My job is to share stuff with you, stuff you can use. Here are some snapshots of online resources that might help in the meeting planning part of your job. Hope they do.
1. Need to figure out how big a room you need to accommodate your group? Try http://hotelplanner.com/Common/Popups/SpaceCalculator.cfm
I have no idea about the rest of their web site or what they do, so this is not an endorsement… I just book marked their calculator and use it when I need it.
The ONLY THING I will say about these kinds of calculators or what hotels and venues say they can accommodate in general… I suggest subtracting 15% from whatever number they give you. And if the group is made up of VIPs… subtract 20%. You also have to consider the demographics of your particular group. Some industries just seem to require more space than others. That could be an excellent opportunity for all sorts of jokes, but better to leave it alone (at least in public).
2. I mentioned this in one of my previous blogs on a different subject, but it deserves repeating. If you ever want a sort-of-complete list of all the press releases describing all of the new luxury hotels opening around the world, visit… http://www.luxurytravelmagazine.com/luxury-hotels/new-hotels.php
They don’t editorialize on this particular page, they just give you access to all of the press releases and you can hone your critical thinking skills and start de-constructing them like I do. You can make it into a party-game for fellow planners.
3. In a previous blog I talked about PeerSpace launching their venue site for NYC, and about privatediningconcierge, a free service matching groups to private dining experiences in NYC’s best restaurants. Add this one to the list… http://www.spaceintheraw.com.
Space in the Raw offers one-of-a-kind “raw” event spaces through the world of New York City real estate. They have relationships with the owners of both commercial and residential properties and work with them to allow the rental on a temporary basis. Their inventory changes as spaces come on and go off the market.
It’s hard to describe, but just take a look at some of the “before and after” pictures and you’ll get the idea. They take care of all the permitting, coordinate with vendors and all of that ridiculous paperwork stuff I do not even want to know about… and voila’… there you go. They can also do the design and production if you want, but you can work that all out with them.
4. Here’s the thing about CVBs. I love some and I don’t love others. So much depends on the individual sales person you end up speaking with, plus the particular politics of the Bureau at that moment… so if the salesperson “gets it”, you get your RFP sent to exactly the right list of vendors. But be aware that sometimes you will get responses from some motel out by the airport and you have no idea why.
Anyway… you learn over time and develop your relationships (if you’re into that relationship thing). If you don’t already have those relationships lined up, here’s a directory of all of the CVBs in the US of A and how to contact them... http://www.conventionbureaus.com/
And one last suggestion (for the moment). If you have a serious meeting, want something all-inclusive, and need a professionally-managed small to medium sized, affordable venue… and you need to tape things on the wall… then consider one of the members of the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC).
Member properties have to meet all sorts of “standards”, which is good for planners to know (like the official Seal of Approval thing)… although that does not always mean that everything is perfect because perfection varies from moment to moment and place to place… but it’s a start. (Note to planners… always do a site inspection).
The other nice thing about the site… you can send an RFP via the site to up to three member properties at a time (which saves you time). Check it out at www.iacconline.org
OK kids… hope this helps. Please send me your favorite online resource tips, we will check them out and share with everyone. And remember to look at our other blogs and our newsletter for more cool ideas. http://Allthingsmeetings.com
Oh, and this too… if you have a particular subject you want to know more about, tell me, we’ll do the research and post it in one of our newsletters with links to resources. All subjects will be considered. firstname.lastname@example.org J