Planners, you can’t base site selection on any one thing – or any three things – not in today’s marketplace. So, if a resort or urban hotel has caught your eye for your next corporate event, you want it to be accessible, desirable, and have just the right number of guest rooms and meeting rooms for your size group. After that, consider the following pointers below. It might all sound like Meetings 101 but, sometimes, things just must be restated. As one planner recently commented to me, the company’s goals and budget considerations often run neck-in-neck as key factors in site selection, but it’s a changing world. So, here are 7 Tips before signing any upcoming contract that has proven to be timeless:
- Purpose of the Event: Is it an annual pow-wow to address wins and losses for the year, is it regarding a new product launch, or is it part of an incentive travel program? The more serious the event, the more planners should select the more hi-tech properties. In the case of a successful incentive program, the more vacation-oriented, family-style resorts should be selected, and so on.
- Age Demographic of the Group: Is the group mostly 20-30 years of age, 40-50 years of age, or 60-70 years of age? Wherever the arrow falls on that score is where the meeting planner concentrates his or her efforts to engage, educate, and even entertain the group, with other considerations on the sidelines to suit all interests and preferred tastes.
- Cost Effectiveness: Are all players at the property flexible in their thinking and willing to bargain to some extent to meet your budget considerations for the event. In other words, are they helpful in finding solutions rather than presenting problems. Remember, flexibility is always a good sign of sportsmanship and professionalism.
- Catering Department: All age groups love a good meal, especially after a long day in the conference room. Are catering options imaginative, nutritious, farm-to-table, or unique in any way? And, how flexible and resourceful are menus for diet-restrictive attendees?
- Comfort & Style: Most meeting planners want attendees to feel special, appreciated, and rewarded by their companies; so, the more comfortable, stylish, and impressive the surroundings, the more successful the event will be at achieving the more practical side of the event.
- Post-Meeting Vacay Suitability: Is the property willing to work out an affordable, maybe even family-friendly, vacation plan for those attendees who wish to stay on a few days, perhaps tack on some vacation days, or stay for the following weekend. That’s a big plus for groups and the company.
- State-of-the-Art Technology: Does the property offer the very latest technological equipment and the staff to support it in order to complement corporate presentations and guarantee that there will be no downtime at the event?
If you have your own checklist on property selection, or case studies to share, please forward it to me at [email protected]. We’d like to hear from you.