Whether it’s your first time organising a conference, or you’ve been doing it for years, mistakes can always be made, especially when you’re pressed for time. Here, we discuss some of the most common mistakes to avoid when booking a conference venue.

Not accommodating for your delegates

Conferences bring together a diverse range of people with different needs and requirements. Whether you have attending guests with dietary requirements or accessibility needs, you need to ensure that your conference venue can cater to these needs.

When organising in-house catering, it is imperative that you enquire about their flexibility for dietary requirements and if this will incur any additional costs. Allow plenty of time to inform the venue of your delegates’ requirements as well as sending a final confirmation a week or two weeks prior to your conference.

When completing your initial research of venues, ensure that you take note of if they have wheelchair access that meets the correct standards. It may even be a good idea to inspect the access points in your site inspection.

If your conference is a multi-day conference and requires accommodation as well, you will also need to check if they have accessible rooms vacant at the time of your conference.

Not completing a site inspection

Photos on a conference venue’s website can give you some idea of the area you may be working with, however a site inspection can give you a full understanding of the conference location and the size of the rooms. Not only will the inspection give you an idea of the size of the venue, it will also allow you to visualise how your conference will be laid out.

When completing a site inspection, it is a good idea to take a check-list of requirements that are specific to your conference. It’s important to ask as many questions as you can when completing the inspections. You may even want to complete a second inspection closer to the date in case there has been any changes or renovations.

Leaving your planning until the last minute

It may sound obvious, however it’s a simple mistake to be made, particularly when you’re caught up with organising all other aspects of your conference.

Conference venues in capital cities book out well in advance, especially during peak times of the year. So, if you’re planning a conference in a city such as Melbourne or Sydney, allow yourself plenty of time to book. Otherwise, regional conference venues can be a great alternative.

As well as having the burden of venues being booked out, if you are leaving your planning until the last minute this may cause a lot of stress on yourself which will reflect in the execution of your conference.

To avoid this mistake, we suggest setting out a timeline of dates and deadlines to ensure that your conference is well planned and organised.