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By Dave Clifton
Hosting a conference takes careful planning for the attendees, the activities, and the general flow of the event. If things aren’t orchestrated accordingly, it’ll directly impact peoples’ experience. Putting together an event, expo, seminar, or other gathering starts with conference center space planning. The ability to floor plan and coordinate the floor at an event has rippling effects on how it all comes together.
There’s more to conference space planning than guaranteeing booth space or making sure attendees have a place to sit. Aside from bringing everyone together, event organizers need to create floor plans that encourage natural flow, make it easy for attendees to find what they’re looking for, and create ambiance. Good space planning makes for a great experience; poor space planning might see a lower turnout next year.
Here’s a look at how forethought in the form of conference center space planning culminates in an event that satisfies its purpose of bringing people together.
What is conference center space planning?
Regardless of the size or nature of the event, it needs orchestration. From the moment they arrive, people need to know where they are and where they’re going. The same goes for vendors and presenters. Space planning ensures everyone has their bearings. It involves a clear allocation of space, with mind to the floor plan and the flow of the event.
Space planning can take many forms. It’s the decision to locate food and drink vendors near restrooms. It’s the concept behind putting the table full of name badges at the check-in station. It’s why there’s always just enough seats for the lecture you’re attending, and it’s why every expo has a main thoroughfare right through the middle of exhibitors. Space planning goes into each of these decisions, and it affects the experience everyone has at the event.
Good space planning results in ample space for everything that’s happening. Bad space planning can leave rooms feeling cramped and congested, putting a damper on the event as a whole.
Benefits of space planning for conference centers
Space planning has ample benefits, regardless of the event. For attendees and presenters, it’s all about creating an environment that’s conducive to the experience: seeing and being seen. For hosts and organizers, it’s about keeping people engaged, happy, and comfortable throughout. Here’s a look at some of the chief benefits of good space planning for conference centers:
- Conference facilities become more accessible to presenters and guests
- Attendees have the space they need to explore the event comfortably
- Reduction in the amount of space needed to conduct operations
- The cost to organizers drops as facility efficiency lowers overhead expense
- Fewer overlaps and interruptions ensure smoother operations
- Enhanced safety, security, and privacy in well-orchestrated spaces
The biggest benefit of good space planning is a smooth-running event. Event managers will spend less time solving problems that arise as the result of poor planning and be able to devote more time to ensuring attendees and presenters have everything they need to enjoy a well-run gathering.
How does conference center space planning software help?
When it comes to space planning for events, there are numerous factors to consider. It’s important to take them all into account within the context of a floor plan. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Thankfully, conference center space planning software makes it easier.
Space planning software includes numerous tools and resources to make developing, iterating, adjusting, and analyzing floor plans simpler. It’s easy to design a master floor plan or break down an event space into multiple agile floor plans. This advanced planning becomes the foundation for more informed floor plan design, including better placement of key conference checkpoints and features.
Software also leverages broader considerations into the floor planning stage. A CAD mockup of the event center will alert you if a room is over capacity based on the number of seats or if a vendor booth layout violates fire code. These and dozens of other variables are instrumental in space planning, but might not always be top-of-mind. Software brings them to the forefront, so every decision is made in good confidence.
Finally, there’s no substitute for the efficiency of space planning software. Free-handing a floor plan or grid-lining a massive expo and its many attractions is virtually impossible. Moreover, it’s impractical—especially as event details and demands change. Software allows event organizers to be as dynamic as they need to be and stay agile during the key planning and iterating phases of space planning.
Space planning sets the tone for conferences
No one wants to attend an event where they’re packed in like sardines, with no way of knowing where they’re going. Instead, they want space to rub shoulders and take in the event. Space planning is the key to creating an event people enjoy their time at—one that meets their expectations and caters to their interest as an attendee or exhibitor.
From small seminars to massive expos, every conference starts with space planning. Whether it’s exhibition booths, pedestrian thoroughfares, seats and stages for speakers, or some other type of environment, every conference needs the right space to create the right experience.
Keep reading: Conference Center Space Utilization Software Benefits