In order for any business to be a success it must host regular meetings with both its suppliers and its customers. These meetings are where long-lasting relationships flourish and where deals are made.
As many people make business decisions on first impressions, successful meetings are very much about location. When arranging any kind of meeting or conference, you need to think carefully about comfortable your invitees will be and choosing the wrong locale has the potential to break rather than make a deal.
For these reasons many managing directors and executives rightly choose to host their meetings at hotels.
Hotels do their very best to make their premises as warm and as inviting as possible. They understand that the world of business needs comfortable locations to hold discussions and get deals off the ground.
Even the lobby and bar areas of most hotels provide a nice place to host informal conversations. Those looking for something a little more official can hire specialist meeting rooms.
Although a meeting may only last minutes or hours, hotel staff will strive to make a visitor’s experience as memorable as possible and will be on hand to provide refreshments and handle any queries that may arise.
For full-day and half-day events, many hotels will also provide multiple tea and coffee breaks as well as lunch buffet. Some hotels will also happily organise a post-meeting evening meal for those that require one.
We looking for a hotel, pay particular attention to a place’s décor and ask yourself ‘is this the sort of place I’d like to come to if I was a customer?’ If the answer is no, then you should consider somewhere else.
Hotels provide a neutral space that is convenient to all people. They are generally easy to access by road and rail, meaning your delegates should have no trouble arriving on time and making their way back home or to the office afterwards.
Companies should understand that hosting meetings in their own premises can be little daunting to suppliers/customers. It can feel like stepping into someone else’s territory, which won’t have them at the ease you desire. Hotels provide a location that is neutral to both parties, allowing them to relax a little more and speak more openly.
If you are hosting a seminar rather than a meeting, using a hotel is also likely to produce a larger attendance.
Good hotels have rooms available which feature the latest technologies. Meetings and conferences will always be more successful where there is the option to show people items and charts rather than just talk about them. Hotels understand this and many provide state-of-the-art LCD projectors, large screen monitors and high speed Wi-Fi connections.
These technologies can be used for video conferencing, meaning even those that could not make the meeting in person do not have to miss out.
Other items regularly found in function rooms include;
• Folders, pens and paper
• Flip charts
Ability to stay over if required
As mentioned, one of the key advantages of hotels is convenience. However, if someone has travelled a long way to attend your meeting then they should be given the option of staying over in the hotel. This way they can relax and freshen up before and after your meeting.
The fact is that many businesses do not have premises big enough to host large meetings, seminars and conferences. Hotels do. By choosing a hotel, you get access to spacious air conditioned function rooms that meet the needs your business.
While no two hotels are the same, finding one suitable for 60 delegates is as easy as finding one for just five. Access for the disabled is another key advantage. While most businesses have adapted their offices accordingly in recent years, many still do not have facilities that are suitable for people using wheelchairs. Because hotels are public places, they have guidelines they have to adhere to, so you can be sure that access for disabled delegates will not be an issue.
Many hoteliers also offer low hiring rates to companies because they know that building a relationship can lead to future stays and larger scale bookings.
Use a hotel for your own company’s meetings
Even if you do not have a meeting with potential customers and suppliers scheduled, there are still a number of benefits from spending some time at a local hotel.
All companies should communicate regularly with their staff members and sometimes the office isn’t the best place to get the message across. Taking your employees out of their regular place of work can help to revitalize them and hotels provide a fantastic setting for versing them on new developments and requirements.