SITE SELECTION AND CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS

Site selection is the process of locating and choosing a venue that is best suited to host your meeting.  You must first consider the size, duration, content and space issues associated with your event.  Are you planning on providing food and beverage for your attendees?  Will you need audio-visual equipment?  Do you need to be close to an airport?  Who will be your on-site manager throughout the meeting?  Once you have answered these questions, the logistics of your meeting will begin to fall into place.

Today there are many options available when selecting an appropriate venue locale.  Local restaurants with a private room are an option for smaller meetings where a meal is being served.  A larger scaled conference may require enlisting the services available in a hotel atmosphere.  A hotel setting can often accommodate a registration area, a grand ballroom as well as smaller break-out meeting rooms.  The on premises catering or sales staff can arrange for food and beverage as well as lodging accommodations for your attendees if necessary.

Once you have chosen your venue, the contract negotiation portion of a meeting site selection can begin. Negotiating the terms and conditions of a venue contract can greatly influence your decision to choose one venue over another.  Date availability, and of course, your budget, are probably the two most important considerations in determining what works best for your event.

Why hire a Professional Meeting Planner to find and negotiate your site selection?

Regardless of whether your meeting is an intimate board meeting for six advisers, or a multi-day trade show, what you want and expect as your end result is the same…. a successful and well received event. As all professional meeting planners know, the key to a successful event is dependent upon the seamless execution of the details…your details!

If you have experience in the MICE industry (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions), you may be quite capable of managing the event yourself.  A little advance research may be all that you need to begin the process.  But if you do not, it may serve you well to hire a professional consultant to lead you on the path to securing the right site with the right terms.

A professional meeting planner will yield a better site selection along with a better contract, all the while insuring the needs of your event are considered.

How can Planners offer site selection for free or fee-waived?

Many Professional Planners waive their site selection service fee. They can do this because the venue or the hotel in most cases is paying a “site selection commission” directly to the Planner.

Are Planners biased when choosing a venue?

In most cases, bias should not be a concern.  The Planner should have your best interest and needs to consider.  Also, the commission is fairly standard within the industry, so the Planner’s “pay-out” is comparable wherever the meeting is booked.  Considering that most Planners rely heavily on their reputations and the referrals they acquire, you can be confident they are going to work hard to earn both your business and your respect.  Choosing a Planner that is up front and honest about receiving a commission, is always a good sign.

If you’d like more information about how we can help you, you can do one of three things.  You can complete our contact form, call our corporate office at +254-720081813, or send us an email at info@cpep.co.ke  We have over 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry.  We have earned our solid reputation by providing quality services based on an honest and ethical relationship with our clients.  We work hard to gain your trust. If we can waive the site selection fee we we’ll tell you.  If we can’t, we’ll explain why.

What if a Planner is affiliated with one hotel chain?

This can work for you or against you depending upon your specific meeting requirements. Many times the Planner may be privy to special pricing which can warrant better terms in your contract. However, if the site search is going to be biased, it has to be because all the other competing properties are just not as compatible with your needs. You will find in many cases that a truly independent Planner, one with no affiliations, can serve your needs better. She will research the market as a whole, and choose what is best for you, specifically. A seasoned Planning professional will work diligently on your behalf because she knows that this is the key to your partnership.  She should have your best interest in mind.  Professional Planners are completely independent of any hotel chain affiliations, so they can provide unbiased meeting site selections and contract negotiations. With over 100 independent meeting planners in Kenya to choose from, we surely have the best, with the skills and experience for you. Contact us for more information.

What does a Meeting Site Selection Service involve?

When considering the overall needs of your meeting, the basic questions you must ask yourself are; the who, the what, the why, and the where of the meeting logistics.  The answers to these questions will then help you locate a venue that best suits your specific needs.  Whether it be the location, the size, the amenities or the associated costs, if you prioritize your wish list, your search will be that much easier.  In short, the Planner and you will work together to determine and prioritize these preferences.

Armed with your findings, the Planner will then perform a thorough search of available facilities or venues. If the location is a key factor for your meeting, she will focus on the parameters you provide. If the facility, amenities, or level of service is the primary concern, then they will search a broader area looking for your “must haves”. Depending on the timeline and your directives, the Planner will then present you with her findings. Here your Planners experience and expertise are invaluable.  She will advise you of the most suitable venue based on the information you have provided and then also offer the best alternatives should date availability be an issue.

What about Site Inspections?

