The Value of Site Selection Trips
Planning a successful destination event is not possible without spending time at that location. Event planners must understand the ins and outs of the city hosting their events. Site selection trips are a must! What is traffic like? Are the photo galleries online a true representation of the site and the neighborhood? Is public transportation easy to understand? Is the customer service at the venue up to par? Are the hotel rooms comfortable and clean? Is the area under construction? Site selection is critical to the success of an event and nothing can take the place of seeing it in person. Think about all the things that matter to your attendees when traveling to conferences and ask those questions yourself during a site selection visit prior to signing on the dotted line.
Site Selection Trips Show You What Your Guests Can Expect
Familiarity with the site makes event planning more efficient. Have you ever tried navigating a new city with your GPS device only to discover a road is missing or has been closed? Or, worse yet, the restaurant you were dying to try is now an office building?
As much as we rely on technology to get us around, we simply can’t rely on it to be 100 percent accurate. Nor, can we trust that photos online and the reviews of strangers are actual depictions of a particular location. In order to get an accurate sense of a location’s dynamics, we have to visit that place personally.
As a meeting planner, you want to know what your guests will be experiencing during your event, from start to finish. Site Selection trips will allow you to experience the accessibility of the meeting spaces and their distance from hotel rooms, extra-curricular activities, and area restaurants. They will also allow you to document your visit with notes photos with no filters in order to compare venues before selecting the perfect site for your event.
Site Selection Trips Can Offer New Opportunities
Preventing logistical problems is not the only benefit of a site selection trip. They can also open up unexpected opportunities. Although you will likely do plenty of research remotely through internet searches and calls to hotel concierges for recommendations, nothing beats the tips you can receive by simply sitting in the hotel bar.
Meeting someone who has lived in the area for many years could lead to conversations about amazing local restaurants and other hidden gems. These unexpected personal conversations could end up contributing to the most memorable part of your meeting!
The bottom line is, some of the best options for your group won’t always come up in an online search. Site visit trips provide opportunities to explore the area first-hand and to talk to the locals and see what they’re raving about.
When Site Visit Trips are FAM Trips, the Benefits are Greater
FAM Trips, or “familiarization trips,” are designed by hotels, resorts and CVBs to to provide travel agents and event planners with a better understanding what the venues and city has to offer. As an event planner, you get to see the city through an attendee’s perspective while seeing the venues/meeting space and social excursions all at one time. Additionally, you will experience the city with peers, so it can be a great learning experience. As an added bonus, the trips are usually fully (or partially) funded by the CVBs or venues!