The Journal

Skene House Meeting Rooms

What makes a successful event?

What I’ve learned…

Melissa Montgomery, Skene House’s Meetings and Events Coordinator, shares with us the key success factors for meetings or events based on her experience of working with many different clients over the last year.

While the following tips seem like common sense, these simple points, if followed, will result in a successful event/meeting/training course.

1. Visit the venue prior to booking – if you have not visited the venue during the selection process, then visiting the venue prior to the actual event/meeting/course will give you a feel for your surroundings, allow you to imagine how the event will be on the day and anticipate what special arrangements would be required on the day to ensure the event runs smoothly.

2. Increase delegate numbers by selecting your dates to avoid public holidays or competing events  – it is important to consider local public holidays or events when planning your event. To ensure maximum attendance, check that there is nothing major planned in the surrounding area that is likely to pull away some of your clients.

3. Know your budget – It is easy to get carried away when organising an event so ensure that you stay realistic regarding the limitations of the venue and budget. Consider the cost of hiring in specialist equipment, decor, catering, promoting your event and accommodation costs. Meeting room hire at Skene House includes Wi-Fi, refreshments, standard audio visual equipment, flip charts and stationery, as well as car-parking (limited spaces). Our day delegate rates includes all of this and delicious catering options for all dietary requirements.

4. Establish critical success factors – Understand what you can realistically plan with your resources and define what a successful event/meeting/training might look like for your company. For example, a successful event for you might result in increased sales or repeat custom, for others it might be closing a deal or positive feedback from delegates. Design your event, budgeting and planning around your critical success factors.

5. Plans are nothing, planning is everything – Ensure that you start planning as soon as possible to avoid any last minute problems.  It’s never to early!

6. Send things on to the venue in advance – If you have materials that you will require, send them to the venue in advance to ensure that you don’t forget anything.

Skene House Conference Suites

Skene House Conference Suites

7. Promote your event as cost effectively as possible by using social media – Ensure that any potential delegates are aware of all the details they require. Social media is a great way to promote your event to a highly targeted audience free or cheaply. Also social media allows you to circulate pre-event information incredibly efficiently. If your event is closed or private, consider an invite only Facebook event or group, What’s App or EventBrite. If your event is for a professional organisation, consider how they use internal communications to distribute information and follow protocol.

8. Make sure you have a key contact at the venue and they know what a successful event looks like to you – building a relationship with the venue will ensure that you and your delegates have a succesful meeting and will increase the likelihood of developing a relationship for repeat events that become seamless. Your contact will want to ensure you have the best experience possible and so it’s importatnt to know a) how to deliver what you want and b) how to go the extra mile because they will want your repeat business!

9. Start early – An early start to your morning will give you the opportunity to be relaxed and comfortable in your surroundings before the arrival of your clients. Staying on-site the night before is a great way to ensure that you can be there early as there is no chance of public transport delays or being caught in traffic.

10. Ensure that your clients are aware of how to access the venue – late arrivals will disrupt your event and this can be mitigated by sending out travel options, links to public transport and directions for on-site or local parking.

11. You want your delegates to get the most out of the event so ensure that all guests’ dietary requirements are catered for – Keep energy levels high and your delegates engaged by ensuring that refreshments and catering meets the needs of all delegates.  It is important to let your venue know of any dietary requirements in advance of the meeting.

12. Be flexible and have a Plan B up your sleeve – Sometimes everything doesn’t go to plan, weather, transport, sickness can have negative impact on numbers without advance notice.  Ensure that you are prepared to accommodate any last minute changes or have a Plan B to send out materials to those who can’t attend or consider inviting them along to ‘catch-up’ events if appropriate or possible.

Skene House Meeting Rooms offer a modern and unique city setting in a converted church with stunning original architectural features and on-site accommodation.

Get inspiration and planning tips for your next meeting, event or training course on our Pinterest boards.

To book your next event contact us on +44 (0)1224 659 293 or email



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