POPULAR EVENT VENUES – PROS AND CONS
These facilities are designed specifically to hold special one-day events like parties and receptions. They will typically have a variety of packages that include food, beverages, sound, décor, and service personnel. This type of venue can be quite affordable and is ideal for an event that lasts a few hours and where sleeping rooms aren’t required.
If your event involves getting people together from various locations, such as a wedding or a training session, consider a hotel that can provide both meeting space and sleeping rooms at the same location. Many hotels will offer discounted or free meeting space and banquet rooms if you can guarantee that a certain number of sleeping rooms will be reserved by your group or you will spend a certain dollar amount on food and beverages.
These facilities will have the coordinating team, equipment, and service staff that are best prepared to serve your needs for a large conference or trade show. If you need lots of meeting space and the ability to feed hundreds of people a hot meal in a short window of time, this is the type of facility you should be looking at. Expect to pay to park in nearby garages, and to provide transportation to/from nearby hotels throughout your event. Because the meeting rooms can be spread out over several wings of the convention center, you will also have to incorporate more time between sessions for your attendees to move from one room to another.
Lodges, Camps, and Retreat Centers
If you’re interested in something little more rustic, consider the facilities offered at state parks, scout camps or retreat centers. You may not have free wi-fi or flat screen televisions in your room (you may not have a television at all), but that’s the point of selecting these kinds of locations. They’re perfect when you want to have a captive audience with few distractions – think team-building events, spiritual retreat, or reunions. You’ll definitely want to check out these facilities in person – many of them were built decades ago so you’ll want to see their condition first-hand.
Many restaurants have private meeting rooms or areas they will reserve for a semi-private meeting space. Check their policy on bringing in outside food, i.e. a birthday cake. Restaurants may ask your group to order from a special menu rather than their regular menu, and will automatically include a gratuity to the final bill.
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