There’s often a need for small business owners to book a conference room. If you work for a large company with corporate facilities, it’s easy to find a meeting space. But if you’re a company wanting to hold a small conference, training workshop or seminar, renting a high-quality facility can seem a daunting task.
The six tips outlined below should make your life easier when it comes to booking a facility that meets your needs.
Even for a small conference, you need to know the approximate number of attendees before you book. The last thing you want is to pay for unneeded extra space or have a room that’s too small to accommodate your group.
Determining what equipment and tools you need for your conference depends on what type of meeting it is. If the conference is for a lecture, you will need at minimum a podium for the person speaking and perhaps some side tables for books and brochures.
If your conference involves technical presentations, you could need whiteboards, writable walls, LCD screens, projectors and other tools. Will any participants be telecommuting to the conference? If so, you will need a video conferencing solution or a conferencing telephone.
You’ll obviously want a high speed Internet connection. Whatever the goal is for your conference, make sure the meeting room comes equipped with all the technology you need and that the technology is up-to-date. And, not to be overlooked, make sure adequate seating is included with the room.
Your meeting room should be located in an area that’s close to airports, bus stops, subway stations and hotels. You don’t want your attendees to have to travel very far to get to the conference, so book a room in a central location near other community services and amenities.
Another factor regarding location is whether or not the area you’re considering for your meeting is safe for attendees. Check the crime rate for a specific area before you book a meeting room. If it’s a high crime area or a location that presents some other physical danger to conference attendees, consider booking somewhere else.
Do you want catered meals for your conference? Perhaps you want greeters to usher guests into the meeting room. Different rental companies can arrange these services, so you should ask about them before you book your conference space.
Ask around and get some referrals for the conference space and meeting room rental company you’re considering using for your conference. Also, if the company’s response time is slow after you’ve first contacted them, look elsewhere. They might not be responsive to unexpected needs or emergencies.
Go personally to the meeting room you’re considering. Get a feeling for it. This will help you know if it will meet your needs and represent your company well.