Tag: AV

When Choosing A Hotel For Events, Go Beyond The Rate

We get it.  The economy has improved and is looking better than it has for the past several years, yet planners/travel managers/organizers are still charged with getting more for less.  However, the hotel/hospitality industry is not manufacturing.  We don’t sell parts by the millions we service individual guests each needing something completely different in order for the outcome to be successful.  The overall value in a proposal/experience especially at a hotel contains multiple layers of numbers, not just the rate.  Let’s get beyond the rate conversation and delve into what generates the value of choosing a hotel for events.
Speaking of locations, there are several factors that determine overall value and that can add or lower costs.   A hotel for events can do many things but the one thing it can’t do is move its location. Consider total travel time and additional cost.  Some of the questions to discuss are:
  • How far is a location from the airport?
  • What are the transfer costs?
  • Do you need cars when you get there?
  • Are there things to do around the hotel (restaurants, nightlife, shopping, attractions)?

It is our job as partners to ask the right questions and listen so that we can work together and then generate the right proposal.  That’s value number 2.  Make sure that you are speaking with someone that cares as much about your needs as you do.  The value in a companies’ sales team is important and can determine the outcome of your experience at the hotel/venue.  They are there to help you determine the right fit so that your objectives/goals can be met.

Beginning the proposal process, there are several key values to look for.  A couple of basic places to look include:
  • Value dates – every hotel for events/venue has them.  If you have any flexibility, it will help.  If you have a lot of flexibility and you are set on the location, ask for their specific dates.  Sometimes it’s as easy as moving your arrival day up or back a day.  Pattern is as important as the actual dates.
  • Concessions – Make sure that they have put a dollar value on each concession that you are requesting.  That way when you are comparing hotel for events, you have a better understanding of the total package that you are being offered.  This is a direct difference to your bottom line so it’s important to make the choices that will make the biggest impact.
  • Food & Beverage – there are a lot of ways to look for value with Food & Beverage.  There is a difference between taxes & gratuities.  When you are able to work with the chef to create a menu based upon your budget, that’s also an added value.
  • AV – make sure that you understand the total needs of your program/attendees/travelers.  It may be perceived as a value to have complimentary wifi in guest rooms/meeting rooms, but not if it’s too slow.  That could end up and ruin your event/program and then you have to do something last minute that could end up costing you a lot more.  Look for a complete package up front that includes everything you need.
  • On property contacts – make sure that you have access to a team, technology, or a key contact that will be there to assist you at any time.  It’s invaluable to be able to make real time changes/requests.

The above list is just the beginning.  Once you have determined the priorities for your needs, you will be able to look for and realize the values that are most important to you and your company.    Remember, in order to receive a value packed proposal it is imperative that you communicate and include all the same pertinent information with each sales manager.   As you know, your relationships are invaluable.   There is inherent value in creating partnerships.  The value of hotels/venues understanding your Business/programs/travelers needs is priceless.  Your time is worth a lot and how you spend it makes a big difference.   Start creating value now!

Event av questions you need to know

Event AV Questions You Need to Know

Imagine sitting at your desk as 4 pm nears the corner. Your stomach is growling and the only thing that will get you through the final hour of the day is a succulent PB&J sandwich. You search through your office fridge and pull out two slices of bread and a jar of jam when you realize the jar of peanut butter sitting in the door is empty!

How many times have you had the perfect plan in mind, only to have it fall apart right when you need it? In the event industry, it is especially crucial to ensure that all details are captured, prepped, and ready for the big day. One of the most commonly misinterpreted components of an event is preparing the AV set-up. To help make your event day as easy as possible, I’ve thrown together a list of Event AV questions that you need to know.

1. Do You Want to Go on a Date?

Remember the days when a first date was essentially another name for 20 Questions? You will want to get to know your contract the same way you would a person during a first date. To do this, contact your AV provider and set up an appointment to review the contract. Below is a sample list of event AV questions that you will want to cover:

– What comes with the contract standard?
– What services are not included with the standard?
– Am I limited to an in-house AV provider?
– Does this contract reserve the right to “bid”?
– Does this contract include power?
– Is there an indemnification clause? If so, what is included?

Once you ask your AV Technician the questions above, you will be well on your way towards better understanding your contract.

2. How Much Will this Cost?

One of the first steps in planning an event is understanding your budget. Though money is often an uncomfortable topic to discuss, prepare to ask specific details regarding the cost of each service. To facilitate this conversation, begin by asking a few of the following questions:

– How much will it cost to rent the equipment for the event (broken down for each individual item)?
– What is the cost of a standard service? What does this include?
– What is the cost of add-on features? What features does this include?
– How much will it cost for live streaming?
– What is the cost for a rehearsal/run-throughs?

Keep in mind not all AV services are the same. Typically, In-house providers are more expensive than out-of-house companies. Be sure to compare costs between AV companies to find the price that is right for you.

3. What Detailed Information Do You Need?

Once you have a good idea of what services you want for your event, you will need to communicate your desired proposition to the AV Company. During this time, the AV Company will likely return to you with a series of questions. You can prepare ahead of time with the questions below:

– How much power can the venue provide?
– Will you need extra room access?
– How much time will you need for set-up and tear-down?
– How many presenters will speak?
– How many presentations will there be? And what format?
– What kind of microphones will the presenters have?

The questions above will provide your AV technician with all the necessary details to ensure a seamless presentation at your event.

4. Will you Come Take a Look?

In the event industry, it is especially important to make time for a practice run through at the venue so that you have a very clear understanding of what you can expect on your big day. Oftentimes, however, event planners forget to do a practice run through with their AV Team. Schedule a time with your AV Provider to join you at the event venue location and walk through all of the AV components. A few event AV questions that you will need to know are listed below:

– What is the height of the ceiling? Stage? Doorways?
– What is the size of the screen?
– Will the visual presentations be compatible with screen size?
– How big is the venue space? Will the audio be loud enough to fill space?
– Is there storage available?
– Where will AV equipment be monitored and managed?

In addition to the questions above, your AV provider will get a good understanding of the layout of the event space. They will be able to account for any limiting hallways, structures or other hindrances to their performance.

5. What is Your Name?

How many times are you stuck with an electrical problem and don’t know who in the crew is the electrician? Take the time to get to know your AV team and what they do. This will help you know who to reach out to in times of need and save an abundance of energy in the future. You will want to ask your AV provider the following questions:

– Who is the main point of contact? What are they responsible for?
– Who will be the contact(s) for specific services (Sound, Presentation, Microphones, etc)?
– Who do I contact if I cannot get ahold of the main contact?
– What is the best way to reach these contacts?

Not only will getting to know your AV team provide you with a smooth event, but you may even build lasting business relationships in the future.

Sit back and relax!

By covering the Event AV questions above, you can ensure that both you and your AV Company will have the same goals in mind to execute a flawless event. Now it is time to sit back, relax, and watch your AV Company successfully cover all the details for your future event