Finding the right conference facility is always a challenge, but it's doubly so if you're planning a conference for high-level executives. CEOs, CFOs, and COOs expect to have certain amenities everywhere they go, especially if they're well-paid and work for a large company.
When comparing conference facilities for an event that will include these delegates, you'll want to take these expectations into account. Here are five questions to ask before signing a specific venue for a conference that caters to C-level executives.
Are direct flights to the city widely available?
High-level executives aren't accustomed to taking multi-leg flights; they usually prefer direct flights. Although direct flights may cost more than a switching planes, they're willing to pay the increased price in order to reduce their travel time.
Executives will be less likely to attend your event if they have to take multiple flights to get there, so you should look for a conference facility in a large city. The city you select should have a large, international airport that offers many direct flights to both domestic and international destinations. Conference centers in metropolises like New York and Los Angeles will be much easier for delegates to reach than ones in Bozeman, Montana or Ithaca, NY.
Is there a small airport nearby?
You may also want to find a conference facility that has a small airport nearby. While the majority of your delegates will be arriving via commercial flights, some might want to come on their own, private planes. International airports are usually too busy to handle private aircraft, but many little airports let people land their private planes.
How fast is the Wi-Fi connection?
You'll be hard-pressed to find a conference facility that doesn't offer Wi-Fi, but not all event centers have fast wireless connections. Most conference attendees will want to connect at least two devices. If you're expecting 200 attendees, then the center's Wi-Fi connection should be fast enough for at least 400 devices, if not more.
Any conference attendee will be annoyed if they can't connect to the internet, but being connected isn't merely a luxury for C-level executives. They need to constantly be connected, available to help the businesses they lead.
You won't be able to personally test a venue's Wi-Fi connection, unless you have 400 devices to connect. You can, however, ask for the networks specifications. If you're comparing multiple conference facilities, the one with the fastest hardware will be best prepared to handle the load that your event will place on the network.
Can the outer spaces be reserved?
The outer spaces, the facility's pool, lounges and even bar or restaurant, provide delegates with a place to network. If these are crowded with people who are attending another event or just walking through the facility, though, it will be difficult for your delegates to connect with each other. They won't know who else is attending your event, and there will be less space to mingle.
To ensure that your delegates have adequate space to network between sessions, ask about reserving the facility's outer spaces. You might be able to book the facility's pool and bar for only a small additional fee, which would give your attendees a specific place to mingle.
Are there any events scheduled for the same time?
If another event is being held concurrently with yours, it will increase the load on the venue's Wi-Fi and the number of people in the outer areas. To ensure that your event goes smoothly, you'll want to make sure that the venue has the resources to manage both events at once.
Additionally, however, you should find out what the other event is about. If it sends a strong political or religious message, you could alienate attendees. Even if your event is separate from the other one, high-profile executives won't want to be photographed near people who promote a message that their company doesn't approve of.
If you're planning a conference that will target C-level executives, make sure to think about more than just seating arrangements and nearby lodging. Ask all of these questions before contracting with a venue, to make sure your delegates will enjoy their time at your event and want to return the next year. Start comparing conference facilities to get more info on prices, scheduling, and accommodations.