I’m officially a Londoner!
It’s not because I’m simply living here now. And not because I’m working from our new London Office opened in January either.
It’s because, I’ve only been here a month and already I’m tutting at tourists walking slowly and simply ‘can-not-believe-it’ when I have to wait more than 4 minutes for a tube! I mean do we not live in a developed country?
But this got me thinking. I was out and about a quite a lot in January, if not events, then meetings and venue visits and I am totally reliant on public transport these days. I visited mainly urban venues with good transport links, but what about other venues or indeed whole towns who don’t have good links. How much does that influence where you hold your event?
Venues that require you to drive – are they any good for awards ceremonies where a glass or two of Champagne may* (*will) be quaffed? Will it put your guests off booking a table if they need to take an expensive cab ride in their penguin suite or best frock to get there? Maybe a local overnight stay will be required for guests and organisers alike because of the location – this all adds to the cost. But does it dissuade you?
Exhibitions and conferences are no different. The growth of large city based venues in well-connected places like Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow has meant that traditional ‘conferences towns’ such as Bournemouth and Harrogate could be losing some business – How much of that is down to transport links? It’s not as often we see the ‘party-politicals’ in these towns year-on-year these days.
Having lived in Harrogate for almost ten years, I had my own beef with some of the transport links, to York especially, but I’d be keen to learn if this put you off as a conference organiser. Or if the location of the venue simply doesn’t matter if the price is right.
What is the perfect formula for an out of town venue? What would persuade you to book a place with limited transport links? And what sort of event would you take there?