York’s location in the middle of the UK, thriving tourism industry and array of transport and technology businesses make it a fantastic place for meetings, conferences and events. But with so many historic halls, function rooms and hotels to choose from, how do you settle on the right space for you and your delegates? We’ve got 10 tips for how to choose a meeting, conference or event venue in York.
Chances are, your delegates will be travelling to reach your venue so it’s important that it’s somewhere they can easily get to. Luckily, York benefits from excellent public transport links including a rail service that makes it reachable from London and Edinburgh in under 2 hours. To make the most of this, it may be worth choosing a venue that’s within walking distance of the station or central bus stops.
If on the other hand, your attendees are likely to be driving to your event, it’s vital that ample parking is available nearby. Be sure to look into where the nearest car parks are situated and note down how much parking costs so that your delegates won’t be in for a nasty surprise.
Everyone who attends your meeting or conference should be able to comfortably enter the venue. Consider those who use a wheelchair or have limited mobility by ruling out rooms that are only accessible via stairs. Those with uneven flooring may cause an issue for partially sighted delegates. While York has many beautiful historic buildings, they’re not always suitable for people with special requirements. For the safest bet, choose a venue that’s situated on the ground floor or at least features a lift.
The technology that you’ll need in the venue will depend on that kind of activities you’ll include in your meeting or conference. If you’re having a keynote speaker or presentations, it’s essential to have fully-functioning audiovisual equipment so they can be seen and heard. If your delegates will be accessing the internet as part of your proceedings, make sure the venue has Wifi that they’ll be able to login to and use.
Aside from the tech, you’ll need to make sure that your venue has adequate amenities for the size of group that you’re inviting. Check with the staff about the number of tables, chairs and flipcharts they can offer you and take the time to calculate whether this will cover everyone involved. Don’t forget to ask about the number of toilets, as there’s nothing worse than a long queue for the loo during your coffee break!
If you’re hosting an all-day event or would like to be hospitable and offer your attendees a meal, you’ll want to find out what the venue can offer you. While York has an impressive range of restaurants, bars and cafes in the city centre, serving lunch in the venue itself will keep your delegates engaged and give them a valuable opportunity to network. Some halls offer in-house catering so you can arrange your refreshments easily when you book your room.
Find out what Bedern Hall’s food and drink team can serve you here…
Making sure there’s enough room to host all your attendees in York is really important for ensuring the event runs smoothly. Will you need separate rooms for simultaneous workshops or presentations? How many people will need to fit in your main space at once? High on your list when choosing your conference venue should be asking the manager what the legal capacity is so you don’t breach fire regulations.
As nice as it would be to choose a meeting room as if money was no object, the affordability of your York venue will always be one of your priorities. Consider your company’s budget and shop around to see how much venues that meet all of your needs will cost you.
You might be surprised at how reasonable less well-known venues such as Bedern Hall are. While the recognisable halls and hotels may cut a hefty price tag, hidden gems like Bedern cost much less without compromise on charm and facilities.
If you’re looking to wow your delegates, it’s worth choosing a venue with a little more character than a standard conference room. An inspiring space with interesting stories to tell will keep your event in the mind of your guests much longer than a dull boardroom or lobby. At Bedern Hall, we’ve got a rich history as the home of York’s Vicars Choral. There are plenty of period features for delegates to admire while they’re with us.
Are you hosting a niche event where your venue’s background is one of your priorities? For a historical, cultural or heritage event, Bedern Hall’s Medieval origins and original beams and stonework make it a superb choice. Find out more about the Hall’s history here.
- Additional benefits
Many venues offer the option for those hiring to become members and receive discounts, complementary additions or VIP invitations to future events. Consider how you or your company could benefit from a partnership with the venue in the future as well as weighing up the functionality of the space for the day of your conference in York.
With enterprise membership of Bedern Hall, you are entitled to a free annual event for up to 10 delegates and guild recognition on the ‘Wall of Honour’- find out more here.
10. Social responsibility
Deciding whether to host your event in a public or private space, and whether to choose a local or independent organisation could reflect on your company’s commitment to social responsibility. If your business has strong philanthropic values, you may wish to choose a York venue that is in need of income for conservation or community outreach.
At Bedern Hall, we’re not for profit and therefore greatly appreciate businesses choosing our venue since the money we receive helps with the upkeep of one of York’s most historic buildings. Find out more about the Bedern Hall Foundation here.
We hope these tips have been helpful, but if you have any more questions please contact us on 01904 646030. We’re experienced in hosting a wide range of events and regularly play host to businesses and offer competitive rates. Full details of hiring the hall can be found here.