In order to book the proper conference accommodation in a foreign country that is appropriate for an upcoming conference, you will need to overcome a number of variables. Some of these will naturally include language barriers, currency exchange rates and even the work ethic of the on-site staff. Many of these metrics can be solved through the use of a targeted hotel contract. However, you will need to have a firm grasp of the site itself before committing to any type of legally (and financially) binding agreement. Why is this the case, what are some details to keep in mind and how can these aspects be incorporated into the final contract?
Conference Accommodation: More Than Meets the Eye
Hotel websites (particularly chain establishments) are extremely concerned with sales and thus, there is a great deal of marketing involved. This can be problematic, for what you see may not always be what you get. Not only could such a situation be frustrating from a logistical point of view, but a failure to meet the needs of your guests can be catastrophic in terms of reputation. The way to circumvent these instances is to visit the property in question before committing to a formal decision.
Viewing the location of a hotel utilising such resources as Google Maps can be deceiving. It is nearly impossible to gauge important variables such as traffic, noise levels and how convenient it is to arrive at the conference venue. Physically visiting the hotel and the surrounding environs will enable you to quickly determine if it is the best option. Also, speak with hotel management services. They are likely to be able to provide useful advice and different routes to take to the event.
Business-related travellers are used to modern conference accommodation. In this respect, you may be better choosing a large chain. These organisations have the funds available to offer cutting-edge technological amenities. Some of the basics to address are:
- Free wireless Internet throughout the property.
- Small conference rooms and meeting spaces.
- Individually controlled heating and air conditioning.
- Charging ports for tablets and mobile phones.
Let us not forget that international hotels may not employ the same electrical systems. An example can be seen in the voltage difference between the United States and Europe. Many hotels will offer adapters at no extra charge. If these are not available, some travel related firms will rent such units out.
The Face-to-Face Meeting
If we assume that you have thoroughly assessed the property, the next step is to sit down and speak with the hotel management services themselves. It is much easier to develop a good business relationship in this manner as opposed to phone calls and emails. Should you require a translator, be sure to have one on hand in advance. Still, one of the hallmarks of a reputable property is one which offers staff that can speak English on at least a business level.
Addressing the Contract
Most major hotels will have a pre-arranged contract written for hosting event participants. Nonetheless, it is wise to create a bespoke alternative contract based around your discrete needs. This can then be amended in the future and such documentation is an excellent mean to obtain extra leverage during the process of negotiating with the hotel management services.
Assessing the merits of a hotel is only one step when searching for an international property to accommodate conference attendees. To develop a more well-rounded perspective of this part of destination management, we encourage you to peruse our dedicated White Paper 3: International Hotel Contracts in greater detail at your convenience.
Download the White Paper: White Paper 3: International Hotel Contracts
Congrex Switzerland is an internationally operating agency delivering integrated solutions especially for non-profit clients. This encompasses the overall organisation of conferences including the management of hotel rooms and the strategic consultancy of associations. Annually Congrex Switzerland organises approximately 33 conferences with over 73’000 delegates. Amongst our clients are international associations, governmental organisation and corporations.
If you wish to receive additional information about Congrex Switzerland, please feel free to contact us.