Do you have a corporate or business event coming up? With companies doing business with firms in India and abroad, it’s not a big surprise that the need for business events for networking, collaboration, education or even awards and recognition is a fast growing one. Hotels with designated event areas, on-site accommodation and a range of seating capacities are an excellent and the most popular option.

But, an event can take a lot out of you – time, money, getting the right speakers, developing the content and participation among other things. The success of your efforts depends on finding the right hotel to host your event. But how do you achieve this? Do you rely on the hotel’s reputation alone? Or is there something more? Is there a science to this? UNIGLOBE experts provide the inside scoop - questions you didn’t know you had to ask to find the venue that best fits your needs!

Welcome to business travel conferencing 1-0-1.  So, you have the difficult job of assessing a venue for your business conference to ensure that your attendees get the best possible experience within the budget you have. It can be daunting especially if you’re a first timer, but it can also be fun when you go about it in an informed manner. As one UNIGLOBE Travel expert points out, “our knowledge, connections and experience often play a bigger role in helping our clients develop the best approach to find a hotel venue that suits the objectives of their business event.”

So what is the best approach in finding that perfect hotel?

UNIGLOBE experts point out that the best approach is one that is based on questioning, even when you feel like you already know the answers.  Who do you ask these questions? Pretty simple. Really! Depending upon the question, you may need to ask yourself or ask internally within your company or simply ask around. A UNIGLOBE expert can help you frame several questions that you can ask the hotel or even your event management company.

What might some of these questions be? Let’s start with the four basic questions - What’s your budget? How many rooms will you need? What kind of gathering are you hoping for? What business outcomes are you expecting? Once you have the answers to these questions and more, you can work towards creating a list of potential venues.

Framing the right questions to spark the right considerations

This includes identifying-If your event is aimed at drawing clients from around the country and beyond, then consider a location in a large city. Anyone travelling from outside the local area should have a multitude of transport options open.

Is the event planned  for more than one day?  

If it is, then you need to think about arranging accommodation across a variety of price points. Not every attendee will want to or be able to splash out on a two-night stay at a Park Hyatt or Hilton. It’s also a good idea to scope out what the local food and entertainment scene is like. Although many people will want to head back to their hotel for dinner, a shower and bed, there will be some looking to have a more entertaining evening out.

Filtering the options to get that perfect venue

After taking a look at the kind of facilities that are on offer at each venue, you can filter out the most suitable venues from the detailed list. Then comes the assessment of each venue, which depends on the conference or event requirements, such as the kind of on-site catering needed -just a buffet or a more formal dinner.

UNIGLOBE experts point out that one of the things your attendees look forward to is good food. Disappointing your attendees in this area will have a lasting negative effect. Dig deeper into your F&B requirements. Ask yourself whether the food and presentation suit the mood of your event? Can the venue cater for dietary restrictions e.g. a Jain meal?

It is important to consider factors such as whether the venue has a WiFi network and if it can take the load of hundreds, maybe thousands of people using it simultaneously, especially these days when everyone is hooked to the internet virtually 24/7 via smartphones or tablets,

What else is really important?

An event often influences how the public and business associates view your company. Will your venue create a favourable impression? Is the event area quiet and free of distractions? Are there sufficient restroom facilities? Are there enough creature-comforts to impress your attendees? Is there a “green room” in which your guest speakers can await their turn on the podium?

An event venue is not just a building and a physical location, but is also represented by the staff that runs it. Ask around - does the venue have a good reputation for service? Are they flexible in dealing with requests?  

Will your venue allow you to display promotional banners and signage? Will it provide a concierge or help desk? Is there an on-site business centre?  

These days which event doesn’t make use of electronic presentation aids? Some of the things you should look for in a venue are:

  • PA system and microphones.
  • Broadband internet access.
  • Data-show projectors.
  • Flat screen monitors.
  • Overhead projectors.
  • Sufficient power outlets.
  • An a/v control booth.
  • Whiteboards.
  • Lighting rigs.

It is a lot to digest. It is an event after all. Is there a better way? Sure. Companies outsource their event needs to event management companies all the time. Even so, the expertise of a UNIGLOBE professional proves to be invaluable. Their opinion usually stems from their own experience as a travel professional. That’s why the “insider knowledge” they bring to the table to help you assess the right hotel and ask the right questions can go a long way in creating a positive conference experience.


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