Step 1. Make a short-list of your first level search criteria
A) Food catering criteria
- If full board
- Can the kitchen prepare and serve the food in the time available?
- Can the kitchen cater for the number of participants?
- What menus do they normally offer?
- Can they provide suitable choices for participants with special diet?
- How to arrange a barbeque, if desired?
- If self catering
- Is the kitchen big enough and well-equipped enough for preparing the food in time?
- Is the storage space great enough to store sufficient amounts of food
- How near are the food shops (and restaurants)?
Step 2. ‘Let other people do the searching for you'
Each of us made a list of who we know could know something about venues.
Ask other people to search for you
Who do you know are professionally involved in organising trips, conferences, study weeks or weekends. They can provide you from own experience with useful suggestions for venues or with tips of who or where to ask next. As you have the above short-list you can be very clear to them what you need.
Who of your friends are working in
- schools, further education and university
- the tourist industry
- the conference organising business
Acquire booklets from...?
The fastest work can be done behind the phone, by fax or by e-mail
Step 3. Collect the short-list info from each likely venue
Don't let you be put of by prices too early. Prepare yourself instead for negotiations to get them lower, as very often prices are very much negotiable!
Charitable status can be helpful.......
Step 4. First visit to the venue
what is the financial risks scheme here?
have checklist ready for information
- who is going to be the liaising person(s) in your team? The finance person needs to be part of the liaisng people. Otherwise the venue manager has to deal with continuously different people. On the other hand when different people of the organising group contact the venue manager the overview of all the contacts get lost.
- is the person you are talking indeed the person who is in charge of renting the venue. If not, you can get several problems when negotiating.
the visit itself
- general impression of the building
- make pictures
make notes of the answers Who are going to liaise with the venue manager?
Step 5. Deciding about which venue
- How to liaise with venue staff?
Is there a need for checking in meetings during the workshop?
- Coffees, (herbal) teas and biscuits
When and where available?
- PA system, tape and CD players, data projectors
What available? What needed?
- Clearing away necessary or not
after meals and breaks?
- Room cleaning?
By staff, by us? Or partially?
During stay and/or at end?
- What bedding is provided?
Bedding to be stripped or not at the end of the workshop?
- How to get to the venue?
- Public transport and by car
How nearby are stations and airports?
- which entrance?
- What sign posting needed?
- Smoking arrangements.
- What areas of site can be used?
- sun bathing and nudity?
- Foot and mouth restrictions
- Supervision of children at sight
- campfire and/or barbecue
- Fire Marshall/medics/first aid arrangements
- Door locking, how to get in and out?
keys or key-cards?