Location, Location, Location.

When someone says ‘exhibition’ or ‘conference’ it’s likely you’ll have images of a boring office block or a room with one long table and some chairs, a power point screen and projector and a few rounds of coffee and stale biscuits. Work meetings should be about inspiring your team, putting the passion back into them and refocusing everyone on your new goals for the upcoming year. No one is going to get that excited about a power point presentation and a few photocopied spread sheets no matter what it is you have to tell them.

Your choice of venue needs to reflect what you’re trying to say, for example if your product or service is for the more high end customer why not go for a five star hotel, ballroom or cocktail bar over -looking the city? A fancy location with stunning views and décor will give the right impression that your business is something that can go above and beyond to deliver the unexpected. If you want to think outside of the box and really get your clients inspired by your business then look for more unusual venues such as skate parks, football stands or period buildings. Anywhere that provides a service is likely to have expanded into events to bring in extra pennies so are bound to have an events team to cater to everything from birthday parties to christenings so as anyone who has ever hosted a birthday party before will know, board meetings will be a walk in the park in comparison.

Try to pick a venue that has something in keeping with your business or product so for example, if you’re selling ice skates it would be a good idea to have your exhibition at an ice skating competition or hire your local ice rink. If you want to get people really excited about what you have to say as well as give your team a reward for coming then why not try a theme park? Many of the popular ones now have hotels with conference rooms which will give your participants complimentary passes to the theme park after your event as part of your room hire rate. For something a little more low key and educational why not try an aquarium, castle or museum? Your colleagues or potential business clients will be intrigued and excited about what you have to offer and are more likely to accept your invitation. Of course,  you need to be clear about the tone of your exhibition or conference before you choose the location and venue. No one wants to be trying to hold a serious business meeting in a ball bit with a hundred children running around and a no shoes or socks policy in place!

Claire Bowden is a successful event planner who writes on behalf of www.finessegroup.com

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