All an inspection requires is a visit to the venue being considered. The site is inspected first hand to determine whether or not it offers all that you are looking for in a venue. It is one of the only ways that a Planner can absolutely guarantee that the site is appropriate for your meeting. Typically, the Planner travels to the location(s) either with you or on your behalf, and takes a tour of the property with a venue representative. The meeting space, property condition, meeting room layout, guest rooms and any other considerations you may have are all inspected at this time.

Is this a necessary expense?

During the Site Selection and Contract Negotiations process, a firsthand inspection of a site is highly recommended. Our inspection experience can identify and highlight both the positive and the negative aspects that cannot be quantified by reviewing a facility’s sales literature or meeting contracts. In addition, face to face meetings with facility representatives allow a Planner to develop relationships that can be beneficial during final contract negotiations.

What is On-Site Staffing?

On-site staffing is the process in which additional staff, usually made up of hospitality industry professionals, are hired to assist a Planner or an on-site meeting manager, at a designated meeting location before, during and after the meeting or event.  The on-site staff is assigned specific job responsibilities and look to the on-site meeting manager for direction.

Where did the Concept of On-Site Staffing Come From?

Depending on the size and complexity of a meeting, multiple tasks have to be completed with great precision in order for an event to run smoothly.  One person may have to wear many hats to insure that a meeting’s needs are fulfilled.  Meeting Planners/ managers realized that whether it be just one extra set of hands, or a whole team, hiring on-site staff greatly enhances the chances for a successful program.  It is also more cost effective to outsource on-site staffing needs to independent meeting planners or specialized meeting management agencies because it saves on cost related expenses.  Hiring local staff eliminates the cost of air travel and lodging accommodation.

What Services Can On-Site Staff Provide?

On-site staff by definition is an extension of and represents the company or organization that has hired them.  Hiring on-site staff can directly affect the on-site manager’s ability to focus on the key components of managing the meeting. The on-site staff is an effective supplement to the on-site meeting manager and can assist with a variety tasks including:

  • Checking-in attendees at a registration table
  • Distribute meeting materials
  • Scanning badges
  • For placement of signage
  • Collating meeting materials
  • Filling gift bags
  • Ushering attendees to open seats
  • Monitoring meeting rooms
  • Directing attendees to transportation

How Much Does This Service Cost?

The advantages of hiring on-site staff and the customer service it provides, usually far exceeds the costs associated with providing the service.  Fees are usually based on an hourly rate.

Where Can I Get More Information About Hiring On-Site Staff?

Corporate & Private Event Planning will be able to provide you with more information about hiring on-site staff.

Audio-Visual Management

Audio-Visual services are a major component in implementing successful meetings and events. While conferences, meetings, and events vary in size, structure, and content, so do their audio-visual requirements. However, there are three core components to the Audio-Visual portion of a meeting:

The equipment can be as simple as a projector and screen or significantly complex with multiple computers, sound systems, and more.

The technicians or production team are the people who setup and install the equipment. A tech can be described as anyone from the guest speaker who is willing to manage his own equipment to a team of professionals working together to produce elaborate shows. In most cases, the company who provides the equipment, also supplies a knowledgeable technician to setup and run the equipment.

The manager is the person who has ordered the AV, who knows how it fits into the context of the meeting, and who is the decision maker who coordinates the efforts of the technical staff. In many cases, the AV manager can also be the meeting Planner. As in all aspects related to meeting planning, each meeting has its own set of rules, and its own key players.

How to Manage Audio-Visual for Multi-City Meetings and Events?

When a Planner is tasked with executing a series of events, for example, a series of medical dinner meetings, seminars, or other types of events that occur across the country, the Planners can enlist specialized services that manage the audio-visual aspect of the meetings.

Why hire a specialist to manage your AV?

Audio-Visual Management Specialist works with you to learn about your specific AV needs and then they manage the whole process for you. By utilizing a service like this, not only are you saving on both time and money, you are giving yourself more time to focus your attention on other key aspects of the meeting.

One service for all AV needs?

Audio-Visual Management services are designed to be flexible and affordable. Depending on your needs, audio-visual equipment can simply be delivered to the venue or a technician can set up the equipment. The technician can stay on-site throughout the meeting or leave after insuring the equipment is working properly. Whatever scenario is needed, an audio-visual management service adapts to your needs while at the same time, minimizes cost, centralizes responsibility, and allows you to concentrate on the meeting.