Meeting planners know all too well the importance of manning even the tiniest of details. Sometimes, it’s easier to rely on trusted relationships and what’s familiar by booking the same meeting venue year after year. But, finding a new venue can be easy if you ask all the right questions. When it comes to evaluating a new meeting venue or site to host an annual conference or corporate event, here’s how to test a good site from a basic one.
Questions to consider about a potential meeting venue:
- What are the meeting venue’s top qualities?
- Is it located in an urban environment, a unique environment, or in a centralized location?
- Does the conference center boast any amenities, such a spectacular view or some type of sporting activity?
- What is the parking situation?
- Is it close to a tourist attraction?
- Is the conference center known for anything in particular?
- Are there any activities that the hotel is famous for?
- Are there any area events that are going on around the same time as the planned event?
- Does the venue meet your technology specifications?
Since many of today’s meetings involve multiple uses: email, social media, downloads and more, meeting planners are having to delve into speed, capacity and bandwidth issues.
Free wireless connectivity is relevant only if it has the capacity to fulfill the technology specifications of your conference. Kristi Casey Sanders of Plan your Meetings recommends the Ookla Speedtest to test network performance.
In Georgia, off of the Atlantic Ocean, St. Simons Island is an idyllic place for conferences and annual meetings. With its dependable temperatures, golf opportunities, historical roots and a slew of other outdoor activities and restaurants, the meeting venue favors plenty of things to do and see without making it too overwhelming for meeting planners to coordinate.
On St. Simons Island, The King and Prince is proud of the award-winning meeting spaces available on the property. Plus, the assortment of accommodations appeals to attendants, who might have varying budgets and lodging requirements.
While the location of a meeting venue influences its convenience, transportation and parking are just as important. In New York, conference attendants may find flying in town convenient but cab fares, and the cost of parking and other transportation inconveniences are not always the best place to host conferences.
Consider cities where parking costs are economical. Also, consider meeting venues and hotels where parking costs are reasonably priced, making it convenient for meeting attendants. Don’t forget to evaluate the distance from the airport to the meeting venue.
As with planning any conference or meeting, rates influence the budget. When reviewing pricing, ask for a comparison of the venue’s packages vs. à la carte rates. Refer to this example of a meeting planning package.