Site Selection Strategies
Determining the best location for your event can be a challenging experience. There are many factors to consider when going through the selection process, not to mention the impact it has on the overall success of your event. Fortunately, you don't have to go at it alone, a professional event planner can assist you with this sometimes daunting task.
Here are some factors that you should consider prior to the site selection process:
- What are the goals and objectives of the event?
- What is the budget?
- Who is your target audience?
- How many guests/attendees are you expecting?
- How much space will you require?
- What is the history of the event or is it a first-of-its-kind?
Once these questions have been answered, the location (city, state, etc) and the type of venue (hotel, convention center, non-traditional, etc) that would best accommodate your group can be considered. You should evaluate things such as weather, economic status, holidays, safety, transportation, parking, personnel, accommodations, conflicting events and much more when going through the selection process. It can be quite time consuming to do, however, it will help guide you through the event planning journey.
Once you have determined specific locations and venues that might be suitable for your event, you'll begin the request for proposal (RFP) process. This requires obtaining as much information as you can about the cities and venues that you're evaluating. Some venues have prewritten documents they will share with you but it is helpful to provide them with your own information specific to your event. Set a deadline to receive the information and thoroughly review it upon receipt. Remember to thank the venues that aren't selected. You may need to contact them in the future for other events.
After reviewing your RFPs and making your final section, the process of contract negotiation begins. This too can be a very time consuming and confusing process but it is imperative that you become familiar with every line item that is included in your contractual agreements. Remember to get everything in writing and never be afraid to admit that you're unsure of what something means. Often times, you will find that the contract isn't drafted in easily understood terms and it is perfectly acceptable to have it re-drafted. Ask questions, review thoroughly and again, have it in clearly stated writing.
It is impossible to overstate the importance of a conference or special event site, or venue. The actual facilities, the ambiance, and most importantly, the personnel all contribute to the event's success or failure. While it may seem like a simple task, researching, selecting and contracting the most effective site for your group can be very difficult and requires a lot of time and attention to detail. This is all the more reason to hire a professional to do the best job possible, to alleviate stress and to anticipate everything your group needs to know when selecting the perfect site for your event.