5 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Planning Your Next Convention, Conference or Meeting

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1) Not doing a thorough search of all possible hotels that can accommodate your convention, conference and meeting. Performing a Google search and just calling a few hotels based on this search is a recipe for disaster. Google search engines are a staple in our everyday life, but keep in mind that large corporations pay inordinate amounts of money to obtain high rankings in the search engines, especially in the hospitality industry.

It is imperative to thoroughly investigate all of your options with a search of all possible hotels that meet your meeting specifications. If you are interested in seeing a sample search we have performed, please feel free to contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 804-477-6098.

2) Selecting the wrong location. Location, Location, Location — This is an obvious and overused phrase, but there is more to the phrase than meets the eye. There are numerous location specific questions to research when planning your next convention. The first question I ask a hotel contact is what is outside your front door within a two block radius. A hotel can claim to have a downtown location, but still not have immediate access to the popular restaurants and entertainment venues. However, you must ask specific pointed questions to the hotel salesperson about the location of the property as it relates to the specific needs of your group.

3) Not thoroughly negotiating the hotel, convention center or venue contract. Hotel contracts are filled with numerous clauses that in some instances only benefit the hotel. Negotiating the rate is certainly very important, but there are many other items that are just as important to negotiate during the contracting phase. If you are interested in seeing a sample of some of the clauses we add to base contracts, please feel free to contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 804-477-6098.

4) Not performing a site inspection. If at all possible, you should perform a site inspection of the property before signing a contract. There is nothing more revealing than “kicking the tires” of the property and the city where you plan to hold your convention, conference or meeting. If this isn’t feasible, network with business colleagues or friends in the city you are considering to host your event. Someone located in the city can give you invaluable information or even perform the site inspection for you. We have a long checklist of items we use when performing site inspections that is helpful in “chasing all of the snakes out of the grass.”

5) Not asking when the last renovation of the hotel was performed or if a renovation is planned. Hotels are always undergoing renovations and there is nothing worse than finding out that your chosen property is undergoing renovations the month before your conference. The sounds of jack hammers or other noises outside your meeting room can greatly disrupt a successful conference.

Good luck with your next convention, conference or meeting. If I can help in any way please feel free to contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 804-477-6098.