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Venue selection: five factors to consider for healthcare meetings

Our team shares their healthcare specific tips for engaging in the venue research and selection process.

By Annabel Eveson, Project Director, SWM Partners

Planning a successful meeting is much like a puzzle; there are countless elements to consider, from the date, format and size, through to the programme and the venue, all of which will ideally complement one another.

The location you choose can impact how an event unfolds, and ultimately, its success, which means the venue selection process requires extensive research.

With this in mind, below are some of the key elements our event management team explores when assessing and recommending spaces to our healthcare clients.

Healthcare sector compliance

Seeking out properties that comply with specific healthcare industry requirements is vital, and these enquiries should be made during the pre-planning process.

There are various sites that practice compliance through elements such as hire fees, catering and room rates, however we always recommend looking to experienced event professionals to liaise directly with venue teams, and develop wholly compliant solutions that reflect the industry, and the needs of your organisation.

Venue and delegate location

Suitable host venues can be found throughout the globe, however it’s important to develop an understanding of your audience first.

If they are based in a particular city, country or region, seek out spaces that they can access with ease, and explore transportation facilities and services in the area, such as airports and shuttles, to ensure a seamless end-to-end experience.

This may also help you to determine whether one global event is the most effective route to take, or perhaps a regional or country-specific series is more suitable.

Spaces that bring the programme to life

Opting for a venue that can comfortably accommodate all guests, whether that’s 50 or 500, and reflects your programme and overall objectives is a must.

A meeting that features keynotes and breakouts, along with networking sessions, for example, will require adjoining or nearby spaces of varying sizes, so that delegates can easily navigate between them. Look to source floor plans of these spaces well in advance, so that you or your event planning specialists can visualise how they will not only host guests, but do so in an engaging and cohesive way.

Furthermore, if the meeting is set to span multiple days, a hotel with a dedicated catering service and meeting rooms may be most suitable, as this will reduce the need for further travel.

Technical capabilities

From state-of-the-art LED screens for showcasing slide and video content, to real-time polling, and the live streaming of sessions to virtual attendees, event technology is essential today.

Assessing your requirements, along with a property’s audio visual (AV) capabilities is therefore vital, as this will allow for the meeting’s programme to be delivered in the most engaging of ways, across both physical and remote environments.

If in-house AV doesn’t meet your requirements, many onsite teams accommodate external suppliers, who can be brought in to install the technology, and manage its output on the day.

Accessibility and sustainability commitments

While geographical location is key, ensuring delegates can physically access a space with ease is equally important. Facilities and services to seek out include lifts and ramps at entry points and stages, accessible bathrooms, and hearing loop technology.

Venues are increasingly developing green policies and implementing measures to minimise their impact on the environment, and they are qualities we both seek out, and encourage our clients to embrace when selecting event venues.

These measures include eliminating single-use plastics across meal and tea breaks, shifting away from buffet-style catering to reduce food waste, practicing recycling, and the use of LED lighting, which uses less energy.

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