Four steps to the ideal function room

The Lalit Ashok

Are you looking for an off-site function room to run your next company event?

Off-site company meetings are exploding in popularity across Asia as they offer several advantages over in-house meetings.

Organizing a key event for your team – such brainstorming sessions, strategic planning or training – at an external venue, often leads to more productive meeting productivity as people have fewer disturbances coming from the daily office environment.

The irony of today’s virtual working environment, is that team members are increasingly working in isolation from the road or home despite open-spaces. Off-site meetings are important events for building camaraderie and sustaining collaboration.

This trend may have company financial controllers concerned but, in-house event organizers are increasingly relying on online booking platforms to easily source the best venues at very affordable rates.

Where to start when you need to source and setup a function room in a city you are not familiar with? It’s a key profile meeting and you know that choosing the right venue will ensure success both in terms of output and your budget targets. You are ready to start contacting the top hotels in – all 50 of them – but you realize they all have different request for proposal forms. Even the most organized of people would struggle to complete this task in a reasonable amount of time!


1. Transportation to location

When deciding on the location of a venue/hotel it is important to consider the nature of the event and your company culture. If you are flexible on location, there are some fantastic cities from why to choose from across Asia but keep in mind that an event organized held in Shanghai will have a very different feel to a meeting hosted in Bali or Auckland. The choice of function room location should reflect the requirements and encourage the end goals of any event.


Tip: Want to get a quick overview of the multitude of options across Asia? Check out the location pages where you can get key information on leading venues in the favorite Asian cities for meetings such as HanoiManila, or Penang. Venue experts have done in-depth reviews of the top venues – you can even narrow down your search to a specific neighborhood!


Location, location, location. Do you want to organize your event in the city center near local attractions as delegates will have downtime and want to experience the city? A lot of cities have different districts such as business, historical or entertainment each with their own feel and prices. If you are looking for central Tokyo expect the pricing to reflect the popularity of this choice. Would your delegates value the accessibility of airports and main transportation hubs? Depending on the nature of the event, sometimes efficient access to the venue and not having too many distractions nearby can have a positive impact on productivity.


Tip: Each venue displays the distance to the nearest train station. Moreover, you can filter search venues right down the nearest transportation hub with! In transportation field to the left of the venue results page, simply type the name of the airport/station next to where you want to host your event – your results will display only nearby venues! 


2. Meeting Room Requirements

No two meetings are identical, so by considering the event style and the necessary level of interaction between speaker and attendees selecting a function room layout that will lead to a successful meeting is essential. As with all things, there are pros and cons to each setup!


The Lalit Ashok

The Lalit Ashok



This is a great layout for a C-level meeting or an interview, providing a large elongated table with chairs on both sides and has attendees facing one another. This function room setup really encourages interaction and participation between everyone so is great for discussing opinions and ideas.




Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa

Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa



This function room layout is an often preferred layout for smaller events around 20 delegates that need a fair amount of interaction and to include a presentation, trainer or speaker. In this setup, chairs are set-up in an open-ended ‘U’ shape with the delegates facing each to increase delegate interaction rather than use of space.



Conrad Bangkok

Conrad Bangkok



The most informal of all function room set-ups, the cocktail layout maximises all the available floor space. Providing a few high tables around the room as temporary gathering points but no chairs to form immobile groups, this setup is the preferred setup for an event that involves a lot of networking and interaction.



Sangam Hotel, Trichy

Sangam Hotel, Trichy



This is the ideal function room layout for a Christmas dinner or a gala dinner. Delegates are seated around the circumference of a roundtable, this is a great set-up to encourage interaction and networking in smaller groups. The table set-up means that attendees are able to have food and beverages in front of them, as well as having space for note-taking.




Stamford Grand Adelaide

Stamford Grand Adelaide


With rows of seats laid out facing the front towards the stage, this is a popular function room setup for roadshows, product launches, conferences, and seminars. The Theatre setup is considered the preferred setup for a large number of delegates as it will make use of the entire room capacity and focus attention towards the screen or speaker.




Diamond Hotel Philippines

Diamond Hotel Philippines



With rows of seats laid out facing in the same direction and including long desks in front of each row of delegates, this variation of the Theatre setup is preferred for mid-sized training or seminars. Meeting participants can easily take notes from the speaker or screen on paper are a laptop.




3. Venue Facilities

It is surprisingly easy to shorten long list of potential venues when considering the facilities required for your event. Are you organizing an event for a brand that is responsible? You should consider organizing your event at a green venue where the impact of meetings on the environment is minimized? Should the venue provide a spa, pool, gym or specific sporting facilities such as tennis courts or a golf course? Do you want to spoil your delegates with beach options or casino facilities? Keep in mind your budget and to have realistic expectations – Don’t expect 5-star facilities with a 1-star budget!


Tip: You can filter search venues right down to specific facilities! In Facilities field to the left of the venue results page, simply select the facilities required for your event – your results filter out venues not offering these facilities!

4. Additional Requirements

You need to consider what type of specific audio/visual equipment you may need. A lot of hotels have on-site AV technicians and most can also outsource this as well. Do you require signage/registration desks? Will the hotel allow you to put signage/branding in public areas?  If you require several function rooms, do they need to be on the same floor? Are you planning to provide food and beverage? Remember you need space to serve this if outside the normal meeting room.


Don’t be shy…Ask for Help!

Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance or advice. There are so many great online resources, such The Event Manager Blog or Techsytalk. Connect with the thought leaders in the space, fellow planners, and discover some of the best events ideas. allow bookers to find and book function rooms to meet at locations across Asia. We have a great team of Venue Experts with local knowledge. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you are planning a small team meeting or a large company event.

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