Harbour Kitchen enjoys playing host to many Melbourne conferences and business events. There are so many components that go into organising a successful conference and somethings like great food and time to unwind are essential ingredients. Here are our team’s top tips on how to ensure your next conference is a huge success.
Your conference guests deserve to be comfortable! This boils down to venue choice and this is why a site inspection prior to the conference is a good idea. Heating for winter and cooling for summer are definite must haves. Identify a dress code for your conference (smart casual is a good choice to allow your guests to be comfortable) and include this on the invitation.
Out Door Break Out Areas
Conference guests always appreciate some fresh air during their breaks. Ask your conference venue if there are outdoor break out areas for your guests to relax and revitalise in during breaks and at lunch time. Explore the possibility of serving some of your catering outside or including an outdoor team building activity to motivate your guests.
Choosing a venue with pillar-less space will mean that your amazing speakers and important presentations will get seen clearly by your delegates. A clear line of site for all your guests will help your conference content make an impact.
Impress your guests with delicious catering. It is popular to include coffee and refreshments on arrival (or all day long) at business conferences and morning and afternoon tea treats will give your guests an energy boost. Espresso coffee is a nice touch (for coffee loving Melbournians especially). A working lunch usually entails sandwiches, wraps and fresh fruits while a hot buffet lunch will be well received, especially if most of your attendees are male. Always cater for a variety of tastes and don’t forget to ask your guests for any special dietary requirements.
Excellent Audio Visual Equipment
Great equipment that is tested and working prior to guest arrival is another must have for successful conferences. If you require more advanced AV equipment (not just the basics – screen, lectern and microphone), it might be a good idea to budget for an AV technician to ensure your conference runs seamlessly.
Natural light is a popular venue feature for successful conferences. Natural light is refreshing and easier on the eye than strong down lights. Your conference guests are concentrating all day, so providing natural light and a lovely outdoor aspect to look at will be well received.
Time to Relax & Unwind
Adequate breaks are a conference essential. Allocate a morning tea break at around 1030am (for an 8.30 commencement) and an afternoon tea break at around 3.00pm (for a 5.00pm conclusion). Lunch break generally occurs at 12 to 12.30pm and you should allocate your guests a decent half an hour to enjoy their meal and refresh themselves before the afternoon session. Incorporating a post conference cocktail party is always a nice touch and allows your guests to unwind with their colleagues after an exciting and challenging day.