Your organization has decided to hold an off-site meeting and you are in charge. Whether it is a local meeting in a hotel or a large convention several hundred miles away, you still need to vet the location and make certain the venue will work, especially for your meeting participants.
But where do you start? Here is a quick listing of the things to keep in mind when selecting a destination and meeting space.
EVENT PLANNER CHECKLIST
- Take a hard look at the location.
If you are holding your meeting in a new location, you need to know the following:
How far are the restaurants, attractions and parking structures from the meeting space?
Will your attendees be flying, driving or using public transportation to get to your meeting?
Will they have a car or not?
If not, how prevalent are taxis and other forms of public transportation?
Is the city walkable and safe?
- Is security provided by the venue?
Not only do you want your attendees to be and feel safe, but you want to make certain your equipment will be stored without worry.
Ask that the venue foot this bill, rather than your company or association. After all, if they want you as a returning client, they need to make you and your attendees feel safe.
- Find out about union rules, in-house providers and other ancillary charges.
The last thing you want to find out on the day of your event move-in, is that only venue union workers can move your items. Or that even though you are renting audio visual equipment from an outside vendor, the contract you signed states you must use the in-house provider. Or you didn't know you were going to be charged for electricity and double service charges.
Whatever the expense, you don't want to incur it. Read and re-read your contract. When you have any questions, ask the vendor. If it is still unclear, take your contract to your attorney to red line.
Remember: Everything is negotiable until you sign the contract.
- How easy is it for cars, rental trucks and people to get in and out of the facility?
If it is difficult to get in and around the venue, attendees will be put off by the location. Conversely, if the location has limited truck bays and all the trade show exhibitors show up at once, this can be a big problem. Anticipate your bottlenecks and devise a plan around them – such as having specific timeslots for each exhibitor.
- What technology does the facility offer?
Will there be enough bandwidth to serve your attendees? To understand more about how to measure bandwidth, check out this 6-part series on connectivity, through SSR's sister company CRE Computer Rentals.
Will there be Wi-Fi everywhere, including the trade show floor and outside? Wi-Fi network arrays are available to rent to compensate for dead zones and allow consistently fast, robust Internet access. In addition, you probably don't want booth operators to bring their own MiFi, as those radio signals can interfere with the main network.
Did you see digital signage and LED display rentals included in your visit? Both of these technologies help the meeting become more energy efficient and remain green.
Are you renting Charging Stations where attendees can take 7-10 minutes to recharge their smartphone and tablet?
Contact SmartSource Rentals – They offer Wi-Fi network arrays and the technical expertise to walk you through the best solution for your meeting. Give them a call today and check out their Wi-Fi tips on Facebook!