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How To: Choose a venue post-pandemic

Mandy Jennings (pictured), CEO at Venues of Excellence, shares top tips for selecting a venue for post pandemic conferences and events…

As the Government lifts restrictions on the MICE sector, I would love to share my top tips to give you confidence and reassurance as you start planning your company events for 2021 and beyond.

Number of delegates v available space

It’s likely that you’ll have fewer people attending your event in person, but you’ll need more space per person than before where possible… a priority when creating your venue shortlist. 

Hesitant to head out for site inspections?

Many venues are now using virtual tours to enable prospective clients to view their venues. These provide an excellent insight. We work with our fantastic preferred partner View It 360 to provide a Virtual Tour Gallery for our venues.

Are your events Hybrid ready?

You may have a reduced number of delegates attending in person – but you can boost this number with a hybrid solution. When sourcing, be sure to check they have an adequate internet bandwidth and connection speed with the digital infrastructure you require, enough space for cameras, lights and other equipment.

Venues accredited ‘We’re Good to Go’

In 2020 Visit Britain launched guidance to help our industry reopen safely. This is a great independent accreditation to look out for when you are sourcing venues which confirms that the venues have:

• High hygiene standards

Venues will help you communicate to your delegates about rigorous cleaning and top-notch hygiene standards. You will need to think about what activities you have planned and how these will be performed safely and hygienically.

Ask venues about their cleaning policies; how often are they cleaning, do they use innovative cleaning technology, is the venue able to temperature check your delegates and will they supply cleansing wipes and sanitisers throughout the venue?  

• Effective social distancing

Consider the design of the venue and whether your delegates will be able to flow between rooms easily and safely; is there a one-way system in place and how organised is it? Look for separate entry and exit routes for guests. You may need to consider adjusting break times to avoid queuing.

For registration, can you have an app or have delegates use a self check-in area or perhaps use an app or QR code?  

• Covid-safe catering

Event food will be very different in a post-Covid world, so check with the venues how refreshments and meals will be presented and served. This will be useful information to share with your delegates in the event info, so everyone knows what to expect on the day.

Venues are eager to welcome events back and have done a huge amount of work to give confidence to event planners and delegates so if you are unsure about anything then just ask. 

Here at Venues of Excellence we have a free venue find team who can talk you through all your options and will answer any questions you have to ensure you have peace of mind that your venue choice will deliver what you need.