So, you’ve been given the responsibility of securing your company’s next meeting space rental, and of course, you’re immediately struck by the overwhelming amount of details you’ve got to keep track of. It’s then you realize that anytime you’ve wondered how event planners can earn a living makes so much more sense.
How do you keep track of so much? Where can you find the time to actually physically go somewhere to assess facilities? The fact is that finding a rental space for any meeting or gathering is a tough gig for even the hardiest of industry professionals. There really is so much that can go wrong from the beginning, but it’s the beginning that is the best place from which to start.
Before you get lost in the plethora of questions that need to be answered when booking a rental space, these five questions must be at the top of your list:
Is the date I need available? – This question is paramount. If you’re looking at multiple possible meetings spaces, you’ll know which to cross off your list because they can’t accommodate your scheduling needs.
What are your costs? – If you do have available dates, it’s time to find out what costs you’ll incur. Any event planner knows that you need to have a working budget from the start. If you’re incurred costs exceed your budgetary restrictions, you need to look elsewhere.
Can you provide a breakdown of available A/V equipment & usage policies? – OK. So, dates & booking costs are check out, but since this is a meeting, you’ll undoubtedly need to know what type of audio/visual equipment will be available. This is also a perfect time to note any special A/V needs your organization may have. As you can expect, if you’re technological needs can’t be met, move on.
How does your facility help in terms of staffing & assistance? – If all is going well, you’re now asking about facility staff & how available they’ll be for your meeting. Depending on the type of meeting you’re having, you staff needs will be different. Moreover, you’ll want to know there will be some help with equipment you’re using.
What are your policies for changes or cancellation to a reservation? – Sometimes things come up. Even large companies and corporations have issues come up that mean major changes to plans. You need to be sure to ask about cancellation policies as you research facilities just to be sure you have the information ahead of time. Some hospitality experts may argue that introducing the topic of cancellations & last-minute changes so early in the booking process will leave a less-than-confident feeling on the part of the meeting space staff. Still, breaching the topic early is important for all parties involved because it gets everyone the same page regarding policy.
Sure, there are other questions to be asked, but as noted, if you can answer these few questions, you’ll be readily able to move forward with a booking or look elsewhere much sooner. This, of course, means less wasted time, money, and other valuable resources.