Choosing a conference venue in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth or in fact anywhere can be a time consuming task.
The Venue Should Suit The Event – Not The Other Way Around!
When looking for a conference, event or function venue, understanding the nature of the venue will give you insight into what you can expect from it, and the type of event for which it is most appropriate.
Below we explore common venue types and what they can offer:
Restaurants / Bars
Up market restaurants are a great location for smaller, casual meetings. Great food and drink with a relaxed atmosphere can be conducive to a fun and memorable event, but there are some challenges.
Many restaurants may have a simple, domestic sound system and they might even have a microphone for it, but often this sort of system is more suitable for background music.
Restaurants can also suffer from a lot of background noise, so using an appropriate sound system is essential to ensuring your message is heard clearly.
Town Halls / Local Government Facilities
Sometimes an event budget can benefit from using a local town hall or government facilities. There are some amazing, well fitted out, modern spaces available in both Sydney and Melbourne, but often the local town halls or public spaces are relatively basic in the services provided. Often you may have to hire in your own chairs and tables and generally there will be little in the way of onsite catering – sometimes its just a coffee urn or two at best!
The less well appointed spaces will have little to no Audio Visual technology available as part of booking the space, however you don’t have to contend with other issues such as noise from patrons like in a Restaurant or Bar.
There are by far more corporate conferences and meetings taking place in 3, 4 and 5 star hotels than any other location. Hotel meeting spaces are purpose built to host these style of events – along with non-corporate events such as major birthday parties and of course weddings. You can find a hotel in almost every town or city that can accommodate meetings from 10 people to conferences of 400-500 and, sometimes, many more.
You will normally have access to great catering, parking, meeting spaces and of course accommodation as well – but of course all at a cost.
Conference / Convention Centres
There are a number of purpose-built convention centres around Australia. Most are semi or fully government funded. A number of them actually have their own internal AV department and own all their own equipment.
For the ones that own their own AV equipment you will find it a condition of their contract that you use their equipment. As they own and manage the AV equipment they can enforce this condition, so you have no choice but to use them. With this in mind, a Conference / Convention Centre will often be the most expensive choice as you have little room to bargain, however that said most of them provide exemplary service and are generally the only places that can cater for the really big events – 600, 800 or well into the thousands of delegates!
Understanding the different types of venues and what they offer is the first step in picking a great space for your next event. In our next installment we will help you identify the right event space for your needs, and give you a great checklist and comparison matrix that you can keep on hand.
In the meantime, if we can help you organize any of your upcoming conference or event audio or visual needs please get in touch.