From keynote speakers to networking breaks there’s a ton of important details to consider when planning a corporate or medical meeting. And meeting planners know that every detail matters – especially when it comes to choosing your venue.
But before you sign your meeting venue contract, make sure you ask these key questions.
Goals and Objectives
1. How will your venue accommodate our meeting needs?
For example, if you’re hosting a medical training meeting, what space is available for attendees to have hands-on labs? Or if you’re hosting a sales meeting, does the venue offer the ability for breakouts both in a large meeting room and throughout the building?
2. Are there separate spaces for all the different types of activities to be hosted (general sessions, attendee registration, networking breaks, etc.)?
3. Can the space accommodate any large equipment or special room set-ups that may be required?
Availability and Location
4. Is the venue available on our desired date?
5. How close is the venue to a major airport? Is it also easily accessible from highways or public transit?
6. Is the venue located near dining, cultural, sports and entertainment opportunities?
7. When is the earliest we can start setting up? And how much time is available for breakdown?
8. Does the venue accept shipments or deliveries prior to our meeting?
9. Can you place a 24-hour hold on the space (meaning if your program is more than one day, the venue can’t sell that space to another event when you’re not using the rooms)? Is there an extra charge for a 24-hour hold?
10. How easy is it for attendees to get around the venue? Are all meeting rooms and spaces located on one floor?
11. Is on-site parking available? How many spots are available? Is it free?
12. Does the venue offer other amenities, like a mother’s room, prayer room or monitors displaying real-time event schedule or flight information?
13. Where and how many outlets are available for attendees to keep their devices charged?
14. What types of sleeping accommodations are nearby?
15. Can the venue assist in discounted arrangements with other suppliers (i.e. transportation companies, local restaurants, hotels, etc.)?
16. What is the typical turn-time for rooms (i.e. changing a keynote set-up into breakout sessions)?
17. How many restrooms are available? Are there changing facilities/locker rooms or coat/luggage storage areas available if needed?
18. Is there a dedicated area for attendee registration?
19. What kind of signage is used to help attendees with wayfinding?
20. Are there any special venue restrictions (i.e. décor, music, etc.)?
21. How many and what staff is included in the rental, and who will be present and available during the meeting?
22. Will staff be available to assist in welcoming and directing attendees on the day? Can they also assist with check-in/registrations?
23. How flexible are staff to accommodate last minute program needs or agenda changes?
24. What is the staff’s experience with meetings similar to ours?
25. Is the venue staffed versed in greeting and working with international attendees?
AV and Technology
26. What AV is included in my meeting room charge? And what HD capabilities does the venue offer?
27. Does the room rental cost also include technician(s) and labor?
28. What are the technical backgrounds of your staff, and are they dedicated to the venue?
29. Is there an extra charge to bring in my own equipment and technicians?
30. What internet options and capabilities does the venue offer? If you’re showcasing new R&D, what about offering dedicated VPN lines?
31. Are there separate networks available for your production team and your guests? How do they keep it secure/non-attendees from using the network?
32. Is the venue wired for video livestreaming?
33. Is there an on-site control room or HD broadcast studio?
34. What kinds of microphones, cameras and lecterns are available in the meeting spaces?
35. How is equipment loaded-in/loaded-out (i.e. a dedicated loading dock, freight elevator, etc.)
36. Is there an area to store equipment out-of-sight to attendees?
Food and Beverage
37. Does your venue offer catering? Can we choose our own vendors, or do you have a list of preferred vendors?
38. What kinds of food options are offered: Vegan? Gluten-free? Kosher? Halal?
39. Can we have a food truck on the venue premises?
40. Are there food and drink minimums and, if so, what are they?
Safety and Security
41. What kind of security personnel and equipment does the venue provide?
42. Is security included in the rental fee?
43. How secure is the facility? Is there 24/7 closed-circuit monitoring?
44. What is the cost to rent the venue for our meeting’s date and time?
45. Is there a cost difference between booking weekdays versus weekends?
46. What is your policy regarding last minute changes or cancellations due to weather or other unexpected events?
47. What kind of deposits/payment schedule is required?
48. What are insurance requirements?
49. Are there any additional costs like service charges, gratuities, cleaning fees, or overtime charges?
50. Are there any additional packages offered to save money?
Looking for an ideal venue for your next meeting? Contact the OLC to learn more!