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The Ultimate Conference Venue Checklist

At Horizon Leeds we love a good conference. We’re passionate about helping you to create impactful conferences, which are memorable to your delegates and provide a strong return on investment for you. We don’t just want to be seen as a venue. We use our vast experience in the events industry to ensure that you are getting the most from the conferences you hold here at Horizon. The sooner we can get involved with the planning process the better, as this gives us the opportunity to help you shape how your conference will look, taking into consideration the space and facilities available. However, we know that this isn’t always possible, and therefore we have created our ultimate conference venue checklist to help you along the way! Now, before we unleash this little nugget of knowledge on you there is one thing you must do first: set your event aims and objectives. Sounds simple right? You would be surprised how many times we speak to a client who hasn’t yet nailed these down. Check out this video on the importance of settling event aims and objectives.

The first, and most important thing you need to tick off when planning a conference is obviously the venue! And while we might be biased, when in Leeds we don’t think there’s anywhere better to hold your next conference than at Horizon. As a dedicated independent B2B venue, conferences are the thing that makes us tick. Our central location, combined with our state of the art technology, award-winning event packages, excellent catering options and the wide range of spaces we offer means that we tailor our services perfectly to your conference, whatever the focus. So, whether it’s staff engagement, product development, educational insight or celebrating your sales team’s achievements and getting them pumped for the year ahead, then we have the tools to help you get the most from your conference. When designing the fantastic spaces within Horizon, the Venue Manager took her past experience gained from working in venue finding to ensure that the best elements from other venues were incorporated into Horizon and that those frustrating design fails were left out! Our venue is modern, clean and bright, with fantastic amenities and everything you need to put together the perfect conference. No longer do you have to settle for dingy rooms, flasks of coffee, flipcharts and huge costs for outsourced AV. Horizon offers rooms with an abundance of light, quality bean to cup coffee, eco-friendly electronic collaborative touch screens to replace flipcharts and best of all a huge variety of in-house tech, from 4k projectors and catch box mics to VR technology and polling platforms. We also offer a variety of event packages to help make your conference planning journey as easy as possible. However, if none of our standard packages are quite right, we can also create bespoke packages to create the perfect event for you and your business.

Once you have your venue, you’ll need to find your space. At a lot of venues, these two things are one and the same, but at Horizon, there’s a variety of different spaces you can use for your next corporate event. It’s important that you have the opportunity to visualise exactly how your conference will look so we allocate all rooms at contract stage so you will know where you will be from the outset.

From our smallest room, ENGAGE@, which seats 8 people and is perfect for smaller meetings or training, all the way up to CREATE@, which can seat up to 250 delegates and is equipped with all the latest tech, we offer 6 different rooms to help make sure you have the perfect space for your event. Our spaces are of varying sizes and can tailor the layout to exactly how you need it, which gives you the option to get creative when it comes to not only the plenary session but also the conference workshop activities, lunch and networking time.

At Horizon Leeds, our delegates are regularly amazed by the tech options we can offer! From the standard microphone and projector setup, all the way to state of the art audio visual technology – which includes AR and VR capabilities and catchbox audio systems – the tech we have at Horizon Leeds simply can’t be matched! We invest heavily in developing our tech capabilities to help make us the premier corporate events venue in the area. For larger events, we also offer dedicated AV technicians for the duration of your conference or event to ensure that no matter what technology you need, everything will run as smoothly as possible.

We know that for delegates, this is one of the key memorable elements of any event, determining whether the event was a success or not. The most important thing to consider is what food will suit not only your delegate demographic but also works around the flow of your event the best. For example, if the event is around health and wellbeing, a colourful menu with a variety of healthy options would work well. An event where delegates are expected to go back to work afterwards requires a hot folk buffet, or perhaps even a 3 course lunch. The format of the event is also important, because finger foods, which are easy to eat, are great for networking events, where there can be a lot of walking around. At Horizon Leeds, we partner with local foodies Catering Yorkshire to offer delegates a wide variety of classic, homegrown Yorkshire grub with their own modern twist! The team at Catering Yorkshire are also passionate about making food accessible to all of our delegates, so are happy to tailor their menus to offer options for a variety of dietary requirements, including gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian and vegan, to ensure every single delegate, no matter how large or small your event is, can try some of the incredible catering we offer here at Horizon Leeds.

Last but most certainly not least is the team! At Horizon Leeds, our team are all events specialists who know our venue inside and out. We’ll be on hand from event conception to completion and can offer our expertise on all aspects of event planning. When you plan an event with us, you’ll have an event planning expert with your every step of the way, who will also be on hand on the day of your event to help make sure everything runs smoothly Every member of staff at Horizon is an expert in our business and the business of events and conferences. Our team are the pride of Horizon Leeds, and with their expertise, getting through the ultimate conference checklist can be a breeze! To find out more about Horizon Leeds, the services and spaces we offer and how we can help you plan your next conference, contact us today on 0844 334 5248.