VENUE SOURCING: The ultimate guide to finding your next conference venue

Conferences have evolved to become the epicentre of knowledge sharing, networking, and professional growth.  
As we highlighted in our previous blog, “Venue finding: what makes a great conference venue,” every year, countless professionals, experts, and enthusiasts eagerly await these gatherings to gain insights, make connections, and explore the latest trends in their respective fields.  

But, as event professionals, we all know that the success of a conference greatly depends on choosing the perfect venue that aligns with the event’s objectives, audience, and technical requirements. Therefore, in this comprehensive guide, we will walk you through the essential steps to find your next conference venue successfully.

empty conference venue
open notebook at a conference
event technology

Why do people want to attend conferences nowadays?

Conferences offer a myriad of benefits that make them a must-attend event for professionals across various industries.  

One of the primary reasons people want to attend these events is the opportunity to gain knowledge from distinguished speakers and thought leaders. The chance to participate in workshops, seminars, and panel discussions allows attendees to broaden their horizons and stay at the forefront of industry advancements. 

Networking is another compelling factor that draws people to conferences. Engaging with peers, potential clients, and partners in a face-to-face setting can lead to meaningful collaborations and lucrative business opportunities.  

Moreover, attending conferences allows individuals to rejuvenate their passion for their work by connecting with like-minded individuals who share their enthusiasm. 

How to find your next conference venue

1. Create a budget

Creating a well-thought-out budget is one of the first and most crucial steps in finding the right conference venue. Without a clear budget, making informed decisions about other aspects of the conference planning process becomes challenging. Begin by considering all the necessary expenses associated with the event, including venue rental, catering, audio-visual equipment, promotional materials, speaker fees, and any additional services required. 

When creating the budget, it is essential to strike a balance between the event’s aspirations and the available financial resources. Aim for a budget that allows for a memorable and impactful conference experience without stretching your organisation’s finances too thin. Be prepared to allocate more funds to critical aspects like venue and audio-visual requirements, as they directly influence the overall quality of the event. 

Additionally, leave some room for unexpected costs that may arise during the planning process. Being prepared for contingencies can save you from unnecessary stress and financial strain down the line. 

speaker talking to a conference audience
entrance to a convention centre
stage at conference with audience

2. Know your audience

Understanding your target audience is fundamental to selecting the most suitable conference venue. Your attendees’ preferences, demographics, and professional interests will significantly impact their experience and engagement during the event. Start by conducting thorough market research and analysing data from previous conferences, if available, to gain insights into your audience’s preferences. 

Consider factors such as attendees’ age range, professional backgrounds, and the industries they represent. Are they predominantly local attendees, or will they be travelling from different regions? Understanding the geographical distribution of your audience will help determine the best location for the conference venue. 

If possible, reach out to potential attendees through surveys or focus groups to gather feedback on their preferences regarding venue type, location, and amenities. Incorporate this feedback into your venue selection process to ensure that the chosen venue aligns with the expectations and needs of your target audience. 


3. Location matters

The location of the conference venue plays a significant role in attracting attendees and ensuring their convenience. Ideally, select a place easily accessible by various modes of transportation, such as airports, train stations, and major motorways. Consider the distance from major cities or business centres, especially if you anticipate a mix of local and international participants. 

Proximity to accommodations is another critical factor to consider. Attendees will appreciate a venue with hotels within a reasonable distance, as it saves them from long commutes and allows them to rest and recharge between conference sessions. 

Additionally, think about the local attractions and amenities available near the venue. Choosing a location with nearby restaurants, entertainment options, or cultural landmarks can enhance the overall conference experience for attendees, allowing them to explore and unwind outside of the event schedule.

4. Capacity and Space

Selecting a conference venue with appropriate capacity and space is essential to ensuring a comfortable and engaging atmosphere for attendees. Determine the expected number of participants and ensure the venue comfortably accommodates this number without feeling crowded. 

Consider the layout and seating arrangements within the venue. Are different spaces available for various conference activities, such as plenary sessions, breakout sessions, workshops, and networking areas? Flexibility in room configurations allows you to tailor the space to different session types, fostering a dynamic and interactive conference environment. 

