Conference Essentials - What makes a great conference venue?
Living in a fast-paced and digitised society, it can sometimes be easy to forget the value of face-to-face learning and connecting. In the corporate world, conferencing and in-person training is still integral to building connections, sharing ideas, innovating and collaborating.
However, not all conference centres are created equal. An effective conference centre has to actively facilitate all of the most important things we conference for — effective presentations, the exchange of ideas, the building of teams and connections, the development of personal relationships, and collaboration on projects.
So, the question is, what are the facilities really needed to achieve all of the goals of a good conference? Let’s break this question down and find out!
One of the most important features of a good conference centre is its accessibility from public transport hubs. One of the biggest goals of a conference is to bring people together, and that immediately becomes a problem if people find it difficult to actually get there. Research suggests that a central and easily accessible location is a deciding factor for people in deciding whether they attend a conference at all.
Due to this, you could argue the most effective conference centres are located in close proximity to city centres and public transport hubs. A central location is a good motivator for attendance to your event!
Furthermore, a central location also provides your attendees with multiple amenities in their immediate vicinity. Having bars, cafes, and restaurants nearby can create a much more socially comfortable and enjoyable experience. For long term events, the nearness of hotels is also an important consideration!
Appropriate Size and Configurations
Different conferences will have different needs. It’s important that your conference organisers realise the specific requirements for each event and are able to tailor their venue to meet your event needs.
The main factors when considering size and configuration are:
- The number of attendees
- The number of organisations involved
- The type of information being presented
- The ratio of presentations to group discussions
- The primary objectives of the conference (i.e. deliver information, build relationships, discuss issues, etc.)
What makes a good conference venue is entirely dependent upon its organisers’ unique assessment of these factors. For example, a large and beautiful auditorium may seem like a great venue, but it probably isn’t if the main idea of the conference is to generate close group discussion and team building.
With COVID-19, safety is also a factor when considering room capacities – at Christie Spaces we have instated limited room capacities in regulation with Government guidelines. Before booking your conference centre, it’s a good idea to check what COVID-19 measures they have in place for the safety of you and your attendees.
Obviously, the number of attendees should determine the overall size of the venue, the configuration also needs to reflect the type of information being presented, as well as the need for group discussions and peer-to-peer presenting. It may be useful, for example, to use a combination of a large auditorium-style conference room and a number of breakout rooms for group discussions. Or, depending on the style of your conference, it may just be appropriate to use a series of seminar rooms.
A good conference venue will provide a full range of room types and sizes, professional suggestions and the flexibility to adapt their centre to your needs.
Technology for Presentations and Interaction
One of the fundamentals of a good conference is the ability to present. Presentations bring new ideas or research to a new audience in a shared experience. While we can always send this information via email, conferences provide a unique opportunity to present it in a more engaging way.
However, the best presentations are only possible when the right equipment is in place to facilitate them. Psychological research tells us that different people are mentally geared to process information in different ways. The main categories of information reception are visual, auditory and kinesthetic.
To maximise engagement, a good conference presentation needs to exploit at least the visual and auditory channels. Therefore, a quality conference centre needs easy to use, reliable and high-quality equipment to ensure the presentations in your conference are a hit! The basic and essential conference centre equipment to enquire about includes high-speed wifi, a good sound system and high-quality projectors and screens.
Not all presenters and attendees will necessarily be able to attend in person, so it is important also to have technology in place to allow for some of your attendees to be digitally present. For example, it may be useful to facilitate Zoom calls in discussion rooms and to provide live video links of presentations.
While the room, location and equipment may be some of the most important factors or a successful conference – don’t underestimate the value and convenience of an in-house catering option! When you are able to provide meals or refreshments in the centre, this gives attendees a chance to remain together and talk in a casual setting, reinforcing the learnings of the event and strengthening the relationships and team-building exercises you may have just covered. Catering well for attendees also allows them to be more comfortable and engaged throughout the event, providing some structure to the itinerary as well!
Other useful facilities that can help your conference run smoothly include on-site parking, WiFi, casual meeting areas, and dedicated on-site support staff.
Christie Spaces Conferencing – how do we measure up?
Christie Spaces Conferencing are experienced in providing the best facilities to create truly engaging conferences that are both productive and enjoyable.
All of our conference venues are centrally located in CBD hubs, making them easily accessible to local, interstate, and international visitors. These locations also afford attendees access to a vast array of amenities, including cafes, bars, restaurants, and hotels.
Our conference centres range in size to cater for groups of between 2 to 250 attendees. Our centres are highly flexible and can be internally arranged to suit different presentation or discussion styles.
Christie Spaces Conferencing also provides all the technological equipment necessary to make effective presentations and guarantee multi-channel engagement. We provide state-of-the-art projectors, screens, and audio equipment. We also provide super-fast WiFi throughout our facilities, as well as Zoom TVs in our meeting rooms.
Christie Spaces Conferencing offers the complete conference experience with a full range of options and facilities, including chill-out spaces, convenient parking options, all-day refreshments, and full catering packages. All of our conferences are facilitated by a dedicated meeting coordinator, who is backed up by an array of support staff to help with catering, technological equipment, and any other necessities of the day.
If you are interested in holding your next event in a Christie Spaces Conference centre, enquire with our team today!