When considering destinations for your next meeting or conference, it’s important to go back to the meeting’s goals and objectives. Why are you hosting this meeting? As you answer this question, destinations (or even hotels within a city or specific hotel brand) will become clearer for you:
Here are some possible meeting objectives, and how the choice of your hotel can be influenced by them:
- Networking – if networking and staying “after hours” is important, an out of town destination may help keep people onsite after the day’s sessions are over.
- Local Membership – if you’re trying to grow your membership in Eastern Canada, hosting your conference in Vancouver will not meet this objective. Proximity to your potential members will increase the membership, and then you can take them away to another destination the following year.
- Business objectives – does a certain destination hold business value for your delegates? It’ll be easier to tie in offsite tours, educational sessions and local speakers – all of which can lead to money savings and higher ROI.
- Down to business, and pressed for time – this is likely the objective for your smaller board meetings held several times a year. If most of your board members are in Calgary, choose a hotel in that area that’s easy to get to with minimal distractions.
- Increasing Attendance – Taking your conference away from the hustle and bustle of your delegates’ home city will be more attractive to those looking to create a “getaway” alongside the conference.
- Celebration – is your council celebrating a milestone meeting or conference? Consider jazzing up your event by taking it to a venue that has a few additional amenities and create an experience for your delegates.
- Build revenue – hosting your conference at a mountain property may drive up attendance, but only if your “regular” attendees will make the trip. Sometimes building revenue is easier in a city with a large membership base. Take a look at your membership and see where the greatest opportunity for revenue growth lies.
As always, helping clients set their goals and objectives is a big part of our role at HelmsBriscoe. If you have any questions at all about this critical part of the meeting planning process, I’m here to help.
All the best to you and your team on your 2015 meetings!