Destination Determination and Site Selection

The destination and site selection may depend on one or more of the following:

Organization’s Policies

*       Predetermined through bylaws or culture or the organization or flexible allowing recommendations based on meeting’s needs, local member lobby, board preferences, etc

Physical Requirements

*       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

Attendee Profile

*       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:

  1. 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
  2. Gather historical data
  3. Develop the pattern/program for the meeting
  4. Determine the physical requirements for the meeting
  5. 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.
  6. Attendance - Projections based on group history. Can the destination and facilities within support you requirements?
  7. 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.
  8. 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?
  9. 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
  10. Evaluate choices, make recommendations and obtain approval. Negotiate aspects of the meeting that are important.  Contract the facility after receiving approval.
  11. Select the site.