Behind The Scenes At Xplor, Inc.: Site Inspections
We're starting a new behind-the-scenes series on our blog to bring you into the world of Xplor, Inc.! Our monthly features will go into detail on topics such as choosing a destination, scouting a hotel, organizing a charity event, and more. This week, we’re starting with site inspections: what they are, what we are looking for, and how we make our decisions. For more on WHY we do site inspections, read this blog post.
Site inspections involve visiting the city, hotel, and/or venue for an upcoming trip or event Xplor, Inc. is planning for a client. The inspections are planned ahead of time and coordinated with our contacts at each destination. If our client is accompanying us on an hotel inspection, the day is fully planned-out ahead of time so our client knows where and when to be. Conversations are held ahead of time with the staff of each hotel to communicate the client’s needs and wants, so those can be the focus of the tour. The client will typically have a meal at each restaurant to assess the food and atmosphere of the dining options.
This level of pre-planning is important so we make full use of our time to answer all of the client’s questions and concerns, as well as respect their time.
When determining the types of hotels we will be visiting, it depends on the purpose of the actual event, such as an incentive-based rewards trip or an annual conference.
For an incentive-based trip, we look for a resort-style hotel with excellent amenities. We require that at least one onsite restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and there are creative food menus and displays. Updated, modern rooms are always a draw, and bathrooms must have two sinks for couples and/or a shower/tub combo for anyone bringing kids.
When we are scouting for a conference location, the first priority is good meeting space. For us, this means rooms with ceiling height, a pleasant view, and that are size appropriate for the expected number of attendees. We also prefer for our clients to be the only group in the meeting space during the event to avoid confusion and crowding.
The meeting spaces should be close to restrooms and elevators, and preferably all on one floor, so attendees don’t have to change floors between events. We also inquire whether the hotel will provide AV requirements so we know if we need to outsource these services.
For pre- and post-meeting time, unique indoor and outdoor spaces, such as rooftop and poolside venues, really catch our attention. Gone are the days when conferences are held entirely indoors with all meals in a big ballroom! Because we are all about unique experiences, we look for hotel catering departments that are willing to let us get creative and bring in our own décor and linens to spruce up meals and social events.
Fresh, modern rooms are also key for conferences, but it is also important to find rooms with a price point that will be affordable to the attendees, since most will be paying for their own accommodations in this situation.
Site inspections can seem like a time-consuming part of the process but are crucial piece of providing WOW experiences for our clients!