Helping The World Meet

Top tips - Finding the Perfect Venue

So you have been assigned the task of arranging the company’s yearly get together. You now have the responsibility to source and manage the meeting in a city you are not familiar with… It’s a high profile meeting and you have narrowed down all the hotels that you feel might fit you needs. You are ready to start contacting all your venues …all 100 of them .. So much choice and so little time! Even the most organised of people would struggle to know where to start.

Before selecting your final short list its worth looking at a few simple steps that can make the selection process much easier for you. It will save time and will allow you to focus on the real options available to you. Having your own venue checklist in place will allow you to see the benefits almost immediately.  

These top tips will make the journey easier.

Venue Type

This is so important. It can make or break the success of your event / meeting. When deciding on the style of venue / hotel it is important to look at the event itself. Is it training, high level executive meeting, or social networking?  The venue you choose needs to reflect the requirements and encourage the end goals. For example, a 5* venue may be considered way too extravagant however a cool unique space might reflect your companies culture and could be the perfect fit!

 Your Basic Requirements

It might sound very obvious but you would be surprised at what venues can be struck off the list because the basics aren’t met.  Sit down and write a list of what are the most important things for your meeting. Common basics are Wi-Fi, AV, natural daylight, flexibility in room set up, onsite facilities, access to transport, onsite parking etc.  Budget is very important. Whilst it is always important to get value it is also necessary to have realistic expectations. Don’t expect 5* locations and facilities with a 1* budget!

The Location

Again another key factor to take into consideration. Is it city centre, near airports and main transportation hubs? A lot of cities have different districts such as financial, historical, residential etc.  They also can command different prices. If you are looking for  central Paris expect the pricing to reflect the popularity of this choice.  Do you require the meeting / event to be near local attractions as delegates will have down time and want to experience the city? Sometimes event planners don’t want too much distraction on the doorstep either so its an important factor to consider.

The Meeting Space

 What are the meeting space requirements?   Do you require a hotel or are you looking for a more unique venue that has the WOW factor?  Are you planning to provide food and beverage? Remember you need space to serve this if outside the normal meeting room. Do you require signage / registration desks? Will the hotel allow you to put signage / branding in public areas? What are the restrictions in place? Is the room flexible in set up? If you require several rooms, ask yourself are they all close by.

 Equipment & Audio Visual

You need to look at what type of audio/visual equipment you may need. A lot of hotels have on site AV technicians and most can also outsource this as well.  You need to ensure it complements your set up. If it’s a small board meeting chances are it wont however a large event the position of the screens for presentations is key. It must complement your set up. Does the hotel allow access after hours? Some venues require space to be taken with 24 hold as it not realistic to take down staging and complex set ups and the end of every day. There is almost certainly a charge for this as hotels cannot take business over this time which is fair and to be expected. 

Don’t be shy ….Ask for Help!

Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance or advice There are so many great resources available on line that can help answer your questions. Connect with fellow planners, read reviews on the venue and hotels. allow bookers to book small meetings online but also larger meetings at locations around the world. We have a great team of International Venue consultants that have local expertise across 100s of destinations.  So if you are planning a small meeting or a large event please reach out to us. We would be delighted to assist ! 

Written by Michael Holden 

Top 5 Technology Conferences Around The World For 2015

There are so many incredible technology conferences around the world, with new ones popping up each year, that it can be hard to know which ones are the best to go to. Which should you book your ticket to asap and which should you give a miss.

We have dedicated some time this week to compiling a list of our top technology conferences taking place in 2015 to put in your diary. These are the top events for discovering innovative new technology, meeting up-and-coming start-up teams, listening to inspiring fireside chats from the world’s most influential technology leaders and of course the perfect opportunity to network with people in and outside of your industry. These are the ones simply not to miss if you want to stay ahead in the industry.

5. Mobile World Congress, Barcelona

Mobile World Conference

In short: The GSMA Mobile World Congress is a combination of the world’s largest exhibition for the mobile industry and a conference featuring prominent executives representing mobile operators, device manufacturers, technology providers, vendors and content owners from across the world.  Spanning over 5 days from the 2nd to the 5th March in Barcelona, Spain, the conference attracts up to 80,000 visitors from 200 countries across the globe.

A hot topic at this year’s conference will be mobile payments thanks to the recent launch of Apple Pay and the ever increasing demand for secure mobile payment systems.

Speakers: An incredible line up including; Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia,Charles Scharf, CEO of Visa and Marty Beard, COO of Blackberry.

Where to stay: Hilton Diagonal Mar Barcelona

Located in Barcelona city center, The Hilton Diagonal Mar is only 10 minutes walk form the beach and offers stunning views of the sea and the rising sun. It is also the perfect base point for traveling to the conference which is accessible from the city center by bus, metro and a free shuttle service for all attendees. 

