The venue chosen for a conference can make or break the event, so it is essential that you do your research beforehand when booking so as to avoid any awkward mishaps. Unless there is a guaranteed 5 star venue where all your business conferences are hosted, there may be a chance of a screw-up, like it or not. It is important to have the foresight to think of certain potential mishaps before they occur, so that you are properly prepared to avoid them when it comes down to it.

Here, Best Venues London have compiled a short comprehensive list of 5 mistakes that you’ll want to avoid when booking a venue for a business conference.

Awkward Location

If you don’t scout out your venue beforehand, you might find that some of your colleagues have troubles getting to the venue in the first place. It could be in a small village or on the outskirts of a greater city, but sometimes directions, which may seem clear can get lost in translation. Make sure that you have checked out the location of your venue beforehand and give clear, concise and easy to follow directions with landmarks as ‘checkpoints’ where possible, to make it easier for your colleagues if they happen to lose their way.

Make sure to check on behalf of those attendees who cannot drive. See if you can arrange a coach or a carpool, or look into local train stations and bus timetables. If there are taxi’s available, provide the number and the address of the venue along with the taxi number to make sure your colleagues definitely don’t get lost.

Inadequate Facilities

You might find that the facilities you require for the venue are just simply ‘not there’. You don’t have enough plug sockets for your Powerpoint, or your seating capacity was misjudged. What do you do? In these situations, it is important to double and even triple check with the venue manager that the venue in question provides everything you need.

It is on you if your chosen venue does not have the necessary facilities and this will reflect badly regardless of how lovely the food is or how exquisite the location is. Your conference is not about the location of the venue or the food; it is about the matter at hand. However if you cannot properly deliver your company ‘message’, that is the point of the conference, then it is a wasted event.

Bad Acoustics/Unconfident Speakers

Likewise with the venue not having adequate facilities, it is on you if you fail to test the acoustics of the venue in question beforehand. When arranging a viewing it is important to check that the venue suits your purpose. Try to test out the acoustics, imagine the hall filled with people. How easy or how hard will it be for a speaker to be heard?

Similarly unconfident speakers can quickly bring down the tone. While this is less to do with the venue itself, you will have been the one to select the speakers, so make sure they are up to the task. If you can, get them to come along to the viewing so that they can practise their chosen speech or presentation without the pressure of the conference upon them.

Food Mishaps

Make sure you are made aware of your colleagues and your attendee’s dietary requirements. Food poisoning or an allergic reaction will never go down well at an event. If you are made aware of any particular dietary requirements and your venue is providing food for your party, let them know. They are not psychic and more often than not they will plan for an eloquent feast in which there are one or two potentially harmful ingredients for certain guests. You can never be too careful.

Venue is not ready

Last but certainly not least; make sure to phone ahead of time in order to check that your venue is ready and prepared for your party. If you phone ahead of time at least you have advanced warning that the venue will not be ready, and you can postpone heading out or even apologise to your guests. Arriving there on time and realising at that moment that the venue is not ready will only reflect badly on your own organisation skills.

Whether this is your first time booking a venue for a conference, or you are a seasoned professional, there will be times when you forget to check the basics so it is important to enlist the help of an assistant or a senior colleague who will be able to make sure that you haven’t missed anything out. Of course there may be problems along the line that are completely unavoidable, but it is better to be prepared for those problems you can face instead of worrying about the problems you can’t.