Image from the back of an empty-theatre layout conference room with a stage, lectern, and chairs for a speaker panel. There are floor-to-ceiling windows behind the stage, filling the room with natural light.

Association event planning: Your guide to choosing the perfect venue

Successful association event planning is vital for member attraction and retention. Adding value to face-to-face learning and networking opportunities cannot be underestimated. 

The Trade Association Forum (TAF), the ‘Association of Associations’, helps and promotes the value UK associations provide to members and our economy. And when TAF refers to supporting communities, solving tomorrow’s challenges, and encouraging investment, they often mention building networks.

Building communities and networks is one area where events can support associations. However, success often hinges on the strategic decisions made during the event planning process, and it’s why Bien Venue’s team has seen a surge in planning face-to-face events for association clients.

One of the most significant decisions is choosing the right venue – it sets the tone for the entire membership experience. The venue can influence attendance, engagement, and overall satisfaction. 

How do you make the selection for your association meetings and events venue? In this blog, we walk you through essential steps.  

Association event planning and venue finding


When you start your association event planning, consider the event’s purpose, target audience, and desired outcomes. Whether it’s a networking event, educational conference, AGM, or training session, the goals will guide you in choosing a venue that aligns with your goals.


Understanding your audience is crucial in selecting a venue that caters to their needs and preferences. Consider factors such as demographics, interests, and geographical location. If your association has a diverse membership, choose a venue that can accommodate various preferences and requirements.


Estimate the number of attendees you expect, and choose a venue that comfortably accommodates your audience. The venue should offer flexible spaces that you can adapt to your event’s specific needs, such as breakout sessions, workshops, or panel discussions.


The venue’s location plays a vital role in attendance rates. Opt for a central location that is easily accessible by public transport and has ample parking if needed. Ensure that the venue is situated in a safe and convenient area, providing attendees with a positive and hassle-free experience.


Making sure that association events are more accessible, inclusive and equitable ensures they are more enjoyable for everyone. When selecting the venue, consider wheelchair accessibility, seating, dietary considerations, and more.

The considerations you have for the venue can crossover into your content too – we cover some of this below in ‘Technology’.

For more information, check out this fantastic Accessible Events Guide by Perkins School for the Blind.


In the digital age, technology is a critical aspect of any successful association meeting or event. Confirm that the venue is equipped with state-of-the-art audio visual (AV) facilities, high-speed internet, and any other technology requirements specific to your event. 

And if your event is hybrid, reliable internet is an absolute must for enhancing the virtual accessibility of your event platforms and content. 

We know it’s not venue-related, but prioritising accessibility and inclusive design is crucial! Make your content readable by screen readers and clear for those with cognitive disabilities. Don’t forget the captions and transcripts for videos!


Establish a realistic budget. Venues vary in pricing, and it’s essential to consider the space AND additional costs such as catering, audio visual (AV) equipment, and any theming or decoration. Negotiate with the venue to ensure you get the best value for your budget. NOTE: This is what we do! We’re excellent at it, including contracting and centralised billing. All you have to do is ask.


Researching the reputation of potential venues can be a big ask for an association’s team. However, a venue with positive feedback and a history of successful events is more likely to contribute to the success of your association’s meeting or event.

Again, venues are our area of expertise, so don’t feel like you have to spend hours doing this, we can do it for you and provide you with a selection of the most appropriate venues.

Get help

As a seasoned venue finding and event management specialist, we understand that the success of association meetings and events hinges on careful planning and strategic decisions. Choosing the right venue is a pivotal aspect that can significantly impact the overall experience. 

At Bien Venue, we’ve honed our expertise in managing an increasing number of association events, and we’re excited to share our insights to help you select the perfect venue for your next gathering.