Holding a training conference for your chosen profession can be expensive. Hotel conference rooms in most cities are not cheap, even when they are reserved in advance and the hotel agrees to a discount for advance registration. If you want to make a conference more enticing to and less expensive for attendees, here are some tips to make the experience more affordable.
Most of the conference's attendees will be coming from out of town. If you are holding an all-day affair or a multiple-day conference, consider a package deal. Many hotels are willing to reduce the conference room rate, or even throw the conference room in for nothing, if you can get a certain number of attendees to book a room and stay in the hotel itself. You might even be able to get a continental breakfast or dinner in the hotel's restaurant thrown in as part of the package, which simplifies things for conference attendees who do not know the area well enough to find a place at which to dine.
Surprisingly, corporate sponsors like supporting conferences that are related to their business, because it puts the spotlight on their corporations. Recognition and advertising for their sponsorship is standard protocol. Attendees do not seem to mind it either, since they often get to attend the conference at a reduced rate or for free if the sponsor chooses to pay for the conference room rental in full. If you contact local businesses and industries, ask to to speak to their publicity people who can answer all of your questions about sponsorship and how to get their support.
Alternate Locations for Conferences
Many performing arts centers now offer conference space, and their seating is free of charge because they do not have to set anything up. Attendees sit in one of the auditoriums during the presentations, and concession stands open up for drinks and snacks. You will have to hire a caterer if you plan on serving a meal, and there are no rooms to stay in after the conference ends for the day, but it is a nice alternative to some of the higher-priced hotel conference rooms.
Some other possibilities are:
- Yacht clubs
Some of these locations might not be ideal, but if you are trying to set up a conference in a smaller town or during a time of year when a major annual event occurs, you may have to opt for something less than posh, especially if you are trying to keep costs low.
Speak directly with hotels like http://www.stgeorgeclarionsuites.com for more info.