by Martha Cooke | December 01, 2003

The following checklist was compiled with the help of the International Association of Conference Centers (www.iacconline.com) and Eric Whitson, director of sales and marketing, Benchmark Hospitality at The Chattanoogan, 1201 S. Broad St., Chattanooga, Tenn. 37402

GENERAL INQUIRIES 

  • Is the property a member of the International Association of Conference Centers?
  • Does the property offer a complete meeting package (CMP)? Is itemized billing an option?
  • Are meetings and conferences the venue’s primary business?
  • Can the property offer testimonials from past meeting planners with similar programs?
  • ARRIVAL

  • Did valet/guest services personnel greet you by name? 
  • Was staff at the front desk aware of your arrival?
  • Overall, were you made to feel welcome?
  • GUEST ROOMS

  • Is there a spacious work area or desk with good lighting?
  • Is there a phone on the desk and another by the bed?
  • Are guest rooms equipped with Internet access? If so, what is the usage cost?
  • CONFERENCE FACILITIES

  • Does the property offer solid-wall soundproofed meeting rooms (vs. airwalls)?
  • Will the meeting space be dedicated for the exclusive use of your group during the conference?
  • Are 18-hour ergonomic chairs offered as a standard?
  • Does the property offer tables with nonreflective, hard writing surfaces?
  • Are lighting and acoustics adequate?
  • Does each meeting room have individual climate controls?
  • Do meeting rooms feature tackable wall surfaces?
  • Are adequate phone lines available in the meeting rooms, in addition to a house phone?
  • Is high-speed Internet access available? If so, at what cost?
  • Are there any obstructions (chandeliers, pillars, etc.)?
  • Will you be assigned a conference planning manager to be your liaison and main point of contact? Can you meet this person during the site inspection?
  • Does the property offer a conference concierge? If so, ask for a list of hours, services and pricing.
  • AUDIOVISUAL

  • What equipment (screens, projectors, audio systems, etc.) comes with the conference space?
  • Does the property own and operate the A/V equipment?
  • What A/V is included in the package? What are the charges for equipment not included?
  • FOOD & BEVERAGE

  • Does the property offer a restaurant where groups typically dine as part of their meeting package?
  • Does the menu change daily? Obtain a copy of the set menu or rotating menus.
  • What are service standards for breakfast, lunch and dinner (buffet style vs. menu-ordered meals)?
  • At what times are meals served?
  • Does the property offer continuous coffee break and refreshment service?
  • What food and beverages are offered at breaks? Do the items change daily?
  • What are the options for theme breaks and upgrades?
  • Is private dining an option? Do additional charges apply?
  • What options are available for off-site dining and events?  Discuss meal credits if the group plans to dine off site.
  • Notes: