By Devon Maresco
Conference centers exist to bring people together in meaningful and productive ways. Whether it’s a massive expo that draws thousands or a smaller venue devoted to educational seminars, conferences succeed when facilities support the intention of the event. It all boils down to conference center space utilization. Is there enough room for presenters and attendees to come together?
There’s significant planning that goes into setting up a conference—including floor plans for exhibitors and structure for the general flow of the event. This planning takes place atop a floor plan, to ensure there’s enough space available for everything the conference needs to accommodate. It’s vital for event organizers to ensure the effective use of available space, to best-support everyone attending.
Good space utilization directly correlates to a successful event. But what constitutes appropriate conference center space utilization? Here’s a look at what it means to use exhibition space effectively.
What is conference center space utilization?
Space utilization in the context of a conference center involves allocating the correct amount of space, in the right location, for the right purpose. Often, this depends on the most important factors for event organizers. For example, how much space does a premium event attendee get vs. a normal one? Where’s the best place to host a 150-person seminar at an event? What’s the best way to approach atrium layout, to set a foundation for wayfinding at the event?
Space utilization is all about making the most of space—even at a large event. While it might seem like there’s ample space to welcome attendees, host breakout sessions, set up exhibitors, and funnel traffic, good space utilization will ensure this all happens in a comfortable, cost-efficient, well-coordinated way. Using space efficiently sets the tone for the event’s experience, and can be the difference between an event that feels cramped or confusing and one that’s welcoming and navigable.
The benefits of space utilization for conference center
Good space utilization puts event organizers in control of the flow and tone of the conference. Thoughtful allocation of people, attractions, events, and more ensures there’s space enough for everyone to enjoy the event in whatever capacity they’re attending. Moreover, it ensures safety, navigability, compliance, and support from facilities. Here’s a look at some of the core benefits that accompany good space utilization at a conference center:
- More efficient use of facilities, from both cost and operations standpoints
- Better understanding of space allocation and utilization
- Purposeful allocation of space to support the needs of employees
- Context for broader facilities data such as utilization and occupancy
- Insights and opportunities to repurpose or reallocate space
- Smarter spatial layout of facilities, to streamline accessibility
How will you craft clear thoroughfares in the main expo hall? How can you make better-use of offshoot rooms for speakers and presenters? Where’s the best place to put X, Y, and Z attractions for maximum exposure? There are answers to these questions and countless others within a utilization-driven model. The core question is a much simpler one: what’s the best use of this space?
How can conference center space utilization software help?
Whether it’s an industry expo or a professional conference, there’s tremendous planning oversight that goes into an event. Conference center space utilization software is key in making sure all variables come together with efficiency. Software gives event organizers a standard to build on, and allows them to see how their floor plans and designs shake out into a thoughtful event.
For example, space utilization software can tell organizers how much square footage is in a certain space and what the occupancy for that area is. Then, through drag-and-drop planning tools, it’s possible to allocate space and see utilization rates in real time. Designate speakers to rooms that’ll accommodate their crowd or place vendors strategically throughout an expo hall to make the most of presenter opportunities and attendee experience.
Utilization software also provides measurable data for utilization, which can help inform adjustments and modifications to an event. What happens when the lecture in Room C goes from 50 attendees to 150? What happens to a floor plan when two more prestige-level vendors book the show? Utilization software provides instant insights that help event planners coordinate the event—even as it changes.
Conference success depends on space utilization
Conference presenters and attendees expect an event that accommodates them. They want to move freely and comfortably, take in their surroundings without obstruction, and interact with others in a personable setting. Proper utilization of space ensures a good experience for all in attendance, no matter what brings them to the event.
Conference center space utilization is a function of event planning. Contextualizing the event within facilities and identifying the best opportunities to create cohesion is the secret to putting on an event that keeps people coming back. Well-utilized facilities lay the groundwork for an event that happens again and again, year after year, drawing a bigger and more enthusiastic crowd every time.