When it comes to managing large conferences and programs, the egress component is of great importance to host hotel properties. Imagine large groups breaking from a general session for lunch on their own, a group of incentive travelers descending from their hotel rooms all at the once for meal functions, or a mass arrival from the convention center to the hotel for upwards of 45 simultaneous affiliate receptions. All of these situations represent opportunities for the hotel to be well-prepared for this egress by staffing accordingly and managing other groups within to avoid conflict or overlap.
The word "large" is relative to each hotel. For a hotel with 800 rooms and 75,000 square feet of meeting space, a 20-person egress expectation will not be particularly impactful to the operation. A group of at least 100 and up is another story.
Consider your host hotel property and share as much of the meeting agenda as possible with Conference Services Manager. Arrival and departure manifests, offsite activities and transportation schedules, break times and affiliate volume are all of utmost importance to the hotel. With this information the hotel is able to set you up for success with regard to luggage handling, directional assistance, front drive and parking garage staffing and outlet staffing. For example, imagine the lines you'd have at the lobby coffee shop or the restaurant's hostess stand without proper notifications that 500 guests are on their own for breakfast and lunch!
How do you manage your masses??
Photo: Library of Congress via Flickr