AMI welcomes back Chuck Salem of Unique Venues with more great tips on unique spaces for corporate meetings and events.
Colleges and universities have a lot to offer—not only to their student body, but also to visiting conference guests. From the latest technology to value pricing, here’s our top reasons to use a campus venue as your next event location, as well as a few items to study up on before you book your date.
Why Campuses Deserve Extra Credit:
- Top-notch technology: A/V services are cutting-edge in campus settings. Why? Due to the nature of their core business, i.e. students, universities have to keep up with the demand for state-of-the-art resources. So, planners can expect the most updated technology often built into smart rooms or provided at a minimal cost compared to a traditional venue.
- Campus life: If you haven’t been back to school in a while, you may be surprised to remember how refreshing it is to just be there. Modern student unions, residence halls, dining halls and classroom spaces have evolved to now rival and surpass traditional venues.
- Student discounts: There’s a number of value propositions to campus venues, from overnight accommodations and catering to A/V services. At a university, planners can meet budget responsibilities while also providing the atmosphere for productive and inspiring sessions.
What to Study Before You Book:
- Different departments: You may need to make more than one phone call or send more than one e-mail (RFP) to secure meeting rooms, housing and/or catering. However, many campuses are moving to centralize their conference and event operations, so this will change in the future.
- Picking a date: While many campuses offer meeting space (and sometimes even overnight accommodations) year-round, others are only available during the summer months or on nights and weekends when the majority of students are gone. Give your preferred dates and times right away so you won’t waste your time or theirs.
- Room assignments: Like some hotel chains, campus housing can vary dramatically from property to property. You may be required to bring your own linens and towels in some cases, while other campuses may operate more like a hotel with higher-grade amenities. The good news: There’s usually some kind of housing for every type of budget.
Chuck has nearly 18 years experience in the meeting and events industry and is a Past President of the Association of Collegiate Conference and Events Directors International (ACCED-I) and also served as the Chairman of the ACCED-I Benchmarking Project Team, leading the effort for the first comprehensive university conference industry benchmarking and best practices study in North America. Currently, Chuck Salem serves as President of Unique Venues and www.uniquevenues.com
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