Venue selection is a very important component when contemplating organizing a “Rebuilding Shattered Lives” program. Following are some factors to consider:
Location is one of the most important factors when choosing a venue. Choose a location that is accessible and convenient for your attendees. Being centrally located is critical so that participants don’t have to travel long distances to sessions. Free parking close by is an asset. As well as being close to public transportation for participants who use those means of transportation.
The meeting room should provide comfortable seating for 8-10 people (including facilitators and speakers), preferably in a circle format. The room should offer a clean, private, intimate space and provide a quiet, calming atmosphere. Air conditioning is important as well as a kitchen area for preparing tea/coffee or light snacks such as fresh fruit, pastries etc. Are washrooms close by? Is there an additional quiet area if a participant needs some, accompanied, calming, time away from the group?
- Good Quality Equipment
Facilitators and speakers may require this for their presentations as well as participants when they share memories, during the final session, celebrating their loved ones lives. Are there flip charts etc. available? It is important that the equipment is reliable and in good working order. Are there additional costs for using the AV or other equipment? Is there a technical person available in case of problems?
- Attentive Staff
This should be discussed with the venue operators during a site visit and prior to signing a contract if necessary. The venue should be clean, tidy and well kept. Is it fine to bring in your own coffee/tea and other food items? Upon arrival for each session the room should be set-up to receive the participants. If there is staff on site are they warm, friendly and welcoming? Are there responsibilities for the facilitators in terms of clean-up, turning lights off etc. at the end of each session.