By Matt Alderton
Smart Ways to Select a Venue
10 observations about selecting a venue
SuccessfulMeetings.com I June 2017 I Successful Meetings I 15
These days, in order to stay relevant, meetings must constantly change, evolve,
and adapt in order to bring something new and fresh to the table —
starting with a fresh venue.
“‘ What’s the coolest event
you’ve ever done or experienced?’
This is the burning question that
today’s meeting planners first ask
when they are selecting a venue,”
says Mike Schugt, president of
Teneo Hospitality Group, a global
sales firm representing more than
300 hotels and resorts around the
world. “An over-the-top experience
engages guests in a way that promotes learn-
Teneo offers 10 “top venue observations”
that it says will help planners pick a winning
venue every time:
Q Pick broadly appealing venues
“Attendees of all ages today demand an experiential and interactive learning process
that offers a complete immersion into a destination, a venue, and the meeting content,”
W Be adventurous
Golf meetings remain popular, but more
active sports are on the rise, according to
Teneo, which says “it’s action-adventure that
attendees are requesting and demanding.” He
suggests looking for venues where attendees
can partake in extreme sports like wall climbing, dogsledding, and cattle driving.
E Connect to culture
Teneo says cultural authenticity is essential.
Specifically, look for venues that offer “a
true sense of place, a vibrant culture, and
a flexible, creative atmosphere where ideas
can take flight,” Schugt suggests.
R Look for flexibility
Venues should be able to adapt to last-minute
changes and new directions, according to
Schugt. “Planners today need to respond to
rapidly changing preferences of their increasingly younger meeting attendees,” he says.
T Embrace unusual spaces
Convention venues like hotels and conference centers are expected. Increasingly, so
are alternative venues like museums and
theaters. To truly make an impression,
therefore, planners must consider more unusual venues or décor.
Y Select for sustainability
“We see practices from catch-and-release fishing programs to Tesla
Superchargers, and of course, locally sourced food that goes from
farm to table,” Schugt reports.
U Incorporate wellness
Venues shouldn’t just be great
places to work. They also should
be great places for attendees to take
care of their minds and bodies, according to Teneo.
I Trust your gut
Look for venues that have that je
ne sais quoi. “If you’ve ever planned a special
event, or were responsible for its success,
you’ll understand this,” Schugt concludes.
9 Find a strategic partner
“A hotel or resort hosting an event is no
longer just the ‘venue,’” according to Schugt.
“Today it’s a strategic partner with the client,
helping them leverage and reinforce their
products while on property, their marketing
messages, and their meeting objectives.”
0 Raise the bar
Venues that creatively appeal to drinkers, and
non-drinkers, are more in-demand than ever.
“Hotel mixologists are responding with fun
and fabulous mocktails — well beyond those
of years gone by,” says Schugt. “The locavore
movement has made it to the tap room, with
many hotels also serving local craft beers, and
artisanal whiskies and vodkas.”
Venues that offer unusual activities and backdrops are more popular than ever