Are you considering holding your next big business event at a resort? Aim to site-inspect as much as you can before you leave home, advises Amy Pfeiffer, managing sales director for the Walt Disney World Resort, in Meetings & Conventions magazine.
Reason? It’s a bigger task than inspecting a city hotel, since resort guests will rely on the property for many more of their needs.
Pfeiffer suggests starting with these questions when performing distance site-inspections:
Ask for something special. You might say, “Here’s what anyone can get who comes to your resort. How can you create an enhanced experience for my group?”
Check about seasonality. For example, if your big meeting is in October, you might actually find a good deal at Disney, whose slow season is from June to November.
Raise the issue of cutoffs. A resort may have a 30-day cutoff for submitting a final room count. If you know your group includes late bookers, be sure you understand the cutoff policy before doing a site inspection.
Inquire about the cancellation policy. Most people assume that they can cancel a day or two in advance with no fee. But resorts generally require a week’s lead time.
Does the property plan any renovations? Will the work interfere with your event?
Request information on the shopping, recreational facilities and restaurants on-site or nearby. Also ask about on-site destination , and whether it provides complimentary transfers. If attendees want to venture off-site, they’ll need reliable transportation.