Now that you know what you are going to use your meeting space for, it’s time to think about the setup. The best thing to do is find out as much information as you can before you get there. Exploring the property’s website will give you an idea about the meeting space you will be using, plus pictures.
Some key points to ask your on-site contact are:
• Room dimensions. It is important to know how much space you will have. If you plan on doing an activity, make sure there is enough room for movement.
• Max capacity. Retreats are usually planned by a per person process. Room dimensions are great for knowing the space you have, but most places will give you an exact number of people allowed to occupy a room.
• Restrooms. You can guarantee that someone will need to use the restroom during your meeting time. Finding out where they are located beforehand means you can let all your attendees know too, so there are no interruptions during your meeting. Depending on the group, it may be necessary to check out handicap accessibility and family restrooms.
• Stage. For large groups listening to a speaker or band, it is best to have a stage so that everyone can see.
• A/V equipment. All of our properties provide complimentary A/V equipment with a meeting space. If you know what kind of equipment you need, onsite staff can make sure it is all setup for your arrival. Check out our downloads page to view an A/V equipment list for each property.
• Ceiling height. Depending on the activity or props, you may need a higher ceiling.
• Flooring. This may seem unimportant, but depending on the activity, you may need a certain type of flooring. If there’s a possibility of a mess, you may want a room with tile instead of carpet.
• Tables. Make sure the room includes tables if you plan on writing or eating.
• Possible seating arrangements (rounds, classroom, circle, U-shaped, rows, theater). Round tables allow for conversations, but not looking at a speaker. Make a U-shape or circle for discussion. Rows and theater are good for listening to one person. Classroom is great if there is a possibility of writing.
• Extras. Some meeting spaces come with a kitchenette or breakout spaces.
We all know that the more details you have, the better you can plan. When you know what to expect before getting to a meeting space, you ensure a successful meeting. Letting the guest services crew know exactly what you want, can allow them the chance to have it all set up before you get there. That sounds a lot better to me than trying to set everything up yourself.