by Matt Alderton | February 22, 2019
You've researched potential venues. You've submitted RFPs. And finally, you've found the perfect hotel for your meeting. That must mean you're ready to sign the contract, right?

Not so fast. Before you seal the deal, it's worth asking a few final, lingering questions as part of the vetting process, according to Successful Meetings senior editor Andrea Doyle. "Given the multiplicity of details that go into the mix, even the most seasoned planner can find that it was a question she didn't ask that proved a crucial missing link to a meeting's success," Doyle writes in a recent article for Northstar Meetings Group.

One question planners should ask themselves, for example, is: Does the hotel portray its meeting spaces accurately?

To find out, you'll need to put in some extra legwork during site inspections. "A critical part of the inspection is verifying that the meeting-room occupancy numbers set by the fire marshal and posted in each room match the numbers on the hotel's meeting-rooms spec sheet," Doyle notes. "If occupancy numbers in a room are not adhered to, there is a chance your group won't fit, and the program could be shut down by a fire marshal."

Another question you might ask -- perhaps more than once, if negotiations unfold over an extended period -- is: Will the hotel be hosting other groups at the same time?

"When communicating with potential hotels, be sure to find out if there will be other groups in-house," Doyle advises. "Although the hotel will not be able to release specific company names, your contacts at the property can tell you which industry these groups are in. You can, in turn, give the hotel a list of competing companies to ensure there are no conflicts."

At the end of the day, it all boils down to a single piece of advice: Trust, but verify. Trust that you've chosen the right venue, but verify your decision before you sign a contract. 

More Tips:

Questions, Comments, Suggestions?
Contact Successful Meetings with your "How To" ideas.