When organising a meeting or event it can be hugely beneficial to arrange a site visit, or site inspection as they are also known, prior to the meeting. If the delegate list comprises of your most important clients or stakeholders you do not want any surprises when you arrive! Images on a hotel website can often be out of date and if you are considering several properties it’s a good idea to visit two or three in order to make an informed decision. With this in mind here are 5 key benefits from arranging a site
1. Put yourself in your attendees’ shoes! Upon arriving at the entrance take in your surroundings and pay attention to those first impressions. From reception to the registration desk and meeting space – it is important to see every area your guests are likely to visit during the meeting or event.
2. Meet the events team you will be working with. Relationships and rapport are important, especially in the middle of an event where last minute issues or changes need to be solved quickly and efficiently. It’s important to meet the hotel Event Manager who will be handling your event therefore making sure they are available when the site visit takes place is imperative.
3. Make sure you see all the bedroom types! Even if your proposal from the hotel states that all attendees will be in standard bedrooms, the chances are once you identify any VIPs they will get upgrades. To go one step further I would ask to see the poorest bedroom (could be size or location) and the best suite for comparison. Ask if any refurbishments are planned during the date of your meeting or event.
4. Take note of the time it takes to travel. Whether it’s from the airport to the hotel or from the hotel to any offsite activities you may be planning, it’s good to see how long these journeys take especially in rush hour. The ground transportation company should make allowances for realistic transfer times, especially on departures, but it’s good to experience this in person.
5. If time allows, take an unaccompanied stroll round the hotel or venue. During a site visit you will be looked after by your appointed Event Manager who and each area you visit is likely to be expecting you. Having a look around on your own will enable you to experience the hotel as a regular guest and you should take note of service levels and check how the meeting space is kept. If a meeting is taking place and the opportunity arises, ask them how the experience has been thus far.