Destination Determination and Site Selection
The destination and site selection may depend on one or more of the following:
* Predetermined through bylaws or culture or the organization or flexible allowing recommendations based on meeting’s needs, local member lobby, board preferences, etc
* Does the destination have the facilities, the space and the dates available to meet you needs
* Are you able to book far enough in advance to ensure these criteria are available
* What are the expectations and the preferences of the attendee
* Do these expectations affect the destination
* Geographic is obvious, but economic and political environment may also play a role in the decision making process
* Is the potential destination accessible, convenient and does cost aid or deter participation
* Is the destination and the facilities within the destination feasible based on the budget available
The basic steps in the site selection process:
- Identify the meeting objectives - Airport facilities are better suited for brief business meetings, board meetings etc. where tight schedules and a lot of content need to be covered. Informal discussions, reflection, networking might be better suited to a resort
- Gather historical data
- Develop the pattern/program for the meeting
- Determine the physical requirements for the meeting
- Preferred dates: Is the organization limited to specific dates; days of the week; time of year? How do such limitations affect price, availability etc is certain locations – high season.
- Attendance - Projections based on group history. Can the destination and facilities within support you requirements?
- Bedrooms, Meeting Space, Food and Beverage Needs, Exhibit Space, etc. Do facilities within the destination have the variety and number of bedrooms to meet your needs.
- Define attendee expectations and interests - Will spouses and families attend – do you promote their participation by providing activities and if so does the destination support these activities. Local attractions, cultural, sporting and recreational activities – shopping – are these things important. Do you want your attendees to be in the heart of the city, or in a suburban location where it is harder for them to slip away from the meeting?
- Select the general areas and region plus the type of facility - Narrow it down through a proposal, do a site inspection of facilities that meet your criteria
- Evaluate choices, make recommendations and obtain approval. Negotiate aspects of the meeting that are important. Contract the facility after receiving approval.
- Select the site.