Site Selection

When deciding where to host an important event like a company-wide meeting, a trade show, a convention, or any other large gathering, there can be many options. There is a lot at stake, and the decision about a site for your meeting is one that could be incredibly expensive to change once the trigger is pulled. One key to managing a successful site selection process is to bring in experienced event planners, who know the potential pitfalls and who can provide solid information about the pros and cons of the various location options.

Having decided on a destination city, the focus of the process shifts to the site itself. Convention centers, town halls, university campuses, office buildings – there are many choices, and consulting event planning experts can provide you with information about options you may not have thought of. Experts like the event planning teams at Plan Ahead Events can also assist in the negotiation process, helping your organization to get the best possible pricing for the venue.

Everyone wants a cost-effective event, of course, but our experience has shown time and again that there are three critical elements that help organizers get the best price possible: be specific, be flexible, and be informed.

Be Specific – Know what your event needs, and in exact terms, not broad generalities. “A conference room for the big meeting” – how many tables and how many chairs?  How should the room be set up—classroom style? round tables? horseshoe? Do you need a snack table? What are your AV requirements? What will your own team do vs. what do you expect from the venue staff? There are many questions – know the answers to them, so when you are asking for a quote, you can tell whether the venue meets your needs and your budget. A fair percentage of the cost of a typical big event is change fees or last-minute expenses for things that the event organizers knew (or should have known) but didn’t successfully communicate to the venue management.