Planning Your Professional Meeting
Monday morning always seems to be the dreaded day of the week especially after you have enjoyed the weekend with family and friends, the start to a routine is not always inviting. Tasks left over from the prior week are generally the priority that needs to be attended to first. Unfortunately, the one you expected to be the easiest turns out to be the most challenging especially if you have been asked to find a meeting room that is available for the date you need, affordable, within a budget and clean.
Many times, this daunting task is the final check off on the list. For a first time meeting planner, it would be reasonable to think that this would be the easiest step of planning a meeting. Unfortunately, this is actually the most difficult one to accomplish, unless you have an open ended budget with no limitations.
Here Is a Simple Checklist Key to Securing a Meeting Room.
Location – Centralize your location when it would be most convenient to attendees. If they are traveling, ensure the meeting location is easily located off of the highway. Just because it is minutes off of the highway, does not mean it will be easy to find.
Dates – Secure your date immediately. In many cases, date availability is the leading cause for spending hours securing your location and rescheduling. If possible, have at least two alternate dates.
Rates – Determine if the rates will work within your budget. Some venues charge flat rates or there are also hourly, half and full day rates. In larger venues, the cost includes staff time and pre meeting preparation that you may or may not need. Also, you will find many restaurants offer a free room or even a low cost room, however, inquire about a minimum food purchase, number of people required and plan on multiple interruptions by servers.
Attendees – Find out the maximum number of people the room will allow. If you are planning for a larger number of attendees, overestimate your room size. The more people in attendance, the warmer the room becomes.
Privacy – Your clients deserve your attention and interruptions from staff, outside events, slider doors do not protect your valuable information.
Display – Consider your display size. Your display presentation can significantly cut the number of attendees by approximately 10 or more, depending on table styles and fire code regulations.
Amenities – Find out what is included and if there are extra costs associated in the event you forget to bring something. Ask if they have password protected wi-fi, coffee and tea, presentation stands, tablecloths, technological equipment, cost of additional copies, video conferencing capabilities, etc. The less they provide, the more you will need to bring to the meeting.
Catering/Meals – Many places do not allow for outside food to be brought in. If they have to provide food onsite, ask the cost per person for food and what the menu includes.
Overnight Accommodations – If you are reserving a room, ask if there a free or discounted cost for using an onsite conference room.
Double Bookings – Confirm the policy on bookings. You want to ensure the room you reserved will be the room you will be using.
Cancellation Policy – Ask if they have a policy regarding cancellations and what the cost penalty is, especially in inclement weather, emergencies, etc.
Pre-Visit. If you have the opportunity to visit your meeting venue, do it. Photographs do not reveal odors, noises and distractions.
There are dozens of meeting locations available for events, but securing one to maximize your budget and expectations can be challenging. In some instances, the cost of a room can sometimes be more than the profit on the secure business. When planning a meeting, it is best to call a professional venue that specializes in meeting and training services.
Be sure to eliminate all of the obstacles in securing a venue, and more importantly, be honored as a professional entrepreneur or corporate executive. Whether you are seeking a conference room, meeting room, training event or an open house, be confident that you will not surprised with the unexpected when you choose A.D.S.
Alayna Stiffler with A.D.S. Meeting & Training Center understands what entrepreneurs, whether home-based, small office, direct sales professionals and corporate managers are seeking in their meeting venues.