Meeting Planner 2013

Tips For A Successful Company Conference

It’s not uncommon these days to hear how people are taking on a number of different tasks at work and wearing a variety of hats to help their company operate more leanly and succeed in the marketplace. So what do you do if you get tapped to organize the company’s next offsite meeting? In speaking with professionals on both the sales side of the equation and the planner side, the answers are surprisingly similar.

Of course, there are a lot of variables that come into play—if your meeting will require overnight accommodations, what you’ll need in the form of catering (food and beverage service), if you’ll need audio/visual equipment, etc. Following is a list of things you need to know upfront before getting down to the nitty gritty details:

What is the intent of the meeting? Is this a heavy working session where attendees need to be distraction-free or is it a light-hearted celebration?

Know your audience/know your boss. Knowing things that could turn a meeting sour from the start are helpful to know. “If a large number of your attendees are vegetarians, you’ll definitely want to factor that into the catering menu,” says Allen.

“Knowing details like that can make a big difference in the success of a meeting.” Parking. Is parking onsite and is it free? The cost of parking will come out of your overall budget.

Audio/visual needs. What is the cost to use the venue’s projector, screen, podium, microphone, etc.? Are you allowed to use your own A/V equipment?

Location. Do you need to be near the beach and shopping, or is this just a one-day event? “We’re on the North End, not on the boardwalk,” says Waddell. “If a group wants some seclusion with the ability to connect with the boardwalk, we’re the best choice. If a group wants to walk out of their hotel room and be within a minute’s walk of bars, shops and restaurants, then we’re not the best choice.”

Is WiFi available to meeting attendees? This could be especially important if meeting attendees will need to follow along on their laptops or iPads.

Keep cultural events and holidays in mind when picking your date. You may not want to hold a meeting during a very busy festival that could potentially close off streets and make it otherwise difficult for attendees to get to and from your event.

It doesn’t hurt to ask. “Planning a meeting at a venue is a lot like buying a car—there is always room for negotiation,” says Dearborn. “If you don’t ask, the answer is always going to be ‘No’.”
 

 

MEETING FACILITiES
Best Western Patrick Henry Inn & Conference Center
(800)-446-9228
www.patrickhenry
inn.com
Total rooms 
available: 11

Best Western Plus Oceanfront Hotel
(757) 428-5370
www.bestwestern
plusoceanfront.com
Total rooms 
available: 5

The Chamberlin
(757) 637-7203
www.historicchamber
lin.com
Total rooms 
available: 6

Chesapeake Conference Center
(757) 382-2500
www.Chesapeake
Conference.com
Total rooms 
available: 18

Chrysler Museum of Art
(757) 664-6217
Norfolk

www.chrysler.org
Total rooms 
available: 2

Colonial Heritage
(757) 645-2023
www.colonialheritage
club.com
Total rooms 
available: 5

Doubletree Norfolk Airport
(757) 461-9192
www.doubletree.com
Total rooms 
available: 5

Doubletree by Hilton Virginia Beach
(757) 437-2022
www.virginiabeach
.doubletree.com
Total rooms 
available: 13    

The Founders Inn and Spa
(800) 926-4466
www.foundersinn.com
Total rooms 
available: 25

Half Moon Cruise and Celebration Center
(757)-664-1074
www.halfmoone.org
Total rooms 
available: 4

Hampton Inn and Suites
(800) 428-7866
Exmore/Eastern Shore    
www.exmoreeastern
shoresuites.hampton
inn.com
Total rooms 
available: 1

Hampton Roads Convention Center
(757) 722-1222
www.hamptoncvb.com
Total rooms 
available: 32    

Hilton Garden Inn Outer Banks
(252) 261-1290
outerbanks.stayhgi.com
Total rooms 
available: 4    
 

 

Hilton Norfolk Airport
(800) 422-7474
www.norfolkhilton.com
Total rooms 
available: 6    

Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront
(757) 213-3001
www.hiltonvb.com
Total rooms 
available: 9    

Holiday Inn and Suites North Beach
(757) 428-1711
www.vboceanfront
north.com
Total rooms 
available: 6

Holiday Inn Norfolk Airport
(757) 213-2231
www.hinorfolk.com
Total rooms 
available: 4    

Homewood Suites
 (757) 213-0808
www.homewood
suites.com
Total rooms 
available: 1    

Kingsmill Resort & Spa
(800) 982-2892
www.kingsmill.com
Total rooms 
available: 16

The Mariners’ Museum
(757) 591-5124
www.Mariners
Museum.org
Total rooms 
available: 5

Quality Inn and Suites Oceanfront
(757) 428-8935
www.vbqualityinn.com
Total rooms 
available: 8
    
Ramada Inn on the Beach
(757) 425-7800
www.ramada.com
Total rooms 
available: 9

Ramada Plaza
(252) 441-2151    
www.ramadaplaza
nagshead.com
Total rooms 
available: 4    

River Stone Chophouse
(757) 638-7990
 www.riverstone
chophouse.com
Total rooms 
available: 4
 

 

Rockafellers Restaurant
(757) 422-5654
www.Rockafellers.com
Total rooms 
available: 3

Ruth’s Chris
(757) 213-0747    
www.SizzlingSteak.com
Total rooms 
available: 4

Sheraton Norfolk Waterside
(757)-622-6664
www.sheratonnorfolk
waterside.com
Total rooms 
available: 16

Sheraton Virginia Beach Ocean Front
(757) 425-9000 x2318    
www.sheratonw
virrginiabeach.com
Total rooms 
available: 8

Smithfield Conference Center
(757) 356-9939
www.smithfield
conferencecenter.com
Total rooms 
available: 6

Virginia Air & Space Center
 (757) 727-0900
www.vasc.org
Total rooms 
available: 8

Virginia Aquarium
(757) 425-3475
www.vmsm.com
Total rooms 
available: 16

Virginia Beach Convention Center
(757) 385-2000
www.virginiabeach
conventioncenter.com
Total rooms 
available: 22

Virginia Beach Resort Hotel & Conference Center
(757) 481-9000
www.virginiabeach
resort.com
Total rooms 
available: 15

Virginia Living Museum
(757) 595-1900 x 254
www.thevlm.org
Total rooms 
available: 7

Virginia Sports Hall of Fame
(757) 393-8031
www.vshfm.com
Total rooms 
available: 4

Wyndham Virginia Beach Oceanfront
(757) 428-7025
www.wyndham.com
Total rooms 
available 11
 

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