5 Considerations for Finding the Best Business Conference Location

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Planning a business conference is no easy feat. Whether it’s your first or your 20th, sometimes it may feel like a never-ending to-do list leading up to the big day, week, or weekend.

While some details may seem to fit into place perfectly, don’t underestimate the importance of one particular element: your event’s location. This includes the city, neighborhood, and the actual conference venue — and it can have a surprisingly significant impact on your event’s success.

In this article, we’ll review some of the top considerations to keep in mind as you research and choose your perfect locale.

Considerations for Your Next Business Conference Location

In this article, we’ll review some of the top considerations to keep in mind as you research and choose your perfect locale.

1. Cost

First things first: what kind of budget are you working with? Event venues run the gamut when it comes to pricing, so it’s a smart idea to set your budget before you start your research.

Of course, you’ll have other line items to consider as part of your event-planning budget, like if you’ll be providing food or entertainment. Start by locking down how much you’re willing to spend on the event space alone, and the other decisions will be much easier to make later on.

Tip: Flexibility on your event dates can affect this cost. Some cities or venues have peak seasons that not only can make it harder to secure a booking, but can increase your cost.

2. Capacity & Amenities

Other details to think about are how much space you need, and what you need to have in the space.

The first one is generally easier to determine, because you’ll likely already know how many attendees you expect. If this is your first event and you’re not sure, try doing some competitive research into other similar events, and find out how many people attended those.

Try to be as strategic as possible with this decision, as booking an event space that’s too small can be very frustrating for attendees. Booking a space that’s too big can be just as detrimental, as it’ll look like you weren’t able to fill enough seats!

Considering the amenities you need is a bit more time-consuming to determine. Questions to ask yourself include:

  • How much additional support do you need? (Do you want to work with best-in-class event staff and an on-site event coordinator, or can you and your team handle everything?)
  • Will you need specific equipment, like A/V set-ups, microphones, or other presentation equipment?
  • Do you have specific branding ideas in mind that you want to see to fruition, and will the event space support those?
  • Do you want on-site options for food (if applicable), or would you prefer to bring in outside vendors?

3. Accessibility for Attendees

Next, consider where your attendees will be coming from. If most of them are centered in one general area you’ll probably want to host your business conference in that same city. In that case, have you chosen a location that’s centrally-located? Does it have enough parking and/or easy-to-access public transportation?

If your group is coming from all over the country, make sure you think about how accessible the location is for the greater group. For example, is the event space relatively close to an airport? Is the event space close to a few accommodation options if you’re holding a multi-day event? When it comes to work travel, businesses have different budgets, so it’s good to have several options nearby.

Don’t forget to think about seasonality, too. Planning a business conference in San Diego in the springtime is very different from one in Chicago in the middle of winter. Cold-weather cities can get shut down because of storms, so keep that in mind.

Additionally, think about how you might provide extra amenities for your attendees in those situations, such as providing umbrellas or complimentary valet service to your conference attendees in Seattle.

4. Nearby Attractions

Similarly, do some research into the attractions and amenities outside your event space, but within driving (or even better, walking!) distance. For example, are there plenty of restaurants around the area for meals and post-event happy hours? How about golf courses, museums, and other city attractions? These can be fantastic draws for people coming from out of town.

Consider reaching out to local restaurants and letting them know about your upcoming event — they may offer discounts or coupon codes that you can share. As a bonus, put together a helpful list for your attendees as part of their welcome bag!

5. The Vibe

Finally, consider the overall vibe that you want your event to have. Your event space, as well as the larger neighborhood and city, will all factor into this and make an impact on your attendees.

For example, if one of your event’s goals is to provide amazing networking opportunities, make sure there’s a great open space for a cocktail hour (or a nearby bar or restaurant that’s willing to partner with you). If your event will include classes and breakout sessions, you’d want to make sure there are enough small rooms so that each group gets some privacy and aren’t stepping on each other’s toes throughout the day.

Also, keep in mind that while a location or venue might have an inherent feel, you can always channel your inner interior designer to add some flair. Some examples are:

  • Adding furniture for extra mingling space (or to encourage intimate, smaller-group conversations)
  • Bringing in your own lighting if the event space doesn’t have what you need
  • Booking other vendors to add to the atmosphere, such as musicians to provide some live music as your attendees are mingling

Book with TurboRes

As your go-to for business travel, we’re proud to offer the best hotel selection, seamless bookings, and easy RFP management so that booking top destinations is stress-free. We can connect you to all types of hotels and venues to meet your individual needs, helping you find the best conference location and venue. Contact us today for more information!

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