5 Helpful Hints When Planning Your Next Convention, Conference or Meeting

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1) Include every foreseeable item in the hotel contract. At CCI, when negotiating a hotel contract, we try to anticipate every possible scenario that may occur at a convention, conference or meeting. If it isn't addressed in the contract, it potentially could be a huge headache for you if it occurs on-site.

2) Develop strong strategic partnerships with vendors. There are multiple vendors we have partnered with over the 18 years we have been in business. Our Audio/Visual-vendor is an excellent example of a fantastic partner when it comes to planning our conventions and conferences. They have phenomenal production ideas and there are numerous things they do "over and above" the executed contract to bring value to our events.

3) Hold a pre-planning meeting at the convention or conference location. Of course, the initial site inspection is critical before signing any hotel contract. However, things can change dramatically from the time the contract is signed to your actual event. An association client experienced a very challenging situation with a hotel they had booked three years in advance. The hotel was sold to another hotel chain after the contract was signed. After millions of dollars of renovations, the new owner went bankrupt and never completed the renovation project. Thankfully, our company held a meeting in the same city a few months before and we noticed the unfinished renovations. We were able to work with the client to stay on top of this situation and find alternate solutions for their meeting.

4) Stay on top of the news in the city you are holding your next convention or conference. There are location-specific items that can occur that could impact your convention or conference. We have experienced labor disputes, major weather catastrophes, and other incidents which directly affected our client's conferences. One tool to help with this is signing up for Google Alerts: http://www.google.com/alerts. Once you identify which items you want to track, Google will deliver updates to you whenever something appears in the local news regarding that topic.

5) Leverage your convention services manager for local knowledge. If you are comfortable with your convention services manager, he or she can be a valuable resource for all things local. From florists to local offsite venues, their opinions can be invaluable. They are in the business of making your convention and conference a huge success and would not want to jeopardize their reputation by making an inferior recommendation.

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.

Please remember that our site selection and contract negotiation services are always at no cost to your organization!!