Conference Centres in Oxfordshire or Leicestershire

By: Mandy Chagger

Organizing a conference can be incredibly easy if you have planned well in advance. There are several things that you must keep in mind while booking a conference centre. In the UK, there is no dearth of conference venues. However, you must not select a venue with your eyes closed. You need to put in a lot of thought while planning for a conference.

The choice of a conference centre has to be backed by sufficient research and adequate planning. Before you hire a venue, the most important factor you must consider is accessibility. You must ensure that the participants of the conference find it easy to arrive at the chosen conference centre, whether it is in Oxfordshire or Leicestershire. Any inconvenience caused to the participants can create a delay in the start of the conference, leading to monetary losses and wastage of time.

The planning stage can be quite simple as compared to the execution. After you have made all the arrangements, it is essential that you cross check and conduct an inspection to see if everything is all right. Inspection is a vital aspect of all planning. After you have chosen a conference centre and closed the deal with the organizers, you need to carry out a site inspection. There have been instances in the past when the venue providers failed to make the necessary arrangements after the booking has been done. In addition to the resentment caused, you would also lose valuable time in looking for an alternative. Prior to the start of the conference, drive down to the venue to see if the site is well prepared for the conference. The professionalism of a venue provider is best evidenced from the commitment they have showed to prepare the venue in the best way possible. A site visit will tell you if the organizers have been remiss or efficient.

When you visit the conference centre, make sure you speak to the venue staff as well. The marketing team would, at times, present you a different picture of the venue and make grand promises. It is the interaction with the staff that will give you the complete picture. When the staff is friendly and helpful, it is certain that the attendees will be treated well and the event will be successful. On the other hand, rude and inefficient staff can affect the event in a negative way.

A very important part of planning for a conference is the choice of the conference date. Ensure that there no other events concurring with the conference date. It is possible that most conference centres will be booked if there is a major event happening. Moreover, the rates are likely to be higher as well, if the venues are over-booked. Hence, plan well in advance and choose a date appropriately. At the same time, road shows during special events can block the roads, leading to late starts and inaccessibility of the centre by the participants.

While booking a conference centre, make sure you discuss the purpose of the conference with the providers. The venue will make the necessary arrangements based on the type of conference being organized. Well-informed providers can offer suggestions that can help in making the event a bigger success than you had originally planned. At the same time, you can mention any specific requirements in terms of the capacity, the seating arrangement, accommodation, etc.

Catering plays a very important role in conference planning. Most venues have a standard caterer for any conference arranged there. However, it is essential that the menu suit the lifestyle and the eating habits of the attendees. When you have a multi-cultural audience, it is imperative that you go the extra mile to ensure that they are offered a menu that suits their palate. If any of the attendees are on a special diet, you would want to consider this factor as well. Make sure the conference centre follows specific instructions with regard to the catering requirements.

For every event, the conference centre has to provide a single point of contact to eliminate confusion and mayhem. It is highly essential that the organizers and the providers co-ordinate seamlessly to make the appropriate arrangements. The single point of contact has to communicate effectively with the representative of your company right from the planning stage to the end of the conference. Additionally, the contact person can help you with any special requests that you have. He can assist you by offering you information about the people you need to contact to place additional requests.

Most conference centres do not make changes to the original agreement after the deal has been closed. It is essential that you check with the venue provider about this aspect. If there is any urgent requirement halfway through the conference, you would want the provider to co-operate with you on the requirements. Hence, discuss this aspect before signing the agreement with the venue.

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