by Lisa Grimaldi | July 01, 2006

The following checklist was compiled with the assistance of the St. Louis-based International Association of Conference Centers (

First steps

  • Does the property offer a complete meeting package?
  • Is itemized billing an option? 
  • Are meetings and conferences the venue’s primary business? 
  • Can the property provide references from planners who have held events similar to yours? Be sure to contact them.
  • Is the property a member of the International Association of Conference Centers? (To find out more about the criteria IACC members must meet, visit
  • Service and accommodations
    When conducting a site inspection of a conference center, take note of the following.

  • Did guest-services personnel greet you by name?
  • Was staff at the front desk aware of your arrival? 
  • Were you made to feel welcome?
  • Do guest rooms include a spacious work area or desk with good lighting? 
  • Do the rooms have at least two phones (one bedside, one on the desk)? 
  • Do guest rooms have Internet access? What is the cost?
  • Meeting rooms

  • Does the property offer soundproofed meeting rooms? 
  • Will the meeting space be dedicated for the exclusive use of your group during the conference? 
  • Are rooms equipped with ergonomic chairs? 
  • Are lighting and acoustics adequate? 
  • Does each meeting room have individual climate controls? 
  • 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? 
  • Do meeting rooms or public areas have Wi-Fi access?
  • Are there any obstructions (chandeliers, pillars, etc.) in the sight lines of attendees? 
  • Will you be assigned a conference planning manager to be your liaison and main point of contact? 
  • Does the property have a conference concierge? If so, ask for a list of hours, services and pricing.
  • Is a well-equipped business center on site?
  • A/V specifics

  • What equipment (screens, projectors, audio systems, etc.) does the conference center make available?
  • Are A/V costs included in the meeting package?
  • If so, what specific equipment is included in the package? What are the charges for equipment not included?
  • Does the property own and operate the A/V equipment? 
  • Is it possible to bring in your own A/V suppliers or technicians? Is there a surcharge for not working with the in-house A/V team?
  • Dining

  • Does the property have a restaurant where groups can dine as part of their meeting package? 
  • Does the menu change daily? Obtain a copy of the set menu or rotating menus. 
  • What serving options (buffets, a la carte) are available for breakfast, lunch and dinner?
  • When are meals served? 
  • Does the property offer continuous coffee break and refreshment service? 
  • What food and beverages are offered at breaks? 
  • 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? Does the property offers meal credits if the group dines off site?