Putting Flexibility First in Event Venue Selection
By: Matt Bradford
A Q&A with the Crowne Plaza Kitchener-Waterloo’s Aimee Girodat
When it comes to selecting an events venue, today's planners have no shortage of options. What sets a venue apart, however, is its ability to adapt to whatever those planners bring through the door.
As for what that entails, Aimee Girodat, Director of Sales with Crowne Plaza Kitchener-Waterloo, offers her seasoned perspective...
Why is a venue's flexibility an important quality to meeting planners?
Flexibility and adaptability are key qualities in a venue because not only does the space have to work and make sense, but the venue team also needs to understand and anticipate the needs of the client to ensure a successful and memorable event.
Being adaptable is especially crucial. Despite our best laid plans, things often deviate from what's on paper. True professionals are able to assess and adapt to ensure the ultimate goal is reached and the client is satisfied. Here, for example, we designate a Crowne Meetings Director to work with clients in planning all the finer details leading up to an event and to be onsite when the client is there to ensure they are supported and all details are executed successfully and efficiently.
What does being flexible actually mean?
From a venue perspective, it's about having smart, functional space that can adapt to any program large or small and formal or intimate – or sometimes both during the same program. For example, our conference level was designed specifically with meeting and events in mind and provides a gorgeous, open Grand Ballroom as a plenary space and up to seven functional breakout rooms all on one floor. It was designed that way to facilitate a great flow and sponsor visibility, and to keep delegates focused and engaged since it eliminates the need to wonder around looking for their session.
Being flexible also relates to the venue team and their skill in understanding the needs of each individual client in order to customize the venue's space to fit their exact needs. With Crowne Plaza Kitchener-Waterloo, we take that concept even further where our Crowne Meeting Director will arrange Daily Meeting Debriefs to ensure our client's budget is staying on target and that we're getting the feedback necessary to adapt to their needs.
Lastly, it's about having lots of options for entertainment and networking functions. We are a multi-faceted facility here, offering some unique onsite amenities like our onsite Recreation Centre with bowling lanes, an arcade, aerobic studio, mini putt course, oversized whirlpool, sauna, and squash courts – all which make for a fun ice-breaker reception or a great place to unwind with friends after a day of meetings.
How can venues use technology to be flexible?
Providing access to technology is crucial for the venue as it is a huge consideration for clients and planners. It won’t matter how beautiful your event space is if the planner or client cannot access technologies like wi-fi, reliable networks, and superior audio-visual equipment needed for their program. Venues can exercise flexibility by ensuring that, in addition to the venue's services, that they work with professional partners and suppliers that can meet and exceed the client’s expectations.
How else can a venue stand out from the pack?
Standing out from the pack is more than knowing your specs. It not only requires a truly great product that contributes to the success of the client with creative spaces, modern design, and a smart and functional layout, but one that is supported by an experienced, professional team that is in tune with client needs and passionate about ensuring a successful and memorable experience for each guest. That’s what we strive for.
Aimee Girodat is the Director of Sales with the Crowne Plaza Kitchener-Waterloo. For more information, visit the Crowne Plaza Kitchener-Waterloo website.