There are many things to consider when booking a meeting. From the destination to the venue selection, to food and beverage and everything in between. It can be overwhelming to make decisions based on the many different preferences of your attendees, speakers, and vendors etc. When choosing your meeting location there are several key aspects to consider that can help you create a memorable and lasting experience for all! Selecting a site requires a lot of due diligence and can be quite time consuming. To help choose the ideal setting for a meeting or conference, we’ve outlined a few factors to consider when choosing a destination for group meetings and events.
What are the meeting objectives?
A meeting objective is a simple statement that defines the desired outcome of the meeting. Its primary purpose is to give participants a measurable goal that they can work on achieving together. You can then determine the success of a meeting based on whether the team achieved the goal. This key factor should be addressed first when determining the meeting destination. For example, is your meeting goal financial related? Does your organization want to make a profit from this meeting? Or break-even? Do they want to host training for new employees? Or train current employees on a new advancement in their field? When starting to plan your meeting location, knowing the main objective of your stakeholders, will absolutely help narrow down destination options.
What is your budget?
This is by far one of the most restrictive aspects of booking a meeting location, and yet one of the most important. Your budget acts as a guide and helps planners and stakeholders alike by setting the framework and parameters of your event. Many different factors go into the budget for an event, some of which are company size, event goal, event scope, size of the event, and of course, location. The important thing to remember is that you don’t begin planning an event without landing on a budget. Once you have determined your overall meeting objectives, defining what financial success means for your event will also refine your budget to accommodate all stakeholders involved in the meeting.
Location, Location, Location.
Once you have narrowed down your search using your meeting goals and objectives along with your forecasted budget, a next step to consider is how the destination’s infrastructure, accessibility, and overall safety will affect the stakeholders of your meeting. Some questions to consider when searching for the perfect location might be whether you are looking for a destination that is easily accessible from national as well as international cities? Or are you looking to host your event in a Tier 1 City or a Tier 2 or 3 City? Also, questioning and identifying what safety measures will be taken, both at a city and country-level, as well as within the actual meeting venue itself is an important factor to consider when choosing your location and before booking a meeting. The answers to these questions will not only immediately refine your choices but can also help facilitate a successful meeting for all stakeholders.
For instance, if your attendees work in Las Vegas and are used to the fast-paced lifestyle and the plethora of attractions a large city provides. Choosing a Tier 1 City could accommodate their desire for city-life, whereas choosing a Tier 5 City which is a smaller, more quaint destination may turn them off from attending your meeting. When choosing a Tier 1 City, like New York City, Chicago, or Orlando, which offer ample convention space, hotel rooms and attractions, you should also consider the downsides before contracting. Hotel rates in popular cities are usually more costly, parking may be at an additional fee for your attendees, and food costs can be more expensive. On the other hand, Tier 2 or 3 Cities which can attract a more regional market, are often smaller and quainter, and oftentimes more affordable, making them a great choice if it makes the most sense for your stakeholders. Below is a list of some of the top criteria meeting planners consider when choosing a meeting location, based on a study conducted by Miller Tanner Associates:
- Convenience/Proximity to Attendees
- Price/Cost Effectiveness
- Safety of City
- Meeting Guidelines/Parameters
- Attractiveness/Memorable Experiences for Attendees
Host Your Event at the Four Points by Sheraton Norwood
The Four Points by Sheraton Norwood is a great location to host your next meeting or event! Located right off Route 1, and close to Routes 495, 95 and 93, makes traveling to and from a breeze! The MBTA is also close by, allowing all traveler’s easy access to our hotel and conference center. And since we understand that not all travel is easy, our hotel also offers a complimentary local shuttle which operates from Monday to Friday and provides incomparable access to many of the area’s most prominent businesses and destinations. Our newly renovated guest rooms and conference center were created to accommodate anything from small corporate meetings to large banquets, weddings, and everything in-between! And if there is some downtime, the Four Points by Sheraton Norwood is a stone’s throw away to some of the most exciting attractions in Massachusetts. Witness a football game at Gillette Stadium, watch a live performance at The Norwood Theatre or go shopping at Legacy Place.