, try to find a venue that offers its own catering. This will help you put on networking brunches without the added headache of trying to find a nearby catering company. You should also ask about vegetarian or gluten-free options for guests.
8. Are There Any Freebies?
Ask about freebies you can advertise while you’re advertising your conference. Maybe the center provides free airport shuttle service or complimentary beverages.
9. Does the Center Have Friendly Staff?
While you’re hosting your conference, the image of the center will reflect on your business. Find a venue with friendly staff who act as ushers and informational officers to properly represent your image.
10. How Much Does It Cost?
Last, but not least, you need to know if the conference center falls in your budget. While this is an expensive operation, there is a large number of conference centers in Boston that will likely meet your needs.