How do you select the perfect destination for your next program? Sure, hotel and flight availability certainly come into play, but there's so much more. See what our experts say are the important considerations that go above and beyond the basics.
Selecting a destination that can provide that special experience is paramount. What surroundings will deliver the experience you want to give your attendees and leave a lasting impression of their time together? Mark Jarrell, Director of Sales for Hello! Arizona, loves to plan with a little contradiction in mind. "When planning a program, I especially like contrasts…a modern hotel paired with an off-property rustic ranch, or a classic resort with a modern off-property venue. Creating that special experience that people wouldn't necessarily expect presents dramatic results," he says.
Always check your proposed destination's event calendar for public events and festivals that are taking place at the same time as your desired program dates. Kelly Kruszewski, Director of Sales for Hello! Florida (South) says, "Sometimes city festivals and events can be a positive thing for your group to experience, but it can also affect your program by limiting resources and venues or increasing room rates during that time."
Heather Phillippe, Senior Account Executive for Hello! California (Northern) touts this as an important consideration. "In San Francisco we are able to work with numerous food vendors within our hotels and venues, which allows us to offer customized options within a budget," she reveals.
New developments, construction, and city infrastructure are important to take notice of, since this will affect the accessibility for your guests as soon as they arrive. "Many groups are attracted to the fact that San Diego is so easy to maneuver through since the airport is close to downtown," says Romy Linde, Director of Sales for Hello! California (Southern.)
If taking your group off-site is an important component of your agenda, make sure your destination is venue-rich to allow plenty of options. Engaging Hello! early on is paramount so we can make sure the destination has adequate venues that can accommodate your group size during your program dates. It's also important to look at the natural surroundings and terrain, since that will serve as the backdrop for your activities and experiences.
It may sound like a given, but be sure to take the weather and time of year into consideration when selecting your next destination. Be open to creating back-up plans; despite perfect planning, the unexpected can happen!
Last but not least, always ask yourself if it's one of the over
35 destinations that Hello! serves; if the answer is yes, then you know you'll be in good hands.