Nothing makes for a more productive planning visit than doing your homework in advance. To help you prepare for your next one, I've listed out seven key areas of preparation that are sure to put you ahead in the planning game. Not only will this save you time, it will maximize your information stream and impress your partnered venue with the efficiency it enables.
- Request a specific time slot. Scheduling an allotment of time with your venue point of contact or Conference Service Manager that is adequate to fit your needs will ensure you're accomplish all your goals during your visit. Schedule a visit from, for example, 1:00 PM-2:00 PM rather than just 1:00. Seemingly unnecessary, what if your point of contact has a 1:30 appointment? This would limit your time together.
- Bring a copy of your contract. You may need to refer to the contracting terms and conditions during your site. Having it available for a quick-reference will help avoid any follow-up delays.
- Request to see all room categories that you have contracted. If you don't, they might be prepared to show you only what is available at the time of your visit.
- Stay at least one night in the hotel to experience what your guests will experience. If you have the time and means to do so, this is a great way to see the hotel from the guest's perspective. Depending on availability, your Event Manager might be able to accommodate a reduced room rate.
- Prepare a list of questions. Check them off as they are answered, and follow up on any items that couldn't be answered on-site. Having everything inside your head seems so easy, but taking notes and making lists will keep you organized.
- Requests diagrams in advance. If you have an idea of what your room sets will be, sometimes it's wise to ask for diagrams in advance so you can better visualize the set in person.
- Build relationships and friendships. The venue is your partner, and a positive working relationship will go a long way; especially when you need a favor.
To learn more, read Know What You Booked Before It's Cooked and Stealth Site Survey: 5 Ways to Preview Hotel Venues.