1) LOCATION & ACCESSIBILITY "Location, Location, Location" is an old adage that never loses it's meaning. If the location is not convenient and easy to find, you will have low attendance. How close is the venue to where your attendants live? Is it in a central location when you have a large area of attendants? Is there plenty of parking? What other entertainment or hotel lodging is nearby?
2) MEETING ROOM CAPACITY Size matters, when it comes to making sure to have enough space for your guests. Before you schedule an event, have a rough idea of how many people will be expected to attend, keeping in mind that you may have last-minute RSVP's. You don't want a space that is too large (making your event seem empty and not well attended) but you also need a space that isn't too small (and not everyone can fit comfortably). This leads into point number 3...
3) FLOW AND LAYOUT OF SPACE This is an area that is commonly forgotten about. How are the sightlines? Will everyone be able to see the speaker (whether in person or via large projection screens)? Is there enough space for attendees to get up and socialize or be split into breakout rooms for further discussions? Are there random dead-end hallways or are rooms located in a confusing order that your guests may get lost in the building?
4) QUALITY AND AVAILABILITY OF A/V EQUIPMENT In this day of modern technology, you need to make sure that the venue has updated capability as well. You don't want your CEO or guest speaker to give a talk and have the microphone fail, or not be able to utilize the projector for a slide-show because of outdated hookups. Are the projection screens large enough for everyone to see? Or will your guests just fall asleep in the near-dark room because of weak projection? Does the venue have an on-site tech support to help in times of need?
5) ROOM FLEXIBILITY Meeting rooms need to be able to evolve into various configurations, especially when break-out rooms are needed. Talk to your venue to see if they are able to accommodate your meeting requirements and if possible, room sizes can change according to your needs throughout the day.
6) DECOR Times change and so does interior design style. There are often 2-4 different generations attending a conference and the venue should be tastefully decorated to please all. But the most important is cleanliness and adequately furnished. Does the venue provide all the tables, chairs, linens? Or are you expected to rent from an outside organization? Does the venue staff set up your room so it is a breeze to just walk in, conduct your meeting and leave? Or are you expected to pay extra for that convenience or dedicate outside hours to setting up classroom style seating for 200 people?
7) INTELLIGENT STAFF, FROM SALES TO SERVICE A meeting planner's biggest pet peeve is dealing with venue staff that is non-responsive or "zoned out". Competent, emotionally intelligent sales and service staff are the support system for the day of your meeting. Is staffing adequate and is it included in your rental agreement? Is housekeeping on hand to keep bathrooms tidy? That on-site A/V technician, catering servers, and on-site Event Manager can keep everything running smoothly and provide quick solutions to any problems that occur.
8) PRICING FLEXIBILITY While "all-inclusive" packages may work for many events, that isn't always the case. If your meeting doesn't need a projector screen or microphone, will the venue remove these costs? Being able to build your own package could be the most cost-saving strategy. At the same time, look for things that are included in your venue's cost (such as setting up, A/V technology, linens, cleaning up afterward, and catering) that would actually save you money instead of the headache of dealing with multiple different vendors to handle the job.
9) QUALITY OF CATERING Your Grandmother probably said "The way to their heart, is through their stomach!". In today's "foodie" generation, high-quality food with healthy and satisfying portions has become a standard expectation at conferences and meetings across the nation. Does your venue offer catering? How is the quality? Do they have a wide selection, or extremely limited offerings?
10) PARTICIPANT EXPERIENCE Will your guests be satisfied with all the venue offers, such as enough bathrooms and a clean lounging/lobby space? Is WiFi provided for them to keep working at the meeting? Keep in mind that your attendees need to enjoy the meeting content as well as the meeting space. If your guests are pleased, they are more likely to attend more meetings and retain the information presented in those meetings.
Interested in seeing if Boot Hill Casino & Resort Conference Center is a great fit for your next meeting? Contact one of our Event Managers (Lisa or Sandy) by calling (620)371-7390 and they will walk you through all the options you have.