4. SXSW – South by Southwest, Austin Texas


In short: South by Southwest (SXSW) is so much more than a technology conference.  It is a set of film, interactive, and music festivals and conferences that take place early each year in mid-March in Austin, Texas, United States.It started as a small gathering in 1987 has now grown to a 10 day event known by technology leaders, writers, bloggers and musicians the world over.It is much more relaxed than most tech conferences, so don’t go there expecting to launch your new start-up or get millions of investment. Better to just use it as the best networking event of the year – because simply put, that’s exactly what it is!

Speakers: Dr. Astro Teller head of Google[X], Princess Reema Bint Bandar Al-Saud, Alfa Intl, Ava DuVernay, Winner of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival Best Director Award.

Where to stay: Hyatt Regency Austin

The perfect balance between the city’s vibrant energy and a resort-like tranquility, the Hyatt Regency Austin is the perfect base for SXSW. With unrivaled facilities including an outdoor pool overlooking the lake, it is the perfect place to unwind after a long day networking.Set on the shores of Lady Bird Lake, The Hyatt Regency lets you experience the best of Austin, a eclectic city famous for live music, rock-star dining and innovative ideas.

3. Velocity, Santa Clara, California

Velocity Conference

In Short: Velocity is the best place on the planet for web ops and performance professionals to learn from peers, exchange ideas with experts, and share best practices and lessons learned about challenges and progress in web operations. Most companies with outward-facing dynamic websites face the same challenges: pages must load quickly, infrastructure must scale efficiently, and sites and services must be reliable, without burning out the team or breaking the budget.So, why attend Velocity? It will help you to build faster web Apps, spend quality time with industry experts and spend three intense days devoted to web operations and performance. Runs from May 27th to 29th in Santa Clara, California.

Speakers: Have not been released yet but they are actually accepting proposals if you fancy speaking at it!

Where to stay: Santa Clara Marriott

The Santa Clara Marriott, part of the ever expanding Marriott Hotels group (which now has almost 1 million rooms worldwide) is an excellent choice for your stay in Santa Clara.In the heart of Silicon Valley, the Santa Clara hotel is just minutes from the Santa Clara Convention Center and San Jose International Airport, and is within walking distance of Levi Stadium. Make the most of the sunny Californian weather by using their large outdoor pool and leisure center, in a hotel that is known and frequented by an endless stream of business travelers. Excellent choice for late night or early morning networking!

2.CES International, Shanghai, China

Consumer Electronics Conference. ShaghaiIn short: 

In Short: The International CES is a global consumer electronics and consumer technology trade show that takes place every January in Las Vegas, Nevada. However, this year they are hosting the first ever CES in Asia,which takes place from May 25th to 27th in Shanghai, China. The conference will include a series of keynotes and conference sessions designed to highlight the global innovations taking place in the consumer technology industry and reflected in the exhibits on the show floor. As China is one of the fastest growing market for new technology, this is the perfect chance to go to a technology conference outside of both silicon valley.

Speakers: More famous for product debuts than speakers, such as the launch of; Smart devices such as Tablets and Notebooks, The Plasma TV, Blu-ray discs and Microsoft Xbox!

Where to stay: Le Royal Méridien Shanghai

This 5 star luxury hotel located on one of the most important streets in Shanghai, in China’s financial and commercial hub, is the perfect hotel to base yourself for your stay. With a choice of 4 restaurants,2 bars and an incredible on site spa, in addition to stunning views of the Shanghai skyline, this hotel has everything you need to unwind after a long day of networking. All the bedrooms have dazzling views of the Bund and the city’s skyline and state-of-the-art-technology including high speed WIFI – essential when attending a tech conference!

1. Web Summit,Dublin, Ireland

Dublin Web Summit

In short: Last year Guardian Media called Web Summit the  ‘Davos for Geeks’ while the event itself promoted the event with the phrase ‘where the tech world meets’. Only in it’s fifth year, this new kid on the block had become on of the biggest and hottest tech events overnight. Attracting hugely influential speakers from the top tech companies around the world, such as Drew Houston of DropBox,Werner Vogels of Amazon and Peter Thiel of PayPal, Web Summit attracted 20,000 attendees last year over a 3 day period, and this number is growing each year. The event is split up in a variety of ‘mini summits’ such as music, enterprise, builders, marketing, investors and the always popular night summit which is where all the most important networking is done and where many big investment deals have been signed.

Speakers: This year’s have not been confirmed, but last year included Bono. Eva Longoria, John Collison and Padmasree Warrior

Where to stay: The Herbert Park Hotel, Dublin

Less than a stones throw away from the RDS, which is the venue for the Web Summit 2015, this luxury 4 star hotel is the perfect base. Voted Ireland’s Business Hotel of the Year for 2015. Facilities are second-to-none and include  the hotel’s own AirSpeed dedicated wi-fi network which provides high speed internet access at all times and is offered free of charge to residents and conference delegates. With the hotel less than a 5 minute walk from the Web Summit, it is the perfect spot for hosting Pre or Post conference meetings with other delegates or for simply getting some work done in the mornings or evenings.