So you have been assigned the task of arranging the company’s yearly get together. You now have the responsibility to source and manage the meeting in a city you are not familiar with… It’s a high profile meeting and you have narrowed down all the hotels that you feel might fit you needs. You are ready to start contacting all your venues …all 100 of them .. So much choice and so little time! Even the most organised of people would struggle to know where to start.
Before selecting your final short list its worth looking at a few simple steps that can make the selection process much easier for you. It will save time and will allow you to focus on the real options available to you. Having your own venue checklist in place will allow you to see the benefits almost immediately.
These top tips will make the journey easier.
This is so important. It can make or break the success of your event / meeting. When deciding on the style of venue / hotel it is important to look at the event itself. Is it training, high level executive meeting, or social networking? The venue you choose needs to reflect the requirements and encourage the end goals. For example, a 5* venue may be considered way too extravagant however a cool unique space might reflect your companies culture and could be the perfect fit!
Your Basic Requirements
It might sound very obvious but you would be surprised at what venues can be struck off the list because the basics aren’t met. Sit down and write a list of what are the most important things for your meeting. Common basics are Wi-Fi, AV, natural daylight, flexibility in room set up, onsite facilities, access to transport, onsite parking etc. Budget is very important. Whilst it is always important to get value it is also necessary to have realistic expectations. Don’t expect 5* locations and facilities with a 1* budget!
Again another key factor to take into consideration. Is it city centre, near airports and main transportation hubs? A lot of cities have different districts such as financial, historical, residential etc. They also can command different prices. If you are looking for central Paris expect the pricing to reflect the popularity of this choice. Do you require the meeting / event to be near local attractions as delegates will have down time and want to experience the city? Sometimes event planners don’t want too much distraction on the doorstep either so its an important factor to consider.
The Meeting Space
What are the meeting space requirements? Do you require a hotel or are you looking for a more unique venue that has the WOW factor? Are you planning to provide food and beverage? Remember you need space to serve this if outside the normal meeting room. Do you require signage / registration desks? Will the hotel allow you to put signage / branding in public areas? What are the restrictions in place? Is the room flexible in set up? If you require several rooms, ask yourself are they all close by.
Equipment & Audio Visual
You need to look at what type of audio/visual equipment you may need. A lot of hotels have on site AV technicians and most can also outsource this as well. You need to ensure it complements your set up. If it’s a small board meeting chances are it wont however a large event the position of the screens for presentations is key. It must complement your set up. Does the hotel allow access after hours? Some venues require space to be taken with 24 hold as it not realistic to take down staging and complex set ups and the end of every day. There is almost certainly a charge for this as hotels cannot take business over this time which is fair and to be expected.
Don’t be shy ….Ask for Help!
Don’t be afraid to ask for assistance or advice There are so many great resources available on line that can help answer your questions. Connect with fellow planners, read reviews on the venue and hotels.
www.meetingsbooker.com allow bookers to book small meetings online but also larger meetings at locations around the world. We have a great team of International Venue consultants that have local expertise across 100s of destinations. So if you are planning a small meeting or a large event please reach out to us. We would be delighted to assist !
Written by Michael Holden