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PLANNER'S PORTFOLIO:

Checklist

BY MARTHA COOKE

The following checklist was compiled in part with the help of Jennifer W. Brown, CMP, strategic site specialist, Meeting Sites Resource, 1300 Quail St., Suite 200, Newport Beach, Calif. 92260

The Site-Selection Process

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

  • What type of property best serves the meeting's objective (city hotel, resort, conference center)?
  • From where will most attendees be traveling?
  • Will pre- and post-convention trips be planned?
  • What are the group's primary service needs?

SLEEPING ROOMS

  • What are the room rates, including sales tax, bed tax and any ancillary fees?
  • How are room rates determined (rack, sliding scale, government per diem)?
  • What is the breakdown of sleeping rooms, smoking and nonsmoking, by sleeping configuration (singles, doubles, one- and two-bedroom suites)?
  • How many rooms comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act? In what sleeping configurations?
  • On what date will the room rate be guaranteed?
  • Is there a policy regarding complimentary rooms?
  • What is the policy on late arrival and late checkout?
  • How is overflow handled?
  • What are the in-room telephone charges?
  • What are the policies on cancellation and attrition? Are these negotiable?

FUNCTION SPACE

  • How many meeting rooms will be available to the group?
  • Do any meeting rooms have visual obstructions? Are they soundproof?
  • Does each meeting room have its own sound system, data ports, and light and temperature controls?
  • Is there a storage area near the meeting space?
  • Do ballrooms have access to the banquet kitchen?
  • What is the capacity and location of the freight elevator? food and beverage
  • What are the tax and gratuity percentages on group functions?
  • What is the number, type and seating capacity of on-site restaurants? Are they available for group use?
  • Is outdoor dining an option?
  • What is the average price of breakfast, lunch and dinner?
  • Will the hotel contact provide specific food and beverage quotes for one function?
  • Are complimentary coffee breaks offered?

IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS

  • What type of security is provided?
  • Are any groups scheduled to be on-site during the dates your group will meet? If yes, what types of groups?
  • Are any citywide special events scheduled to take place?
  • How many parking spaces are there? What are parking rates? Is valet parking available?
  • How far away are the convention center, downtown, hospital and airport?
  • Is airport shuttle service offered?
  • What type of local transportation is available?
  • What is the average taxi fare from airport to property?
  • What are the local union requirements? Are there any restrictions? When do union contracts expire?
  • When was the last renovation?
  • Are any renovations planned? What are the scheduled dates?
  • What are the concierge hours? Can they be extended?
  • Are sports, entertainment and child-care facilities on-site or nearby?
  • What is the average length of service per employee?
  • How long has the general manager been at the property?
  • Does the property offer any promotional assistance?
  • Ask for references of three comparable groups that recently met at the property.