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What do delegates want from an exhibition venue?

Exhibitions at CEME

So you’ve found a venue your exhibitors will love, what about your delegates? When it comes to smaller exhibition centers, what are the things that enhance the delegate experience? We caught up with Ranjith Kumar, Events Manager at the CEME Conference Centre in East London to chat about all things exhibition venues.

“When thinking about what makes a venue great, you need to look at things from both the exhibitor and delegate’s point of view to get a real understanding of what they both desire. Both can want very different things, so to find a venue which ticks all the boxes for both, can be key to the success of your exhibition.”

This blog takes a look at what delegates really want from an exhibition venue. To find out about what exhibitors want, visit ‘What do exhibitors want from an exhibition venue.

 

Great transport links

While most the exhibitors are likely to turn up in vans, it’s fair to say that a higher proportion of delegates will arrive on either public transport or by coach, so you’ll need a venue with space to park larger vehicles. “It’s vitally important to have great public transport links.” Continued Ranjith, “For instance, most people will expect London venues to be close to either underground or overground stations and near to local bus routes. Having a hard to reach venue can put delegates off.”

If the location is outside busy areas such as the Congestion Charge zone, delegates may be more likely to drive. Choosing a venue with good on-site parking and ease of access from motorways and main A roads can make journeys easier and the venue more inviting.

Some venues, Like CEME Conference Centre are even equipped to serve Ultra Low Emission Vehicles, with a Hydrogen Refuelling Station (HRS) and Rapid Electric Vehicle Charging Points on campus.

 

A welcoming venue

“An impressive exhibition space will wow delegates, but you want it to feel welcoming too. Exhibitions are essentially selling spaces for your exhibitors and so you want to create a positive and energising environment, where people can discuss products and services openly. Exhibition areas don’t have to be vast cavernous spaces, reminiscent of warehouses and devoid of any personality.”

“A warm welcome on entry to the exhibition area is a must, as first impressions go, you want it to be good.” The smaller venue in particular has an advantage here. “It’s easier to make a smaller venue seem more friendly and inviting, it’s just going to have a more intimate feel. The staff are more likely to be a close knit team, used to working with each other, as the need for (and turnover of) seasonal staff will be lower. A smaller venue will feel a lot less intimidating. It’s more likely to have a clear start and end point, which makes visitors feel less overwhelmed or lost. The exhibition area will also feel a lot less isolated – you’ll always be able to see people, even when the venue isn’t particularly crowded.”

 

Make the most of the space

“The only disadvantage of a smaller venue is that you’ll need to make sure you know where any potential bottle necks will be. Keeping breakout areas, seminar areas and refreshment areas well spaced out will help keep the flow of delegates moving. Make sure there is clear signage telling delegates where they need to go – you don’t want anyone missing anything out if the exhibition is in multiple rooms or levels.”

A good in-house events team will be able to help you here too. They will be experienced in managing exhibitions and know what the best room layout options are.

 

Keep them entertained and educated

A great seminar programme with influential and knowledgeable speakers will be a draw to your exhibition. Make sure the venue you choose features a first class presentation space, with the latest audio-visual technology and outstanding technical support. The professionalism of your exhibition depends on it.

To find out what Ranjith and the CEME Conference Centre events team can do for your next exhibition, get in touch on +44 (0) 20 8596 5151 email events@ceme.co.uk or contact us online.

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