If you're responsible for organizing a large corporate conference, one of the first things you'll need to do is choose the event venue. There are likely a few event centers in your area to choose from, each with a different vibe and price range. However, ambiance and cost are only two of the things to consider when choosing the venue for your conference. Here are four other factors that are essential to consider.
Number of Rooms
Holding everything in one large room is do-able, but it's not usually ideal. If your conference, like most, will have multiple meetings and presentations going on at once, having multiple rooms at your disposal will make it easier to organize people and keep everyone focused. At the very least, you should look for a venue with one large gathering space and two to three smaller rooms where you can schedule your more focused meetings and events.
Proximity to Hotels
Assuming you'll be having speakers and other attendees come in from out of town, it's important to consider how close the venue is to the hotels where these attendees are likely to stay. A venue attached to the hotel is certainly the easiest option, but one that's a mile or two away is not a bad choice, either. You can always reimburse the attendees for the small taxi fare to the event -- or you can hire a shuttle to take them back and forth. What you don't want is a venue located completely across the city from the hotel district. An arrangement like this will lead to late guests and a lot of transportation mishaps.
Some event venues have their own caterers on staff. This makes planning a lot easier since you don't have to worry about hiring an outside caterer, making sure they get to the event on time, and paying them separately. If you really like everything else about a venue but they do not have an on-site catering service, ask them which caterers they work with most often. They'll often have inside knowledge as to the best caterers to hire for the best value and service.
Cleanup and Setup Requirements
Will the venue set up the tables, chairs, and other equipment for your concert, or are you responsible for this? If you drop off your items, will they set them up for you, or do they only set up items that belong to the venue? Make sure their cleanup policies are clear, too. Also ask if setup and cleanup are included in the price you're quoted, or if there are extra fees for these services.