Conscientious event and meeting planners go to great lengths to ensure their functions are not cookie-cutter, one-size fits-all gatherings. Instead, they are looking for ways to stage beyond-the-norm sessions–the kind worthy of standing ovations at the closing sessions.
One of the most important aspects of planning a memorable gathering is choosing the right setting. Your venue plays a big role in the success of the event, so careful consideration should be made when weighing your options.
Here, the top 5 things to look for in a potential event venue:
1) Expert and accommodating event staff: Staff can make or break an event. They can also take much of the burden off your shoulders if they are knowledgeable, efficient and easy to work with. It may be a good idea to ask for references and see how other groups rate the staff.
2) Flexibility in scheduling: If your group is flexible with dates, you may be able to take advantage of specials, or the property may be able to offer you a better rate to fill available dates.
3) On-site activities or amenities: Activities are important for team-building exercises, group outings or just general downtime for attendees. Consider a place that offers a way for attendees to embellish their agendas with fun activities that are unique to the area. For example, Asilomar offers everything from whale-watching and beach strolls to winery visits and golfing.
4) WiFi/Internet connectivity: Unless it’s a retreat to unplug and unwind, companies should ask about Wi Fi or Internet access and cellphone service. Some properties may not get great reception or even offer WiFi.
5) AV and lighting capabilities: Investigate a property’s audiovisual capabilities. Make sure they can accommodate your needs, whether it’s for a simple slideshow or an elaborate production, concert or other large event.