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Site Inspections Pave the Way for Successful Meetings

July 27, 2017

Selecting a meeting destination and hotel property are important decisions. The destination can set the stage for your entire meeting, likewise a responsive and accommodating hotel can help ensure a stress-free experience. Several factors come into play when choosing the right location for your group meeting.  A thorough and well-planned site inspection can pave the way for successful meetings by addressing key details and preferences. To help meeting planners maximize their time during the site visit, we’ve outlined the following points:

Successful meetings begin with detailed site inspections

Program History

Having data on past programs, including what worked and what didn’t and why will help streamline the site visit and RFP process. Understanding your groups preferences with regard to rooms, meeting requirements and off-site events will help your destination partner develop an efficient site itinerary.  Hotels will look at a group’s track record, including the number of rooms booked and space utilized in order to determine if they can confidently block space for your meeting. Knowing your program’s past history will build credibility with hotel properties and can help with rate negotiations.

Meeting Requirements

What are the absolute necessities? What is the budget? Which items, if any, are negotiable and which are not? Will the group stay primarily on property or will they need an off-site venue. Will they need several breakout rooms or one large space?  Will attendees be driving in or will you need a destination that is easily accessible from national as well as international cities?

Hotel Infastructure

Is the hotel in close proximity to the airport? Can it accommodate group size? How important is it to have VIP suites? Will you be the only group in-house over the requested dates? Is it close to group friendly restuarants, shopping and activities?    Newport Beach, CA is fortunate in that it has several hotel properties within walking distance to fantastic restuarants, shopping and nearby group activities.

Plan Ahead

Ask for the itinerary and review it with your destination partner prior to arriving on-site. Better to make certain all bases are covered ahead of time so everyone can plan accordingly.

Productive site inspections begin with a strong destination partner

The Big Picture

Share pertinent attendee details with your destination partner. Information such as the group’s likes and dislikes, activity level and food preferences will help determine which items are worth keeping on the itinerary. The goal though, is to get beyond the plain facts.  Get descriptive and paint a picture of your group’s overall personality. How do they interact with one another?  Are they an active group? Are they highly social? What would they enjoy doing?  What would they shy away from? Attempting to experience the destination from the attendees persepective can lead to a sensational meeting. Take a moment to walk through the day as your attendees would and view the destination through their eyes.

Destination Appeal
Choosing the ideal space for your particular group hinges on several points, topping the list are typically cost, logistics and infrastructure. When conducting research on a destination start by involving the local DMO, also known as the CVB. As the local experts,  DMO’s work with the planner to determine program needs and can help narrow the field based on those requirements.

In the end however, a destination’s appeal can trump all other factors provided the budget remains intact. In Newport Beach, CA we’ve had groups who were adamant about holding their entire conference on-site, yet when given the option to hold a portion at a waterfront venue, in a historic theater or even aboard a private yacht, the unique meeting space quickly became the sweet spot that held the most appeal. This type of thinking outside the box is a strong skill of a DMO and can go a long way in developing a successful meeting.

When you’re ready to begin organizing your next group meeting, contact the staff at Visit Newport Beach, the destination marketing organization for Newport Beach, CA. Visit Newport Beach opens the doors to this Pacific paradise with destination expertise, customized site visits, strong partnerships with valuable resources.

Written by Visit Newport Beach Meetings

As a not-for-profit Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), Visit Newport Beach provides destination expertise, customized site visits, strong partnerships and resources tailored specifically to the needs of meeting planners and their clients.

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