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Written by: Jeanna André-Murdie

We have a wide variety of clients who we are fortunate to work with at The Howes Group. Each conference has its own unique requirements that require specific set ups and ways of executing its end objective. We often must bridge the gap by giving the client their vision but doing it within the framework of the hotel.

Here are my top 5 tips on translating your vision to action in the hotel:

  1. SET-UPS – You have a set up needed for your event and you’ve labelled it “U” Shape. In a hotel that means 6 tables set in a big U. However, what the client needed was 12 chairs in a U shape with no tables. Ensure that your set up requirements are expressed in standard Hotel formations. If not, state clearly what you need in the room. TIP: Diagrams or photos can save you any confusion.
  2. GUESTROOMS – An AGM is planned; the meeting is 4 days and starts on a Tuesday. Often the confusion can be the meeting days vs check-in and check-out days. The definition of “double” can mean, two beds, or two people one bed, or two twin beds in Europe. In the hotel, this is an important distinction! TIP: Be very specific on how many rooms on each night, WHICH nights you need and what kind of rooms you want.
  3. BILLING – A major area which so easily gets misinterpreted: direct billing, on the master account, attendees pay for guestrooms, only this group is guaranteed. Ensure that the venue knows day-to-day exactly WHAT you are paying for and HOW. TIP: Ask for a daily folio for the totals while onsite, this allows you to catch anything before it’s too late.
  4. CATERING – Ensure you know what you have ordered or need to have for catering each day. An unclear policy at a hotel can be items billed “On consumption”. It can be in the Banquet Event order, but the price is not. Ensure you know the bottom line of your catering order. TIP: All-day meeting packages are a great way to avoid “A La Carte” prices depending on your group size.
  5. EXTRAS – There are so many little things that, if left for interpretation, can add sticker shock or miss key pieces in your event. Be honest with the hotel with what you are doing, even if you think it should be “understood”. For example, if you require two registration tables and have a loud presentation, make sure to be clear with the hotel about this. TIP: Keep in mind that in a hotel the information travels through at least 4 different departments for execution. The clearer you can make your needs, the less “translation” will be needed.
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