Four Tips For Choosing Your Next Corporate Meeting Destination

Four Tips For Choosing Your Next Corporate Meeting Destination

DE 38 | Corporate Destination


Choosing the right corporate destination contributes a lot to having a successful – and memorable – business trip or event. But it is more than just choosing a lovely place and going there. Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth share their most important tips when picking event destinations for a corporate purpose. Looking into their own experiences, the two break down how to make meetings and events as organized as they can be by learning the proper way of determining the most suitable place out there.

Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth are travel and hospitality entrepreneurs and owners of the global meetings organization, American Meetings, Inc. From sourcing hotels to corporate event management around the world, their team selects corporate event venues and meeting planners for a wide array of enterprise business clients, providing ideas for convention themes and strategies for running global meetings and events. Learn more at

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Four Tips For Choosing Your Next Corporate Meeting Destination

Your chosen destination for a formal business event can make or break your trip. Therefore, in-depth planning is required when picking a venue for such an important gathering. With various factors to consider, remember that it is not only about the place’s overall atmosphere. Instead, you must also take into consideration the current weather, the activities you want to perform, and a lot more.

Andy McNeill and Todd Bludworth look back on their own corporate travel experiences to list down seven essential business tips in finding the perfect business destination out there.

  1. Contact the local CVB

The Convention and Visitors Bureau or CVB serves as a wealth of knowledge about a particular area. Through their help, you can discover what to expect in that place, from what kind of venues you can rent to which restaurants you can dine in.

Moreover, CVBs typically offer incentives to bring in business. By taking advantage of their rebates, you can get access to special deals and build direct relationships with other businesses within the local community.

  1. Create a list of top things you want to do

Narrow down your choices by listing down everything you want to do once you are at the destination. Be specific with each one so you can come up with the best keywords and make your research more targeted and quicker.

  1. Consider the time of year based on the destination

A simple Google search will help you discover the weather in your chosen destination depending on the time of the year. For example, heading to Florida in the summertime will make your nose a little hot and sticky, but visit San Diego in June and expect to have an awesome time.

With this information, you can carefully choose the most appropriate month and date for your trip to ensure an optimal and memorable experience.

  1. Do a quick Google Map search

After deciding the venue for your event, it is time to know the establishments next or near it. Again, a quick online search will help with this. Using Google Maps, you can see detailed pictures of the buildings and neighborhoods around the hotel’s vicinity. This can contribute to your activity planning around the area, from comfortable walking/jogging paths to biking/skiing lanes.

Most importantly, checking out Google Maps will allow you to estimate travel times between your venue and the places you want to visit. 

  1. Get in touch with the hotel concierge

Aside from your salesperson or conference service person, the hotel concierge is your next best source of information. They will be your best friend not only in getting directions but also in embracing the place’s overall feel. In fact, they can even assist you in choosing the loveliest restaurants around to get the most exquisite food.

  1. Research about lifts

Although it seems not that necessary, checking available lifts within your chosen venue is a great idea. This can determine if the attendees will either have an easy or hard time reaching and leaving your venue. Once more, looking up the features of the place online can greatly help you in discovering the lifts’ location and how to access them.

  1. Read reviews about the venue

Finally, secure your trust in your chosen venue by searching reviews about it on the internet. This will offer you a general idea of their services, the level of their customer service, and any edge it has against other potential venues.

Another great sign of a good hotel is if they keep an active account in online forums. They may also be interacting with former guests by leaving replies on the reviews about them, both favorable and not.

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6 Tips for Better Event Destination Selection

6 Tips for Better Event Destination Selection

Corporate meetings and events are focused largely on content delivery. Whether you’re hosting a meeting or event, you’re a keynote speaker, or you’ve got a booth in the exhibit hall, there’s a message you want attendees to take away. You might naturally assume that the message is the top priority, the delivery method is secondary, and the venue comes in at a distant third.

In truth, content is the most important part of any meeting or event. However, that doesn’t mean the location won’t play a crucial role in setting expectations and creating a platform from which to successfully deliver your message. Selecting the right destination is not a throw-away decision – it’s one you must treat with careful consideration.

Says Tessa Cameron, VP Strategic Sourcing at AMI, “Any number of destinations could suit your needs when planning an event, but some are going to offer more.  You need to comparison shop to find the greatest benefits at the lowest prices. Don’t forget to make sure your destination makes sense for your event and that it suits the sensibilities of attendees.”

What steps can you take to make sure you and your event organizer select the destination that’s best for your upcoming meeting or event? Here are a few guidelines to help you find your way.

Align Your Destination with Your Goals

What are you hoping to accomplish with your meeting? You may have many goals, from imparting a specific message, to raising brand awareness, to garnering patronage, to eliciting social behaviors from attendees (sharing via social media, writing positive online reviews, etc.). The destination you and your convention planner select should contribute in some way to reaching your goals.

For example, a beautiful location that has plenty of opportunities for selfies could invite social media sharing and raise the awareness and prestige of your event.  If your message and your company are Eco-friendly in nature, you’re going to want to support your ideals with venues committed to Eco-tourism. The destination you choose should never be at odds with your goals for an event.

Ask Your Convention Planner to Work Out All Costs

The bottom line is not only an issue for you and your convention planner, but also for any guests that have to pay to attend. While you might be able to work out deals with local vendors for lodgings, food, transportation, and activities, just for example, don’t forget that there are going to be hidden costs like taxes and fees, and you need to make sure to factor these in with overall cost.

Don’t forget about the potential cost for attendees to reach your destination, as well. Getting a great deal on lodgings won’t help if the vast majority of your attendees have to book pricey international flights to get there.

Carefully Consider the Infrastructure

A scenic destination that is off the beaten path may seem perfect for a retreat that requires total immersion. However, you have to consider the hassles of getting there and the potential inconvenience to attendees when you go off the grid, so to speak.

An experienced and creative event planner can do a lot to keep guests comfortable and engaged, but if event attendees have to spend hours on an airplane only to hop on a bus or in a car for several more hours of travel to reach a remote destination, they’re not going to be too happy about the inconvenience. Morale will get even worse if the location doesn’t offer absolutely stellar amenities and diversions.

Understand the Draws of Different Locations

What makes one location preferable to another?  You and your event organizer may be focused on the basics, like infrastructure, amenities, and logistics, but you also have to consider what added value a particular destination has to offer, such as culture, cuisine, and entertainment opportunities. This can help to elevate your event, engage attendees, and create an overwhelmingly positive experience.

Plan for the Weather

While there’s no telling what the weather will be like at a certain destination during specific dates, you and your convention planner can do some research into common weather patterns to find out if the climate is likely to be accommodating during your event.

Work with Your Event Organizer to Avoid Undue Safety Concerns

There are always going to be safety concerns when hosting an event, from a bad buffet that makes everyone sick, to uninvited guests gaining entry and causing disruptions, to natural disasters. If you plan accordingly, you can avoid most security concerns, but when choosing your destination, make sure to learn all you can about potential threats particular to the region or specific venues.