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Top 5 Site Selection Tips

5 Site Selection Tips

By: Desmond Lomas | Jan 21, 2020

For the past five and a half year years I have been a Site Selection Specialist with The Howes Group. Before that, I held a number of roles within the hotel business, with the Director of Sales job as my last position before I made the leap to my current role.  What I love about the industry is the fantastic people, clients and hospitality professionals that we work with:  hoteliers, destination management representatives, AV specialists and of course our clients. 

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For this article, I was asked to put together a few of my top site selection tips. Notice I said ‘a few’ as I’m not going to give away all our tips! (Wink) Hopefully you will find these tips handy the next time you search for the perfect venue for your meeting or conference.

  1. Ensure you send out your RFP with as much detail as possible.  List your most important concessions and contract clauses from the beginning.  This will save further time and effort as you get closer to awarding a contract. It can be frustrating when you feel you have picked your ideal venue but then when it gets down to the contract you are unable to agree on some items that are important to your client.
  2. It goes without saying that you need to know what is needed from a venue to make your conference work but you also need to take the time to know what the venue needs. When are the soft business periods and holes that they need to fill?  What is their perfect ratio of guestrooms to meeting space?  Hotels don’t always have the same formulas for a winning booking. 
  3. Review a list of ideal venues with your team before the RFP goes out to make sure you are narrowing your focus appropriately. It will ensure you are getting quality responses and you will save a lot of back and forth communication with additional suppliers. 
  4. Don’t send your RFP to too many suppliers at once.  You or your client will likely have a few ideally suited venues that they want to consider so don’t waste your time or the suppliers’ time.  It takes a lot of time and energy for suppliers to answer RFPs and they need to move on quickly to other bookings if your RFP is not going to work out for them.  This courtesy and respect for suppliers will serve you well in the long run.
  5. It is impossible for you to know everything about every destination.  Use the experts with destination management organizations (DMO), destination management companies (DMC) and your hotel global sales representatives to get the information you need.  It will save you hours of research.

Happy selecting!

2019_MLP_Lomas_009_webArticle written by Desmond Lomas, The Howes Group

Article edited by Cynthia Beaudin, Canada Foundation for Innovation

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