What you need to know about your venue of choice, before making a decision..

You are planning a business meeting, conference or brainstorm session, as a meeting planner, head of HR or maybe just because you volunteered for the job. In the search of the perfect venue you’ve seen countless options that just didn’t spoke to you. But this particular venue.. Wow! But hold up.. Before you make the decision to book it, have you thought about the following things? Have you asked the venue owner about it?

venue

What is the maximum capacity?
You don’t want to deal with the local fire department. So it is important to know the exact maximum capacity of the space. When you are in doubt if the space is big enough talk about options, perhaps an extra room or outside tents.

Is there Wifi?
In 2014 most of the venues have Wifi. But is it included in the price? Do you have to pay extra? And do you pay by person, data or per hour? Quite important right?

Are permits required?
Depending on what your plans are in and around the venue, certain permits could be required. Building a structure inside, serving alcohol or giving out flyers on the street. Check these plans with the venue owners, they know the local law.

What are the exact time slots?
It takes some time to set up your meeting, conference or session. Maybe you want to bring in goodie bags, have to build up stands or create a certain atmosphere with branding. Therefore it is good to know what the time slots of your contract are. Do you have time to break down and set up during office hours or do you have to buy extra time slots?

How about vendors?
Many venues have preferred vendors and some even have exclusive vendors. It has a lot of impact on the rest of your planning activities if the venue has exclusive vendors. Knowing this early on in the process of planning your meeting can save you a lot of time.

What technical equipment can be used? 
Is there technical equipment, such as beamers and microphones, available? And can you use this within the contract or is this extra?

What other questions do you ask yourself before committing to a venue? Let me know in the comments, I’m curious!

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Hotels van Oranje: a presidential stay at the beach of Amsterdam

Why hold meetings in a busy, noisy, and distracting city, when you can enjoy a creative and inspirational site? It is proven that people are feeling happier after a day at the coast. The unique location of the Hotels van Oranje allows you to combine your business meeting or event with various great outdoor activities on the beach, at sea, and through the dunes.

Mr. Holland_Hotels van Oranje

Facts

  • The hotel is very well accessible via Amsterdam Schiphol Airport or Rotterdam The Hague airport.
  • The hotel is located at walking distance from the beach, dunes and forest.
  • The Noordwijk area is popular for it’s atmospheric ambiance throughout the year.

Kings, Presidents & CEO’s
The presidential hospitality of Hotels van Oranje is certainly not unknown in the world. Many Kings, Presidents and CEO’s have stayed at Hotels van Oranje in the past and in the present.

Before the Nuclear Security Summit took off in March 2014, Hotels van Oranje hosted the Sino-Dutch Economic Forum. Special guests: King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima, but also Chinese President Mr. Xi Jinping and his wife Peng Liyuan. The Chinese delegation stayed at the Hotels van Oranje during the entire NSS. While Mr. Xi Jinping attended the summit, his wife visited the beautiful Keukenhof. They really appreciated that the hotel showed flexibility and were able to create 24 suites for their delegation. And that is one of the specialties of Hotels van Oranje, they have the capacity of a conference hotel, but they keep holding on to the charm of a boutique hotel.Hotels van Oranje

Endless possibilities
There is an infinite number of possibilities, which can be custom made for the purpose of your meeting or event. The team of Hotels van Oranje has a lot of experience with small to large conventions. Their event managers can help you create a very successful event that nobody will forget any time soon. Hotels van Oranje is located in a city that is the second-ranked international convention venue of the Netherlands. And due to recent renovations through the entire hotel, there is a unique mix of warm charm and modern interior in all the meeting and hotel rooms.

hotels van oranje hotelkamer

Renovations
During the last few years the Hotels van Oranje have invested tremendously in the modernization of all hotel facilities. Most recently all the hotel rooms in Hotel Oranje have been completely renewed. At the beginning of 2014 the Superior Deluxe rooms were delivered including completely renovated bathrooms.  The Hotels van Oranje have also created 4 new, contemporary Executive Suites! These suites have a staggering dimension of 60 m2 and are an oasis of pure luxury. Next to the hotel rooms also the stylish Imperial Bar, Aqua Sauna Oranje, Beauty Oranje, meeting rooms and the hotel lobby are renewed.

Activities
Plan some breaks during or after your meeting and combine it with great activities such as power kiting, coast rafting, beach golf or perhaps even tug of war with or against your management team! But how about designing and making your own sand sculpture, discover the flower bulb area with a balanced Segway tour or an unforgettable Vespa lifestyle experience! And at night you will be dancing it off in the Hotels van Oranje very own Beachclub O. How cool is that?

I bet I made you curious. Check out the Pinterest album I made with several shots from Hotels van Oranje.

5 handy apps for meeting planners!

Apps can be a great tool for meeting planners. It gives you a great overview of RSVP’s, to do’s and can combine different communication platforms. I have collected a few of my favourite apps.

event apps

Eventbrite – With Eventbrite you can organise succesful events in three steps. 1) create an event webpage with descriptions and details to start selling tickets and collecting registrations. 2) Promote your event using the free tools to spread the word about your event. 3) Manage event entry and be on top of who’s coming and check them in at your event. The Eventbrite App can quickly scan barcodes at the door and provide the most up-to-date list. Create a seamless process, delighting your attendees with the ease of getting in the door.

Bizzabo – Event planning is like a juggling act, balancing multiple elements of a conference at once. Use the Bizzabo platform to give your attendees a mobile agenda, networking capabilities, all while generating social buzz around your event. Take charge of your event by sending out real-time announcements for any changes and keep attendees engaged throughout the event.

Buffer – Buffer makes your life easier with a smarter way to schedule the great content you find during your event. The advantage of Buffer is the possibility to schedule posts with pictures for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. It makes managing content fun!

Super planner – Super Planner provides a variety of planning tools, including calculators for venue capacity, staffing, catering, staging, projection and dance floor, as well as useful tips in several areas.

Momice – With Momice it’s so easy to create an event site in 5 simple steps and to use the email- and registration module to communicate with your attendees in a professional way. Save time and money by managing all communication through one single website.

What are your favourite meeting planner apps? Let me know in the comments!