It's Strategic - Planning A Site Visit Itinerary
We’ve covered the importance of site visits and what happens during a site visit in several blog posts already. But there’s even more to share! This week, we are focusing on how we plan for site visit to find an outside venue for a special event. This usually refers to a venue separate from the hotel where the conference or trip is based. We like to incorporate outside venues as a way to mix things up for the attendees and so they can experience more of the location they are visiting.
Last week, Anju set off for Dallas, TX with one of our clients to do final planning for their national conference coming up in September. The hotel for the conference was settled—it will be taking place at the Fairmont Dallas. The client always ends their conference with a big bash on Saturday night—almost always at a fun and unique outside venue. So the search was on! Far in advance of Anju arriving in Dallas, however, the Xplor, Inc. team went to work to set up an efficient agenda that made the most of her time and the client’s time in the city.
The first step was to research potential locations for Anju and the client to visit. They weren’t going to be just walking around the city hoping to spot a fun location for the final dinner—this had to be planned and scheduled in advance. Renata took charge of the effort to scope out potential locations, starting with, of course, a Google search! She kept her search to within walking distance of the hotel, to avoid having to transport attendees to and from the location.
Once she had a handful of options listed, Renata called the locations to find out their availability, capacity, and willingness to host the function. Other considerations are whether the venue is willing to let the client find their own entertainment and design a special menu. If all those qualifications were met, she would schedule a time for Anju and the client to visit the space for a tour and possible food tasting.
Scheduling these appointments is also done by design—we wouldn’t want everyone crisscrossing the city trying to get to each appointment! Renata planned out their route from venue to venue in a strategic way to make sure they were able to make the most of their limited time in Dallas. Many venues were considered, and after a day of searching, a final venue was chosen. Stay tuned for our conference recap blog to find out where the client selected!
While in Dallas, they of course stayed at the conference venue, the Fairmont Dallas, and scheduled in time to meet with the Fairmont staff to review final details. They spoke with the chef regarding the menu at two of the largest events, the awards luncheon and sponsor expo. They were also able to do a hotel walkthrough to confirm spaces available for breakout sessions, vendor areas, and signage locations.
Another important piece of the planning for this trip was the itinerary, completed by Allison. This document contained all of the information Xplor and the client needed during the trip—flight information, hotel reservation information, full appointment schedule, and important contact numbers.
It was a whirlwind two-day trip to Dallas but thanks to careful planning and a huge team effort, the visit was extremely productive and everyone is excited for the conference to begin in September!