Meeting planners have plenty of decisions to make when selecting the ideal destination for their group. Not only are hotel and function space important but accessibility, group options, ease of transfers and of course budget also top the list. Yet each element becomes much easier to address when a destination that can fulfill most, if not all of your requirements is selected. But finding that perfect destination can be a major undertaking. To help streamline the process we’ve complied eight key questions that will help weed through your options, enabling you to quickly land the right location for your meeting.
- What is the primary objective of your meeting? Will it be important to find a destination that’s synonymous with relaxation and rejuvenation? Are looking for an upbeat, high energy, urban environment? Or a combination of the two? Does your group need time for bonding with plenty of activity options? Are dine-arounds on your list of must haves, do you need culturally submersive experiences? Or will you be staying primarily on-property?
- How much emphasis do you place on accessibility? How far is your group willing to transfer from the initial airport arrival to any planned off-property events, activities or experiences?
- Are the destination’s hotel properties appropriate for your group? How much function space is available? Are there any unique space options, if so do they meet your criteria? Are they easily accessible?
- What is the overall destination appeal? Is it location, weather, culture, and/or history? Will you be able to incorporate the destination’s vibe into your meetings or events? A destination’s appeal can overshadow all other factors. We’ve worked with groups that were adamant about holding their entire conference on-site, yet when given the option to hold a portion at a local historical site or aboard a luxury yacht, the unique meeting space quickly became the sweet spot that held the most appeal. Thinking outside the box is often a strong point of the local DMO, which can provide options to help create a remarkable meeting.
- Are there plenty of activity options for your group? Are they the types of activities your group would want to partake in or will you have to create things for them to do? Is there an activity that is unique to the destination or that is a must do. Are there a wide variety of restaurants to choose from? Can you easily plan a dine-around, a progressive dinner or are there restaurants capable of handling your entire group? Is the destination simple to get around? Can guests easily explore the area?
- Will you need an off-site venue? Are there several nearby options? Are they indicative of the destination? Will the off-site venues allow your hotel to cater? Are there any noise restrictions?
- How important is it to have a green city and green hotel properties? Does your company stress eco-friendly meetings? Is it important to work with properties and destinations that have sustainability measures in place? Knowing which cities and resorts are environmentally conscious and can back that conservation with green initiatives will certainly help narrow the field.
- Does the city have a knowledgeable and helpful DMO or CVB? Will their sales team work with you to simplify the site selection process? Will they develop a thorough site inspection based on your needs not on their sales goals? When you speak, are they listening?
Navigating your way through a sea of destinations can be extremely overwhelming, yet narrowing the field by asking specific questions will go a long way in simplifying the process. Likewise, involving a destination’s DMO or CVB will quickly alleviate some of the stress. As the local area experts, DMO’s have the knowledge that will help determine the best fit for your group.