Consider these factors when choosing a meeting destination
- WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE AND HOW MUCH MONEY DO YOU WANT TO SPEND?
Be mindful of your budget limit when choosing your destination. For domestic destinations, clients always want to feel that they are receiving value for money. When considering international destinations, the current ZAR exchange rate will certainly influence the choice of destination: Central Europe and North America may be off the list for 2016, but consider Africa, South America and Asia.
- CITY HUBS VS OUT IN THE COUNTRY
As our lives get more demanding and hectic every year, your delegates will most likely enjoy a venue out in the country. On the other hand, a countryside venue will only work if it suits the business objectives. Make sure you plan well and that your business objectives can be achieved.
- NEEDS VS WANTS
Make sure that the client’s decision is based on needs and not wants. If choices are made based on wants, the destination may not be able to provide what the client requires.
- MAKE CARING FOR THE ENVIRONMENT A PRIORITY
Over the last few years, event greening has become very prominent. You can contact the Event Greening Forum for additional information. (eventgreening.co.za)
- TRAVEL TIME VS TIME SPENT
Keep a balance – it is unreasonable to spend extensive time on travel only to have an unsatisfactorily short time spent on the event itself.
- TIME OF YEAR
Ensure that you choose well in terms of the season. In South Africa, the busiest months are during summer. However, many destinations are fabulous during the winter and one can possibly negotiate a better rate
- EXCLUSIVE USE VS GETTING LOST IN THE CROWD
In my opinion, clients often do not see this as an important factor. However, I have yet to come across a client that did not thoroughly enjoy an exclusive-use facility from time to time. The type of event and group size will determine if exclusive use can be an option at all.
- BE SENSIBLE IN CHOOSING YOUR DESTINATION
If the majority of your needs cannot be satisfied by a destination, look elsewhere. It is often not worth the money and effort to try to fit a square peg in a round hole.
There are often hidden or less obvious costs that clients may not take into consideration. It is also very important to compare apples with apples – only then will your client be able to make an informed decision.
This article has also been published in the Trend Report 2016 of The Meeting & Event Planner publication. To read the complete MICE PLANNER TREND REPORT 2016, click here