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Written by: Desmond Lomas, CMP.

As meeting professionals, we are sometimes faced with an availability crunch which drives us to book venues that would not be the first choice for our groups. Here’s how to make the best of it:

  1. Column(s) in the meeting space? Your venue should know how to set up the space so that your group will have clear lines of sight. Make the column look like an asset by wrapping it with advertising to become a revenue source. Then consider the underutilized space around the columns as the location for F&B.
  2. You need space with natural light for the board meeting, but you are unable to find a venue that has this feature. Consider alternate space outside a hotel. Use a convention centre, local museums or art galleries.  If the board meeting needs to be in the hotel and your meeting room has no natural light, negotiate to have the meals served in the hotel restaurant where there may be natural light. This gives participants a chance to recharge.
  3. Your attendees love their workouts, but the hotel fitness centre is too small? Negotiate access for your attendees at the nearest fitness facility to the hotel.
  4. The hotel restaurant is closed for dinner? This is not an issue for every group but minimize complaints by informing attendees in advance and providing a list of recommended restaurants within walking distance of the hotel.
  5. The hotel is a distance from downtown? Find out if the hotel has a downtown shuttle and inform your attendees about it. If the hotel doesn’t offer a shuttle, negotiate your own transportation and organize at least one night out with a dinner off-site. This allows your guests to leave the destination with a taste of the downtown culinary and cultural scenes.

Want to share your perspective? Get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.

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