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How to choose the right Conference Venue

Posted on Wed January 23, 2019.

The venue has a direct impact on the success of any function. If you have the right venue, you’re more than half way there. So if you’re hosting a conference, the biggest decision you’ll have to make, is where to host it. The team at George Lodge International has vast experience with hosting all sorts of conferences, meetings and events and offers the following advice when choosing a venue:

Credit Article : https://www.kievitskroon.co.za/news/top-10-things-to-consider-when-selecting-a-conference-venue


1.  Accessibility

Make sure that the venue is easily accessible for all delegates, taking into consideration that they may have to negotiate rush hour traffic to get there. If it’s difficult to find or too far off the beaten track, you may find that your delegates are late or arrive harassed and irritable, which is not a great way to start a conference.

2.  Parking

Secure parking should be readily available for all delegates arriving in their own vehicles. Also check that there is coach parking, if you are providing transport, and that it is close to the venue.

3.  Peace and tranquillity

A venue which is away from the bustle of the city will help to promote more creative and productive thinking. Being cooped up in a windowless room all day with no access to fresh air is not conducive to a receptive audience. Some out of town venues also offer the option of alfresco dining and outdoor teambuilding events.

4.  The right size venue & break-away rooms

Ensure that the size of the conference room suits the number of delegates and your required seating arrangement. Don’t be tempted to force people to sit theatre style when they need to take notes and want to use laptops and iPads. Likewise, a conference room that is too big for the number of delegates will loose the intimacy required for interaction and sharing of ideas.  If you are going to divide delegates into smaller groups for brainstorming sessions or smaller presentations, make sure that there are suitable break-away rooms close to the main venue. The ideal venue is one which offers a variety of different sized conference rooms.

5.  Catering

There’s nothing worse than breaking for tea and finding a tray of limp, soggy sandwiches and wilted lettuce in the hallway, or being served a stodgy heavy meal at lunch time. Choose a venue that is known for supplying fresh, healthy food so that delegates return after the break feeling refreshed and ready for work again, not overfed and lethargic. The catering at the venue should also be able to meet the special dietary requirements for your delegates, including vegetarian, Kosher and Halaal meals.

6.  Professional staff

Setting up a conference can be stressful and tiring but if you choose a venue which has professional support personnel , they will assist to make your company conference a slick, impeccable, successful event.  The right staff can help with everything from check lists, menu selection and agenda setting to  entertainment and team building.

7.  Equipment

These days high speed Wi-Fi at the venue is a priority, as is good audio-visual equipment.  If your event requires more than the standard data projectors, screens and white boards, ensure that the venue is able to hire specialised technical equipment for you.

8.  Good accommodation and facilities

Unless your conference is a one day event, you will need to provide comfortable accommodation for delegates. Ensure that the venue has the sufficient number of bedrooms and that where delegates are required to share, for budget purposes, twin beds are supplied. Your delegates will want to relax and unwind after a day’s conferencing, so choose a venue with an hospitable bar, a good restaurant, and possibly a spa with facilities like a sauna and Jacuzzi.

9.  Wheelchair friendly

It goes without saying that the venue should cater for disabled delegates and have easy wheelchair access to the conference and breakaway rooms, accommodation, bars and facilities.

10.  Budget

Ensure that all items are taken into account when budgeting for your conference so that when the final bill is presented you do not receive any nasty shocks. It’s a good idea to limit bar expenditure so that delegates pay for their own alcoholic drinks. Some venues offer all inclusive conference packages which make budgeting much simpler.

George Lodge offers three conference/event/function venues as well as the swimming pool area, but T&C applies for that area as we have to consider the occupancy of the lodge, so that other guests are not disturbed by the function.

Venue 1 - Boardroom

  • This room is ideal for smaller meetings and can accommodate up to -+ 12 to 15 people depending on the seating style.
  • The boardroom is located in the conference centre, down stairs.
  • Ideal for meetings, training, brain storm sessions, disciplinary hearings
  • Data projector is mounted in the ceiling and forms part of the per person package.
  • Coffee breaks are normally served in the room, but on request can be moved to the banquet/breakfast area or to the swimming pool area (weather dependent)
  • Cinema, schoolroom and U shape seating styles possible in this room.

Venue 2 - Large Venue

  • This venue is located upstairs and can accommodate up to 50 people depending on seating style or type of function
  • This venue is ideal for many different styles of conferences and functions and can be set up in various seating arrangements
  • Meetings, Conferences, Business Breakfasts, Product Launches, Training, Photo Shoots, Cocktail evenings, Network meetings, Barista Training, Beautician training, Baby Showers, Bridal Showers, Dinner party
  • Data projector is mounted in the ceiling and forms part of the per person package.
  • Coffee breaks are normally served in the room, but on request can be moved to the banquet/breakfast area or to the swimming pool area (weather dependent)
  • Cinema, schoolroom, U shape  and various other seating styles possible in this room.

Venue 3 - Mini Multi functional Venue

  • This area is located at the Reception Side of the Lodge and was recently created with the specific idea in  mind for baby showers.  However it can be used for many other purposes,
  • Long Table set- up
  • Maximum 12 - 15 people
  • This area can be combined with the swimming pool area as it walks out into the garden which is located near the swimming pool
  • Smaller conferences or meetings can also be held here.
  • We can change the colour scheme of this room to suite your colour scheme especially for baby showers or ladies teas.  We have the following colour voile curtains to change, beige/white/aqua/grey/chocolate brown and light pink as well as runners in these colours for the long table.

Food for the conferences

  • We pride ourselves in making tasty food, two course lunch which includes a meat, a salad or veg and a starch as well as a delicious dessert.
  • Platters also available if finger food is preferred