How to choose the right Conference Venue for your function

When choosing a venue for a conference or business meeting, it is important to take several items into consideration.

Number of people attending the conference
You must calculate the number of people attending and decide whether your conference venue can be as simple as a hotel or if you need to rent space in a larger venue, such as an expo centre.

As an event organizer, you will know the question of size is rarely answered until about 30 days prior to the event. This is mostly because many employees will be told to go at the last minute by their supervisors. The best way to plan a conference of any size is to estimate the final attendance at 10% higher than the planned attendance. Fortunately, many hotels are willing to set aside a number of rooms based on your estimated attendance and rent out any rooms not claimed to walk in guests at no cost to the company.

Catering for attendees
Eating arrangements are just as important as the conference venue itself. You need to decide whether the conference venue is going to cater food for the attendees or if you are going to provide an a la carte lunch and dinner through nearby restaurants.

The number of last minute attendees is a different matter when planning the catering and food availability. Because catering companies usually charge a set rate per person, this amount will be a set part of the budget whether or not all of the attendees actually arrive for the event. One alternative to this dilemma is to have something simple for lunch, such as sandwiches and chips, then inform the attendees that they will be responsible for their own dinner.

Available amenities
One of the main considerations in choosing conference venues should be what amenities you want available for your attendees. If there are too many items for recreation, are they going to disappear in the middle of the conference to enjoy a day on the golf course, or are they going to be bored as soon as the meetings are over and complain that there is nothing to do near the venue?

Many conference venues are close to tourist attractions such as golf courses, so these should be a given for your attendees. It may also be easier to extend the hotel rates for the attendees so that they can arrive one or two days earlier or stay one or two days later at the same price. This will allow them to have a mini-vacation while enjoying the amenities they missed to attend the conference.

Quick access to conference venue information
Use the VenueSearch website to gain quick access to reliable information on available conference venues all around South Africa. Take a minute to specify your venue requirements and watch VenueSearch find you a list of available venues in your required area.

On VenueSearch, finding a conference venue is easy. Whether you need a venue in Gauteng, or the Northern Cape, you will find it quickly on VenueSearch. Here 3 methods to find a suitable conference venue.

  • Click on the conference venue map and browse the available venues in the area.
  • Type a search phrase into the search box at top right of page. Example: 'Conference venues in East London'
  • Try our Conference Venue Search Tool. This is an advanced search feature that allows you to select a multitude of criteria.

Add the venue you like to your preference list and then send an enquiry to all or a selection of with one click.

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