Choosing a Meeting Site Key Factors
There are many important factors in choosing a meeting site. First, you should narrow down what is important to you:
- Quality of Service?
- Amenities offered, such as spas, golf courses, and other hotel services.
- Will you need sleeping rooms?
- Will you be providing transportation to and from the event for your attendees, or would it be better for them to be housed on-site?Your answers will vary from meeting to meeting and group to group. For instance, the requirements for planning a retreat for your company’s top executives are going to be different than the sales department’s annual holiday party.
First Things First
Obviously, the first thing you need to do is decide what city the meeting will be held. From there, consider the logistics of the meeting listed above, and then think about what type of property you are looking for.
Types of Properties to Consider:
Hotels (locations can vary – airport, downtown, suburban) Hotel –Resort
Conference and convention centers
Local meeting halls
Other Requirements When Choosing a Meeting Site
When choosing a meeting site, it is important to consider what exactly you will require for your event space. Again, your needs are going to change from event to event. Some things to consider for your meeting space are:
- Flexibility of use of the meeting space – can you put a 24-hour hold on the space and use it at your leisure, and what will the charge (if any) be
- Will you have access to heating and air conditioning controls
- Sound system availability and options
- Restroom and telephone access from the meeting space
- Does the meeting space have high-speed internet
- What is the charge for meeting equipment, such as microphones, overhead projectors, flip charts, etc,.
- Will the hotel be able to provide enough chairs, tables, water pitchers, drinking glasses, etc. for your meeting
- What is the access to restaurants on the property or in the immediate area and can they cater to your size group
Once you have narrowed down where your meeting will be taking place, what type of meeting space you are looking for, and if the property can meet your needs in the meeting space itself, it is time to think about the price.
There will obviously be charges for the meeting rooms, the meeting space, the food and beverage service, and the audio-visual requirements of the meeting.
There may also be some hidden costs for you to explore before you consider booking the property.
- Find out the taxes on food and beverage?
- Are the gratuity charges or service charges for food and beverage services, and are these taxed?
- What are the charges for high-speed internet in the meeting space, if available?
- Does the venue charge for bringing in outside vendors, or vendors who aren’t on the property’s approved list, if necessary?
- What are the charges for meeting room setup, and does the property charge extra for setup changes during the meeting or last-minute adjustments?
- Are there any energy fees or resort charges?
- Is there adequate parking available, and if so, is there a charge?
Extra Meeting Site Considerations
There are also other options for you to consider when choosing a property:
- Does the property have a business center for last-minute copies, email access, and presentation tools? Or is there one located nearby, and what are the hours and the extent of their services?
- Will your attendees have scheduled downtime from the meeting? If so, what is there to do on or near the property?
Will this downtime have scheduled events, such as a golf tournament or city tour? Getting answers and information on all of the above will help you plan a successful meeting, with no surprises or errors.
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