The Meeting Planners’ Guide to Entering New Territory

PlannerTips & Tools

Meeting planners are master jugglers. Each event is a balancing act that requires exceptional amounts of research, organization and communication. This can be difficult in your own backyard, where it is easy to swing by and look at the space. Now imagine taking the show to an utterly unfamiliar city. The secret to success when considering a new venue is knowing what to look for. Researching the following items will lay the groundwork for a truly successful event.

New Destination Checklist

  • Local airports: Taking local traffic patterns into consideration, determine which airports are close to your destination. Familiarize yourself with direct and connecting flights, both in and out of your attendees’ home bases.
  • Weather: Research the destination’s highs, lows and seasonal patterns. Cross-reference with preferred and alternative dates to identify when you’ll need a contingency plan.
  • Local character: Research the region’s overall character. Does it align with your program’s goals and attendees’ preferences? Cuisine, art and architecture, historical events, terrain and retail centers are all worth evaluating.
  • Safety: Always check travel advisories, whether going to big cities or foreign destinations.
  • Activities: Explore local activities such as outdoor adventures, theaters, art galleries, sight-seeing, organized team building and even opportunities for a shopping spree!
  • Cost: Inquire about prices in your prospective destination. Look into room rates, meeting space rental, food and beverage minimums, transportation and audiovisual options. This will allow you to intelligently negotiate contracts and form a budget.
  • Walkability/transportation: How your attendees get from place to place is a big one. When making this decision, assess convenience, cost, and the specific needs and preferences of your group.

Meeting Solved

Do you have site selection questions? Email the experts rfp@smartmeetings.com.