8 Top Tips for Booking Conferences & Meetings
Whether it’s your first time, or you’re a seasoned pro, the one thing everyone wants when organising conferences & meetings is for them to run smoothly. Here are our 8 top tips for booking conferences & meetings, gleaned over years of hosting events at TLH Leisure Resort’s hotels.
1. Identify Your Dates
Obvious we know, but it is worth having 2 or 3 options before you approach your venue. The further in advance you can do this the better as you are more likely to get your first choice of date. Hotels and dedicated conference venues sometimes have large events in their diaries 3 or 4 years in advance.
Throughout the whole progress this is so key to a successful event. Have a checklist of who you need to inform about different aspects of the conference. Make sure you keep us, the venue, in the loop! A last minute change in numbers or room layout can cause all sorts of headaches if not communicated to all concerned.
3. What are your Meeting and Conference Objectives?
Even for small meetings, it is worth asking yourself this question so that everybody gets the most out of the event. If it’s brain storming or discussion, then an informal seating plan may be more conducive to getting the creative juices flowing. If you’re communicating some important ideas or new policies then you will want a more structured room layout. You may need both. Most venues will have a conference co-ordinator to advise on the best layouts, if you’re unsure as to what may work best.
4. Set a Budget
Try to keep realistic expectations of what can be achieved on your budget. Many businesses these days can’t afford large scale events. Whether you are organising a meeting for your own business or on behalf of your employer, your return on investment should be questioned. How much is this meeting going to cost and how will you or your company benefit?
5. The Basics
People generally work better in natural daylight so if you have a tough meeting ahead and need delegates to be alert and responsive then nothing beats natural daylight and fresh air. This isn’t always possible, so if your venue relies on artificial lighting and air-con, adjust both according to what you want delegates to do. Freely available water and refreshment breaks throughout the day will also help everyone stay fresh and on task.
6. The ‘Extras’
Most venues offer standard packages where you pay a day delegate rate. This usually includes all the essentials such as the room (obviously!), a projector and screen, other basic equipment such as a flip chart and teas and coffees. Beyond this you may find lots of variations depending on where you go – some day delegate packages include a buffet lunch; some may only do so if you have a minimum number. Some may provide biscuits while others stretch to muffins. Check the detail and remember if you’re expecting a hot sit down buffet and desserts for lunch you need to discuss these options and cost them in.
7. Do your Homework
Remember that old adage – prior preparation prevents poor performance? To ensure there are no unpleasant surprises on the day of your meeting make sure you have visited the venue and met with their conference and events co-ordinator at least once beforehand. Check out the parking, disabled access, closest toilets and all the other ‘housekeeping’ elements which can make or break a good event. Turn up well ahead of the start time to run last minute checks on equipment – we’ve all been to those cringeworthy events where there has been a serious technical malfunction – don’t let yours be one of them!
8. Join our Corporate Club
If your conference is an overnighter then think about the other facilities for your delegates. When you make regular business trips to Torquay, you could take advantage of a whole range of benefits at TLH Leisure Resort. With our 3 star hotels, together with our outstanding indoor leisure facilities and central Torquay location, this is a first class choice for your business trip to Torquay. TLH is fortunate enough to be able to offer it’s Aztec Leisure facilities to delegates on a 24 hour rate. These include a 25 m indoor pool with sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi. There’s also a gym and a spa and numerous bars and entertainment venues. Our loyalty offer includes a free weekend break for 2 adults and 2 children for every 20 corporate stays.
TLH Leisure Resort has a choice of venues and meeting rooms for your next event. If you’d like to chat about your options please give Joss Smith a call on – 01803 400131. Or download our latest Conference & Meetings brochure.