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Successful conferences start with proper venue selection

Successful conferences start with proper venue selection

By Laura B. Notarianni

When it’s time to communicate goals, present results or share detailed information with a large group of individuals or employees, what is the best possible venue type? Meeting planners must consider technical capabilities, conveniences, services, comfort, and even wellness issues when selecting the optimal choice for the location of an important meeting, conference or presentation.

“Placing a podium and a mic in the front of a meeting room filled with chairs in rows is far from an ideal meeting environment,” Craig Campbell, director of sales and marketing for the InterContinental Cleveland, says. “Whether the meeting material is upbeat and casual or serious and highly technical, presenters and meeting attendees deserve to be in a setting that allows them to be sharp, relaxed and at their very best.”

Selecting a venue and creating a comfortable environment are only the starting points for a truly successful meeting, but they are certainly very important.

Campbell, a meeting and hospitality professional with more than 25 years of experience, shares the following insight regarding the benefits of utilizing an amphitheater for meetings. “Our Bank of America Amphitheater is capable of accommodating 500 attendees but can be divided into a smaller venue as well, so the size can be just right,” he says. “There’s plenty of space, so everyone’s comfortable and has their own working areas with connections for laptops, and room for notes and materials. There’s even an interactive audience-response-system keypad and microphone at each seat to encourage open communication between the presenter or panel and the attendees.”

Campbell shares several other considerations as well, such as:

Leather ergonomic conference chairs for comfortable seating that can be raised, lowered, and adjusted to individual settings — for everyone, not just the VIPs.

Due to the stacked platform layers of an amphitheater layout, line of site is maximized, eyestrain is decreased, and attention by audience members is increased.

Support the mood and tone of the meeting with better quality lighting and several lighting options that adjust to what is being broadcast on large, built-in LCD panels.

Fully outfitted, state-of-the-art audio-visual and teleconferencing systems and on-site professionals provide real-time capabilities and peace of mind for planners and presenters alike.

Of course, service standards, food and beverage quality, valet parking, overnight accommodations, and many other items must be considered before making a final decision on a venue. “Meeting planners should reach out and have a meaningful discussion about priorities, budgets, and the overall anticipated experience,” Campbell says. “Use the planning period to identify needs and expectations and select the venue that will deliver the best results — time and effort well spent.”

The specifics of the technical capabilities and features of the Bank of America Amphitheater at the InterContinental Cleveland can be found online at www.intercontinentalcleveland.com or by contacting the hotel’s meeting planning professionals at 216.707.4168.

Laura B. Notarianni is the president of marketcomm, a marketing communications firm.

 

  • Apr 5, 2010
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