There are plenty of good reasons to hold your next meeting or event at a hotel--accommodations for overnight guests, catering and on-site restaurants, state-of-the-art AV with a tech support team, and amenities for your attendees to enjoy after hours, such as a spa, pool, or fitness center. Andrew Finsness, General Manager at Elliot Park Hotel, Autograph Collection in downtown Minneapolis shares exactly what planners should look for when choosing a hotel venue for their next event.
Q. Tell me about the Elliot Park Hotel and what you do there.
A. Elliot Park Hotel is an Autograph Collection hotel by Marriott. The décor is Scandinavian inspired with 168 guest rooms, meeting and function space, and Tavola, a Tuscan Italian Restaurant featuring wood-fired pizzas. I am the General Manager and oversee the entire operation.
Q. What things should a planner look for when choosing a hotel for their meeting or event?
A. A great product and impeccable service. Meetings are important to organizations and planners should not have to worry about the service delivery.
Q. What about catering?
A. Catering is what can change the meeting from good to great! Breaks and meals need to be inspired for the event and executed to the standards of the best restaurants.
A. Technology can make or break a meeting. Planners should expect the latest in technology and the expertise to help them to use it.
Q. How important is location?
A. Location is important especially if there is unscheduled time, so attendees have access to shopping and restaurants. Easy access to parking is also very important.
Q. Are more planners interested in eco-friendly amenities these days?
A. Meeting planners continue to be more interested and concerned with eco-friendly amenities as well as the knowledge of eco-practices of the entire hotel or meeting facility.
Q. Any other tips for ensuring a planner is getting the best hotel experience ever?
A. Over communication is very helpful from the meeting planner so the hotel is aware of all expectations. On the other hand, the hotel should share their expertise with suggestions to guide the less experienced meeting planner or suggest what works well in their facility.