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Hotel Venue Selection

By: Jeanna André-Murdie

2017 is a year of celebrating Canada’s 150th. Recently our fair nation was listed as the number one place to visit. Most major cities will be chock full of guests from around the world. It’s exciting…and challenging.

Consider this. Your Board has decided that they would like to book their annual conference in the most popular city in the country. They’re not alone. Every other association’s Board along with all the other conferences in the country want to do the same. Now you’re facing working in a city with hotels that are a hot commodity. What’s the best you can do for your money?

  1. HISTORY– Before you start, gather all your past conference knowledge. Think about what worked and what didn’t. Take the best parts of each conference then build on it; from there you’ll know what you really need. Rely on your experiences to get what you want.
  2. SHOW THEM THE MONEY– Hotels receive multiple Requests for Proposals (RFPs) every single day. By pre-planning with us, we’ll help your request stand out. Know the value of the business that you are bringing to the table. Be realistic with what you ask for. For example, is it a board meeting for 20 delegates, or a multiple day conference for 1500 attendees. There’s a lot in between to negotiate. The more complete the request you deliver will mean a better response and details for your event.
  3. PICK the small guy – When things are hopping in the big city, maybe this is the year to consider another city that really needs the business. While it is always great to be where the action is, but that is also a pricey perk. Take a moment to think outside of the box, and it will make a difference to your enjoyment and your bottom line.
  4. CHANGE it up – Do you normally hold your conference in May or September? Do you usually plan for the highly-valued Tuesday – Thursday pattern? Consider changing things up. This flexibility will be an advantage when you deal with your venue. Ask your venue choice about times that they need heads in beds and bottoms on seats. If you can adjust your calendar and help fill in an empty spot, you’ll likely be able to deal up better options for your event and the delegates.
  5. GO to who you know – Did you have a memorable and good experience at one venue two years ago? We’ve got records and deep industry insight that can make a difference for you. We can help you to leverage your relationship and ask for a referral to a sister property. Many times, it’s all in who you know that can make your world go around.
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