When visiting potential venues, visualise the flow of the event and assess whether the layout supports smooth transitions between sessions. Walk through the venue as an attendee would, noting any potential bottlenecks or areas that might confuse. 


5. Technical Requirements

In today’s digital age, the success of a conference heavily depends on seamless technological integration. Therefore, ensuring that the chosen venue can accommodate all your technical requirements and provides reliable technical support is vital. 

Begin by evaluating the venue’s audio-visual capabilities. Is there sufficient sound equipment, microphones, and projectors for presentations? Test the internet connectivity to ensure it can handle many simultaneous connections, especially if there will be live streaming or virtual attendees. 

If your conference will involve interactive sessions or workshops, check if the venue can provide additional technical equipment like interactive displays or electronic voting systems. 

Having a dedicated technical support team on-site is invaluable, as they can quickly address any technical glitches that may occur during the event. Ensure you have clear communication with the venue’s technical staff and that they are aware of all your requirements well in advance. 

audience at a conference

6. Venue Ambience

The ambience and overall atmosphere of the conference venue play a significant role in shaping attendees’ perceptions of the event. Consider the nature of the conference and its theme when choosing a venue. 

For example, for conferences with a formal and professional focus, consider venues with a sleek and modern aesthetic. On the other hand, if the conference aims to foster creativity and innovation, opt for venues with more artistic or unconventional settings. 

The venue’s lighting, decor, and general ambience should align with the conference’s objectives and the emotions you want to evoke in attendees. A well-designed and visually appealing venue can create a positive and memorable experience, leaving a lasting impression on participants. 

Additionally, take the time to explore the venue’s amenities, such as lounge areas, breakout spaces, and outdoor settings. The availability of versatile spaces can facilitate impromptu discussions and networking opportunities, enhancing the overall conference experience. 


7. Visit the Shortlisted Venues

After conducting thorough research and shortlisting potential venues, it is essential to visit each one in person before making a final decision.  
Visiting the venues allows you to experience the spaces firsthand, get a feel for the environment, and assess whether they meet your requirements. 

Arrange a site visit with the venue’s management or event coordinator, who can provide you with a detailed tour and answer any questions. Pay close attention to the overall cleanliness, maintenance, safety, and condition of the venue, as these factors can indicate the venue’s level of professionalism and attention to detail. 

During the visit, visualise how the conference will unfold in each venue. Consider the flow of attendees, the ease of navigation between sessions, and the overall accessibility of various facilities. Take note of any potential challenges or advantages each venue offers regarding layout and design. 

It is also beneficial to take photos and videos during the site visits, as they can be helpful references during the decision-making process and when presenting the options to your team or stakeholders. 


8. Negotiate Contract Terms and Make Your Decision

Once you have selected your preferred venue, it is time to negotiate the contract terms and finalise the booking. Review the contract carefully and ensure it includes all the agreed-upon details, such as event dates, rental fees, catering arrangements, technical requirements, and any additional services you may have requested. 

During the negotiation process, don’t hesitate to ask questions or seek clarification on any aspects that may seem unclear. Be proactive in addressing potential issues or concerns upfront, as this can prevent misunderstandings later.
Keep in mind that some venues may have set policies regarding event planning, cancellations, or additional fees. Understanding these policies and aligning them with your event’s needs can help you avoid any unexpected surprises down the line. 

Once you have negotiated the contract terms to your satisfaction, proceed with making the final decision and securing the venue. Notify the selected venue of your intent to proceed and ensure all necessary paperwork is completed promptly.



Finding the perfect conference venue involves careful planning, research, and attention to detail.
By creating a comprehensive budget, understanding your audience’s preferences, considering the location, capacity, and technical requirements, and evaluating the venue’s ambience through site visits, you can ensure that your next conference is a resounding success.  

Remember that the right venue can significantly impact the conference experience, making it a memorable and valuable event for all attendees. So, contact the Black Book team and start planning your next conference! 


We’d love to hear from you.

Like what you see? Get in touch today and let our team help your business achieve greatness with the power of events.