According to Jil Dasher, SVP & Managing Director, Meeting Services, the following are great questions to ask during a site visit. Although HPN is known best for site selection and contract negotiations, did you know our team also assists in hotel site inspections and offers Full-Service Meeting & Event management, too? HPN is a one-stop solution for all your event planning needs.
1) Does the hotel or event site have a preferred or exclusive vendor list?
If the venue answers yes to this question, it can be good, or it can be a challenge. If you are new to the area and aren’t working with a Destination Management Company (DMC), having a prepared list of vetted vendors can make your job significantly easier. On the flip side, the limitations of that venue mean you might not be able to use outside vendors that you have partnered with before. In addition, if they do have preferred vendors, find out if you can have direct contact with them or if all communication will go through the site. Not having direct contact can slow down decisions.
HPN has a fully vetted list of preferred partners around the globe that we source on your behalf, so you have competitive bids in hand when you are on your site visit and contracting the hotel or venue. With HPN handling the vetting and RFP process, you know you are in good hands no matter who you choose to work with. If there are ever any issues, HPN can assist in mitigating them for you.
2) Are there any time restrictions for outdoor events?
Most venues have limits on amplified sound after a certain time of the night. For example, some venues might allow it until midnight while others end at 10 p.m. If you plan on having a deejay or band perform for a late-night event, knowing this up front is crucial. There are also event spaces, like museums and observatories, that only allow alcohol to be served for a certain amount of time or in certain areas of the venue. Knowing this valuable information upfront helps you plan your event within the available venue parameters while determining what is best based on the specific needs and expectations of the event you are hosting.
3) What else is going on during my event?
There are all kind of factors that can affect your event, from a concurrent event held at the venue to major road construction or citywide festivals. Each of these will need to be planned around, whether its finding alternate routes, putting up draping to hide construction work or hanging extra signage to ensure your guests make it to the correct event. Asking at the time of the site and contracting will save major headaches and confusion at your event!
4) What emergency preparedness plans are in place?
Your staff and attendees should have confidence that there is an emergency plan in place and what to do in the case of an on-site emergency. At the very least, your meeting team should know where the first aid kit and AED are located (preferably at the Registration Desk and easily accessible). Additionally, the entire planning team should be on the same page with the hotel or venue staff about how to handle everything including a power outage, fire alarm, medical emergency or on-site evacuation to assure that everything runs smoothly in the face of something unexpected.
5) What are the site’s security guidelines?
You’ll want to know the credentials of the on-site security, whether they’re in-house staff, off-duty cops or a third party hired for the event, and what specifically are they responsible for. That information will allow you to make decisions about extra security to make sure unwanted guests don’t wander into your event, which is something in-house security is often not responsible for. Here is a great article on the subject: https://hpnglobal.com/event-planning-risk-management/
6) What is the accessibility of the venue?
For starters, you will need to know if the venue is ADA compliant, especially if it is an open event to outside guests. You’ll also need to know about parking and whether there will be space for pick up and drop off. Both you and your guests are going to need this information to plan how they will get to the event. You’ll also want to know if there is a loading zone nearby, how many freight elevators does the site have and how big are they. The answers to these questions are key for figuring out how long it will take to load in decor and furniture.
7) What is the best staff-to-event ratio?
This question is good for both site visits and your on-site planning team. When talking with a DMC or a full-service partner like HPN Meeting Services, you will want to know that your dedicated Operations Manager is not working on too many programs at a time – otherwise, you may not be getting the full support you need, especially when it comes to last-minute changes or emergencies. When dealing with hotels and venues, asking how many servers, bussers, bartenders, and barbacks will be working your event ahead of time will help ensure that your event has the support it needs to run smoothly from start to finish.
8) How many power sources are there? Where are they located and what is their output?
This is such an easy question to overlook but it’s pretty important. For general sessions and conferences, people are going to need to plug in their phones, laptops, and tablets so you are going to need either a lot of power sources or one that has enough output to handle multiple devices. Thinking about power is even more important when you are planning an outdoor event. You can lose a substantial amount of the budget to generators and extra power charges, so it’s crucial to know immediately if the site can handle your electricity needs.
9) How many bathrooms are available?
This is another easily overlooked question that can make or break an event. If the event space has limited bathrooms, you’ll want to accommodate with extra time between sessions. If you know you will have significant disparity between male and female guests, you might need to requisition a bathroom for whichever needs more. Asking about the availability of ADA, family and gender-inclusive bathrooms or dedicated nursing rooms on-site is critical to covering all attendees needs, especially for open events or ones where you do not have the full demographic information about your attendees.
10) How does the site prefer to communicate?
You’ll be working closely with the hotel or venue leading up to and during your event, so you want communication to be as simple, streamlined and efficient as possible. That can be as easy as asking if they prefer information sent over in an Excel sheet rather than a Word document, or texting instead of calling during certain hours of the day. Simply asking how your hotel, venue or manager operates most efficiently is key so you can make sure you’re in tune with one other.
If you have any additional questions, please contact Jil Dasher directly; she would love to help!
An item that continues to come up when we are working on groups is wifi needs. How much bandwidth is enough and how much-dedicated megs do you guarantee under concessions. I am passing on some great resources to figure out the answer to these questions.
