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Ultimate Meeting Destination Guide


Your Strategic Guide to Destination Selection: Choosing the Perfect Meeting Location 

Planning an event requires careful consideration of several factors to guarantee a successful affair. In this guide, we'll walk you through essential elements to consider when selecting the perfect destination for your meeting. 


1. Time of Year: 

  • Does your event coincide with the city’s peak travel season or off-season? 

  • Note that hotel rates tend to be higher during the peak season. 


2. Weather: 

  • Keep in mind the season and weather conditions during the chosen month. 

  • Be aware of potential challenges, such as hurricane season or blizzards, that may impact travel. 

3. Accessible Destination: 

  • Evaluate the ease of access to the chosen city by plane or car. 

  • Will the meeting be held in a large metropolitan city or a rural town? 

  • Assess transportation options, including direct flights, and factor in potential city traffic. 


4. Exploration Destination: 

  • Check if the city offers attractions, shopping, and restaurants within walking distance or a short drive. 

  • Consider whether the destination is more rural, limiting attendees' ability to explore without a mode of transportation. 


5. Parking: 

  • Does the venue have sufficient parking to accommodate all attendees? 

  • Inquire about valet and/or self-parking options. 

  • Does the venue charge for parking? If so, explore discounts or complimentary options.  


6. Venue: 

  • Assess the size of the venue's ballroom to ensure it can accommodate your general session in the desired seating arrangement

  • Will the group need to reuse the ballroom for meals or are alternative rooms available to host meals?  

  • Does the venue have enough meeting space to accommodate all events (breakouts, general sessions, meals, etc.)? 


7. Food and Beverage: 

  • Check if the venue offers in-house catering and whether the menu aligns with your group's budget. 

  • Inquire about policies regarding outside food or beverage. 

  • Will the group have any off-site meals they need to organize? Consider in conjunction with the exploration aspect. 


8. Transportation: 

  • Determine if shuttles will be provided to and from the airport or for off-site events. 

  • Are transportation services easy or difficult to arrange? 

  • Check the availability of public transportation options in the chosen destination (Uber, train, bus, etc.)  


Examining all aspects, from exploration opportunities to weather conditions, will bring you closer to a seamless experience for all attendees. Ready for a new approach? Let us handle the logistics! Contact UMC Support at ConnectionalRelations@gcfa.org to begin planning an event that transcends the ordinary. 


Dive into our curated selection of the top 10 Annual Conference planning resources here.

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