Are you in charge of planning the next corporate event? You already understand the importance of choosing the right location, so after determining the goals and objectives of your meeting, one of your first tasks should be to select the city and venue that will host your event.

Selecting the right host city can significantly affect your meeting or convention’s attendance and energy! Here are a few important details to keep in mind when selecting your location:

  • Event location proximity matters. Consider transportation costs both to the location and once guests arrive. Ask yourself, how far might guests have to fly or drive to get there, and will the location require pricey cab rides?
  • Accommodations can make or break event budgets. What does it cost to stay in a hotel in the Midwest, East Coast or West Coast, and how much is parking? Does the hotel offer free shuttle service?
  • Keep attendees engaged even when they aren’t at your meeting. Consider what activities are available nearby the meeting venue to keep their interests piqued.

Choosing a centrally located city in the Midwest, like Madison, Wisconsin, can save you and your guests money and keep attendees energized with its lakeside ambiance, the state Capitol and surrounding university culture.

Now it’s time to think more specifically about the venue in your chosen city. Here’s where you can start.

  • Determine the potential number of attendees. Understanding how many people are coming to an event can greatly affect the space needed.
  • Look at your agenda. The more you can define the day-of details the better you can plan for your meeting space!
  • Consider where in the city you would like to be located. Do you want your attendees to be within walking distance of downtown or will a car ride be acceptable?

It’s never too early in the event planning process to contact a venue specialist like me, Laura MacIsaac, CMP. By presenting your agenda and potential work sessions, your certified meeting professional can help you determine meeting space options to maximize your value and deliver a return on your investment. We’re also happy to discuss potential cost savings and differences that may exist between area venues.

Discover more ways to get the greatest value for your next business meeting or convention by contacting a team like the one at Monona Terrace and talking to a certified meeting professional. You can also learn more about Madison, Wis., as a meeting destination by visiting the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau website,

By Laura MacIsaac, CMP, Monona Terrace.