In order for us to help our clients, it is very important for us to identify the following information:
- How many attendees will be in the meeting space?
- Will they have multiple devices?
- Is there a live streaming requirement?
- Will you be downloading/uploading data for presentations?
- Are they using a mobile meeting app?
Once we have this information you can use the PSAV bandwidth calculator to figure out how many megabits of bandwidth is needed for the group. If it is a large group with a lot of attendees you will want to get dedicated wifi that is exclusive for your group. We typically negotiate the bandwidth complimentary as a concession our larger groups and always include the megabyte number.
For more information, please click here.
If you have any questions about wifi or anything else, just give me a call.
Steven J. Scatino
Partner/Executive Vice President, Sales
HPN Global, LLC
13825 N Northsight Blvd Suite 201,Scottsdale, AZ 85260
Office: 480-998-9770 Ext. 225
Scottsdale, AZ — August 26, 2019 — HPN Global, a worldwide event services company, today made another progressive move in its unending quest to serve its client base, associates and industry partners.
On September 1st, industry veteran Harold Batiste will join the company in the newly created role of Senior Vice President, Sales Operations. In this capacity, Batiste will act as the liaison between HPN Global’s 170 associates and our diverse portfolio of Hotel and industry suppliers.
In an ever increasingly challenging market, our associates and partners are faced with a litany of issues from contract language to meeting space and guest-room questions. Regardless of the business environment, Batiste will help manage both ends of the supply chain process to ensure our clients and our associates’ close business with the right hotels at the right rates.
Harold brings to HPN Global a robust background spanning almost 20 years with The Ritz-Carlton and Marriott International, both from a property perspective as well as Marriott’s Global Sales Organization. His ability to build great relationships will be utilized on a daily basis as he strengthens our bonds with industry partners around the world.
“As we grow and evolve our business, having an extremely talented individual like Harold as part of the senior executive team is something we are all very excited about,” said Bill Kilburg, CEO.
“I am thrilled and honored to join HPN Global. Over the past 17 years, I have witnessed HPN grow into a world-renowned meetings and event management organization. I feel my experience, passion and strategic support will help continue their growth trajectory. There is a lot of work to be done ahead, but I see the future as being very bright and could not be happier to be a part of it,” said Harold Batiste.
HPN is a global event management company with a strong foundation built on client and industry relationships.
When we say “Relationships Matter”, we live and breathe it through our commitment to service, transparency and partnerships.
John Whitney IV is the CEO of Emergency Concierge International, a company focused on emergency preparedness. We are living in a brave new world, and when you are in the business of bringing people together for meetings, conferences, and events, it is critical that we are always thinking about safety and security.
“Far too often those in the meetings and events industry take emergency planning for granted,” says John Whitney, Emergency Preparedness Expert. “They assume that the hotel, venue or DMC has it covered. That is not the case. Ensuring the safety of your attendees and the reputation of your organization should be a responsibility that you take wholeheartedly.”
Here are a few tips John offers to keep top of mind when attending your next meeting or event. If you need help creating customized emergency operations plans or need on-site emergency management, contact us for more information.
Maintain Situational Awareness
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Keep an eye out for items or people that look out of place.
- If you see something, say something.
- Locate the nearest Exits everywhere you go (at least two, primary and secondary).
Use the Buddy System
- Travel in pairs.
- If not in pairs;
- Let each other know where you are going and when you get there (especially at night).
Confirm your rideshare driver’s accuracy
- License Plate
- Vehicle make & model
- Watch for signs of dehydration
- Excessive sweating (or not sweating at all in extreme cases)
- Rapid, weak pulse
Commit to a “Warrior Mindset” – People laugh about this but it makes a huge difference!
- In an emergency, don’t wait for someone to instruct you.
- Be prepared to react immediately.
- Commit to survive!
If you’re at #CONNECTMP and need Medical Assistance, please access our Medical Plan for the event, which provides the nearest hospital, urgent care, pharmacy, etc.
Text “SAFE” to 345345 to receive “5 Life Saving Tips You Must Use In An Emergency“
HPN Global is all about relationships and helping give back to communities. We are proud to partner with Mary’s Place as part of our #HPN19 Global Partner Conference in Seattle, WA, by collecting donations to help families who have lost everything.
Mary’s Place gives these families shelter, helps with housing, employment and schooling, provides basic everyday resources and needs, and gives them hope for the future. Help us make a difference and donate today! #HPNGivingBack
We will also be accepting on-site donations during the Networking Reception in Las Vegas.
Learn More Here
The 20 latest Blog Posts
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- #HPN19 Partner Conference Highlights
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- Jil Dasher’s 10 Most Asked Questions To Conquer Site Visits
- Event Wifi Services
- Harold Batiste Joins HPN Global As Senior Vice President, Sales Operations
- Stay Safe! Event Planning Risk Management Tips For Your Next Event
- HPN Global Helping Seattle Families on Their Journey out of Homelessness at #HPN19
- You’re Invited! HPN Global Happy Hour
- Why Attend HPN Global Conference 2019?
- Sourcing Tip of the Month: June
- 2019 Hotel Contract & Negotiation Trends
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