When it comes to organising a business seminar, old hands might be keen to try something different, while less experienced organisers may wish to play it safe. Which ever description fits you, the choice of venue plays a considerable, if not essential role for the success of your event. The question is, how do you choose the ideal place to hold your business event? And for the answer, several different variables have to be taken into account. From the aim of the seminar to the type of participants, not to mention the sensitive issue of the budget, nothing should be left to chance. So follow our advice below!
What kind of places can host your seminar?
There is a wide choice of venues in which to hold your business seminar. From a small meeting room for 10 people at a conference centre to a private meeting room in a townhouse, or even an auditorium for 200 people, meeting rooms come in all shapes and sizes.
But you can also organise your seminar in a more unusual location, as an alternative to traditional meeting rooms. You could even try a seminar in the countryside – making use of the natural space to hold some outdoor activities. It all depends on the purpose of your event.
Whatever your objectives, don’t just use brochures or photos on the internet to make your choice; visit the places in person to ensure that it fits what you’re looking for, and to avoid any nasty surprises.
Start by defining the aimof your business seminar
The first question you need to ask yourself is: what kind of seminar are you organising? A motivational seminar, an integration seminar, a management seminar, or a product launch seminar? It is important to answer this key question, as it will guide your choice of venue. For instance, you probably wouldnt’ choose the same place to hold a team-building event and a training session.
In the first case, you are really looking for a place where you can arrange sports, creative or cultural activities, in order to strengthen team spirit, cohesion and communication within the company. For example, a round of golf in an attractive setting, to introduce your employees to this precision sport, a guided walk or Segway tour in the grounds of a country house, or even fruit and vegetable picking on a farm, followed by an culinary workshop.
For a training session, meanwhile, you would need a fully equipped meeting room, complete with high-speed internet, video projector and projection screen, flipchartand stationery (paper, pencils or pens).
Be careful not to hold a seminar at a luxury hotel if your company is undergoing financial difficulties – that would be incongruent.
Define the number and profile of the participants
After clarifying the objective of your business seminar, the next task is to determine the number of participants. There’s also another criterion to consider here: their profile. Will the seminar be for companys’ executives, workers, partners or clients? Is it a homogeneous group? Will the sexes be equally represented? Whats’ the age range of the participants?
The seminar should be organised with the participants in mind, so its’ essential to meet their respective needs and expectations by considering their areas of interest. This is all the more applicablewhen dealing with a smaller group or a certain demographic (for example, men and women within the same age range).
Specify your technical needs
Certain technical equipment is needed for a seminar to pass off smoothly: from the projector to the projection screen and the bandwidth, everything should be set up from the word go. It is essential to take these factors into account when choosing a locationfor your seminar, especially if your’e thinking of going for an unusual or unique venue. Otherwise, the entire organisation of the seminar goes out the window.
Choose a well-equipped meeting room
U-shaped table layout, classroom style or boardroom style ? It’s up to you to decide which set-up best meets your needs (this also depends on the size of the room and the number of participants). In any case, look out for poorly assembled tables, uncomfortable seats (as they lead to a definite lack of concentration), ventilation problems, lack of space to move about – and also check that the lighting is suitable.
Consider the required level of confidentiality and security
Some seminars may be confidential and may require specific measures such as a sound-proof room, catering in a private dining area, etc. In this case, the safest solution is to choose a venue that can be adapted for private use.
Don’t forget accessibility
As work meetings are getting shorter and shorter, its’ more reasonable to choose a seminar venue thats’ located close to your companys’ base. That way, you avoid extra transport costs, traffic jams, and wasted time.
The important thing is to find a setting that is authentic, pleasant and above all, original, so that, over the course of a half-day or full day, you can all forget the routine of work. It could be a country house, a castle or even a museum, but keep in mind that your venue must still be practical and functional.
Nowadays, the range of meeting rooms available is very diverse. Its’ not at all difficult to find a place suitable for your conference over the Internet, and in numerous different cities too, such as London, Manchester or Bristol.
Last but not least: the budget
According to a study carried out in 2014 by market research company Coach Omnium, three-quarters of respondents said that budget was their first criterion when choosing a seminar venue. It has to cover all of the expenses connected with holding the business seminar, i.e. renting the room and the audiovisual equipment, catering, transport, the seminar leader, goodies, and so on.