Finding a Site to Support your Event Experience
Site selection is often among the first challenges event coordinators face when beginning the planning process. Finding a site that fits the event is a key part of its success. The site will either support or detract from your event goals and overall experience. In a social media heavy world, it's imperative your attendees have the best experience so anything they share reflects positively on the event, it's stakeholders, and you. That experience often begins at the site.
While you can find a number of sites and reviews online, there are some other factors planners should keep in mind to successfully locate an event site that sets the tone for the overall event experience.
- Know the size requirements for the event (meeting space sqft, number of rooms, etc.) and don't waste time looking at anything that doesn't meet or exceed those sizes. Consider using resources like SpeedRFP to help narrow down the options. It can save you a lot of time and effort over a broad web search, and many properties are vetted by other planners so you can be confident of their ability to handle your program.
- Research the ease of travel to/from your destination. The time of year, weather, and whether or not it is peak season can play a huge role in your attendees' overall experience. While you may not control the weather or how busy an area is, you can either select a property that seems least likely to negatively impact travel, or give your attendees all the details so they know what to expect.
- Quality of service and products offered at the site will be a direct reflection on your event. Be sure you receive the highest quality of service you expect from the very beginning. If you are not confident of the service levels before you make the decision, visit the site in person so you can assess their service firsthand.
- Price is often a driving factor of the decision making process. Be realistic with your expectations of pricing with the site. It's perfectly acceptable to negotiate your "must-have" pricing/concessions, but keep your list consistent with the size of your program and the amount of business you are bringing to the property. Do not try to entertain sites that are far outside of your price range.
- Take a look at all of the amenities a site has to offer. They will range in size and quality and you need to ensure a proper fit for your group. From restaurants to golf courses, to spas and pools, the amenities may not be your highest priority but they can still be a driving factor in your decision process.
- Be specific about your timeline. If your site does not need to be secured for several months, keep in mind others may secure the property you're interested in before you act. Communicate with your site contacts to ensure they are always aware of your intention to book, or to go with a different site.
Successfully selecting a location for your next event will be a breeze if you keep those six simple tips in mind. Comment below to tell us about your site selection experiences, and if you have any other tips you recommend!