Looking for ways to attract new event bookings? Hosting a conference or corporate event at your venue is a great way to diversify your venue’s event offerings.
Conferences come in all shapes and sizes and can range in attendance, meeting space needed, and setups — so whether you are a small venue that can accommodate 50 people in one room or a large venue with multiple areas that can host 500 people — there is sure to be a corporate event planner looking for a space for their conference that’s a perfect match for your venue. In addition to being a new form of business to attract, conferences also come with many other needs: client meetings, after parties, and even group dinners that attendees have after conference hours.
So what can you do to make sure you get a shot at hosting a conference? Corporate planners who host conferences will likely be looking for a few of these selling points.
1. Plenty of meeting space
As we’ve mentioned, conferences come in many different forms, but typically there will be a need for designated spaces for sessions, meals, exhibits, and networking. The kind of space needed is up to the planner.
Be sure to ask questions, such as “Can the sessions and meals happen in the same room?” or “Will networking be in the same space as the exhibits, or will that need to occur in a separate room?” If you can highlight how your space can accommodate all of these needs, you’ll likely be an excellent choice for any conference.
2. Attractive event packages
Be a one-stop-shop. Meeting organizers will look for a venue where they can get everything — audiovisual, furniture, food, and beverage — without having to find and book many different vendors.
If you can, put together a conference package that appeals and includes everything a conference organizer would need. If you are just a venue and don’t have everything included, find partners and work with them on a package offer — you’ll make a corporate planner’s job that much more accessible and will be more appealing than someone who can only offer space.
3. A sales kit
Have information about your space and venue easily accessible. Meeting planners will want to see floor plans, layouts, food and beverage menus and pricing, audiovisual offerings and pricing, diagrams, and capacity charts.
Put it all together in a sales kit and make all of this information easy to find on your website or any venue directory sites where you may be listed (like EventUp by Tripleseat). The more information people can find, and the more comprehensive, the better. Include photos of your space set up for a conference to help visualize what your area looks like all set up.
4. A relationship with your venue
Start your relationship with prospects by hosting a discovery call. If you get an RFP (request for proposal) or an event lead, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and get to know a little more about the type of conference, the attendees, what might attract the organizer to pick your venue over another, and other details.
You’ll be surprised at how much a quick 15-minute call can help you discover and better understand your client’s needs. This is also a great way to build a relationship with your client before you even start working together.
Conferences are just the starting point
Are you afraid that your space isn’t right for a conference or the meetings that need to occur throughout? Not a problem — conferences are more than just meeting space. As we mentioned, they attract a lot of other kinds of events, meetings, and get-togethers.
Market your venue as the place to host an after-party or reception, especially if you are close to the conference venue. Have discounts available for those attending a conference who may be looking for a place to eat after the day has ended. Your private dining spaces can be great after-hour meeting spots for someone to bring clients, for groups to meet, or for teams to get together.
If you’re not a Tripleseat customer and you’re interested in learning more about Tripleseat’s event management features and how they can grow and manage your events and private dining needs, schedule a demo at your convenience to take a closer look.
*Editors Note: This post originally appeared in Tripleseat’s Seated Magazine Summer 2022 edition.