Before COVID-19, site selection visits typically happened in-person: clients and our team toured hotels, convention centers and offsite venues. With the pandemic changing our industry, our team has mastered the best ways to pivot and conduct a successful virtual site visit. Our technology and sites expertise allow you get the “as close to being there” kind of experience. Lauren Andrews, director of site selection, recently conducted a successful virtual site visit for 17 people from her client team. How did she do it, and what should you expect from a virtual visit?
- Block enough time: Because of the large scope of this specific site visit, two hours were blocked, but could be less depending on the size of the program and the preparation of your teams. For our clients, we work with our hotel and venue partners for several weeks prior to the visit to prepare a “virtual itinerary”, gathering video and images, educating our partners on your specific needs, and doing a run through so everything runs as smoothly as possible for you.
- Ensure your needs are addressed: In this instance, the hotel’s executive leadership asked the client to share successes and challenges they have had in the past. A thorough discovery ensures all concerns – and aspirations! – are addressed during the virtual visit.
- A focus on you: To help minimize distractions, attendees turned off their videos and muted themselves through the presentation section so that they could focus on the space they were being guided through. Everyone was encouraged to use the chat feature to ask questions along the way, just as we would converse when visiting live.
- A deep dive into the space: The hotel sales representative shared prerecorded videos of the meeting space in small, short clips to help save time and minimize any technical errors, while still providing the depth of experience needed to inform your decision. During the presentation, the sales representative discussed what the group was seeing in the videos of the space and answered any questions. They were also onsite in case our client wanted to see any additional space that may not have been pre-recorded.
- Follow up: One of the benefits of a virtual site visit is that you will have access to not just the presentation, but also any video and chat files, to review again or share with your larger team. A follow-up meeting gives us time to discuss what worked and what did not work and review the next steps for negotiations before moving forward with a contract on the perfect property for your next event.
Just as with an in-person site visit, the site selection team is here to make your virtual site informative, customized and personal.
Need help selecting your next meeting or event site? Let’s connect.