When planning meetings it may not be possible to do an in-person hotel site selection visit in advance of signing a contract for a meeting you are planning. So how can you be sure the hotel is right for your meeting and indeed the perfect place?
Ask the hotel sales managers for references of at least 2-3 meeting planners who have met at the hotel within the past 6-12 months. Your sales manager will give you names, email addresses, and telephone numbers of past customers so you may contact them. The hotel has to get permission from past customers to share their contact information with you, and it does take a bit of time to have a conversation with hotels’ past customers. However, doing your due diligence gives you the necessary confidence you need to proceed with planning the meeting at a hotel.
Create a short list with some questions of hot buttons that are important to you. Here are six sample questions to ask:
- Tell me about the location and surrounding areas of the hotel?
- Were you met and greeted warmly by the bellmen and front desk agents?
- Did you find the food wonderful and fresh?
- Would you say the hotel is very clean and recently renovated?
- What are some highlights of the hotel?
- Did the hotel drop the ball in any area and how did they redeem themselves?
People who plan meetings love to tell the good and the bad stories. You’ll have no trouble pulling information from anyone the hotel suggests you contact. And, executive assistants and meeting planners are accustomed to sharing valuable tips to help others plan successful events.
You’d be amazed what a surprise it is when someone we contact has negative reviews to share. Which means the hotel never bothered to follow up with the client after their meeting to find out how everything went and the hotel has no idea the customer is unhappy. Your goal is to always be certain your executives ask “who chose this hotel” because they are so pleased with everything, and not the other way around. The value of a hotel site selection is immeasurable when planning offsite meetings.