How to Select the Right Destination for Your Next In-Person Meeting

A checklist of safety factors to consider when choosing a host city for your next live event. 


Best Destinations for Citywide Events
Are you deciding where to host your next citywide event? To help make the right decision, join us for a 30-minute live webinar to discuss the findings from our second annual Convention Cities Index. Register here.

Choosing a destination for your next in-person meeting requires a new set of criteria. The safety and wellbeing of your attendees is the utmost priority, but how do you also ensure a destination has top-tier creative meeting solutions?

Use the checklist below to cover all of your bases during the site selection process. For comparative data on top destinations, view the 2021 Convention Cities Index and join us on Wednesday, June 23 at 2 p.m. ET for a live webinar to discuss the findings. 

Safety Protocols

  • What phase of reopening are the city and state in, and what safety and sanitation protocols are in place?
  • Are there any restrictions that limit out-of-state and/or international visitors?
  • What steps has the destination taken to ensure continued visitor safety? Is there an ongoing local program in place for restaurants, attractions and shops?
  • Are there local partners that can provide Covid-19 testing for your meeting attendees either on site or nearby?
  • Does the CVB provide relevant, updated information for Covid-19 and meetings in one convenient location?
  • Can the CVB share a list of available emergency medical services within a prescribed area of response to your event?

What’s Open and Ready

  • Has the CVB informed you about what group venues and hotels are fully open and to what occupancy capacity? Do they offer creative solutions if needed?
  • Are the hotels and venues ensuring safety of attendees with corporate and/or local protocols, ongoing training, employee vaccination efforts and contact tracing?
  • Does the destination offer alternative event spaces that are outdoors, or information on self-guided outdoor experiences?
  • Is the destination walkable to venues and after-hour activities? Will you need to hire transportation?
  • Does the CVB provide testimonials and referrals of recent first-hand experiences meeting in their city and working with them?

    CVB Services

    • Does the CVB have video or 3D tools that showcase the destination and allow planners to conduct virtual site inspections?
    • What other marketing tools are available to help you promote your meeting such as videos, an image gallery, social media posts, etc.?
    • How current and comprehensive is the destination’s website? Does it provide appropriate informational links for attendees?
    • Does the CVB offer meeting perks and list seasonal hotel/venue promotions?
    • Will the destination keep you informed throughout the planning process with regular communication updates? Does the sales team have relationships with hotel sales managers to assist with connecting appropriate properties and facilitate cancellations, re-bookings, etc.?

    Meeting Design and Technology

    • Does the CVB have local and national vendor relationships to make planning hybrid events easier?
    • What resources can the destination provide to help customize your meeting experience and make sure both virtual and live attendees will be engaged at a hybrid gathering?
    • Does the CVB assist with turnkey virtual meeting host packages at local venues?
    • Are there any discounts or meeting design perks available at the destination?

    Lorraine Lloyd is the senior vice president of sales and international marketing at Visit Alexandria. She is a 40-year veteran in the hospitality and tourism industry, and has been leading the sales team at Visit Alexandria for over 20 years.