How to Choose a Hotel for Your Conference

Choosing the right hotel for an upcoming conference event is one way to make sure the attendees get the most from the meeting. Ideally, the hotel you choose will have plenty of meeting space for classes and sessions as well as an area that is large enough for different types of conference exhibits. By making sure there is enough space to accommodate both the activities and the attendees, you set the stage for an event that will benefit everyone involved and allow the conference to truly be a success.


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    Determine the anticipated attendance for the conference. Utilize historical data from past conferences to come up with an average number of attendees. This will provide some idea of the total number of rooms that the hotel must have available for the event.
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    Consider the amount of space needed for the conference exhibits. Think in terms of the number of vendors or other organizations that may be asked to exhibit, and focus attention on hotels that offer a large enough area for this portion of the event. The space may be in the form of 1 or more conference areas that allow easy access to each of the exhibit booths. Also inquire about the availability of power and wireless hookups for each of the exhibits and displays.
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    Ask about the number and size of conference rooms available. Many conferences require multiple conference or assembly rooms that provide space for small group and large group gatherings over the course of the conference. Make sure each space has access to audio-visual equipment for use in presentations.
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    Discuss potential arrangements for meal catering and menu planning as well as cocktails and finger foods for breaks between sessions. Ideally the hotel you choose can prepare a menu that is varied enough to manage the varied dietary requirements that your attendees will need.
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    Consult with hotel personnel about the ability to receive and store equipment and exhibits pending the arrival of the exhibitors and attendees, as well as what assistance the hotel can provide in shipping the equipment and exhibits once the event is completed.
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    Negotiate discounted rates for all services needed for the conference, including price breaks on the guestrooms and use of any amenities on the grounds. Try to obtain the lowest rates possible for the conference rooms and space so that registration and exhibition fees are equitable for the attendees while still covering the expenses for the entire event.
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    Compare pricing obtained from several different hotels, and consider hotel ratings as well as the rates. A low price may be attractive but if the hotel has a reputation for lower quality in accommodations and guest services, it may be better to spend a little more and go with a hotel that has a higher rating.


  • Always plan for a second option in the event that some type of natural disaster or emergency should render your first choice unavailable. Having a contingency plan will alleviate a lot of the stress involved in moving a major event with very little notice.
  • Begin evaluating hotels at least 6 months before the event is schedule to take place. For large annual gatherings, it is not unusual for hosts to begin the process as soon as the most recent event is completed.

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