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, in-depth quarterly magazines, blogs and e-newsletters designed to help educate meeting planners on the benefits of hosting a meeting or event at a unique venue.
Have you thought about taking your meetings from a generic hotel ballroom to a unique venue at a University? Check out these tips that Sandy Dawson provided in our most recent addition of the Unique Venues Magazine.
START THE PROCESS EARLY.
You’ll want to provide RFPs and secure your space several months to a year out from the date of your conference. Because universities have to be mindful of student and athletic schedules, the more notice, the better chance of getting your preferred date.
DEVELOP A RELATIONSHIP.
The best first step is to make contact with the conference coordinator right away, and give hm or her all of your specs in writing. It helps to ensure a smooth line of communication between you and the campus and also prevents anything important from being left out in those important initial conversations.
LOOK FOR PACKAGE DEALS.
Colleges and universities usually have great food in their dining halls so you should look here first for meal options rather than outside catering. Many times you can arrange per person packages that will save your budget and bottom line.
Have you considered making the switch to a University venue? Get started today!
If you’ve been to a college or university lately, you know how advanced the technology is in smart classrooms and meeting spaces; but are you still curious or skeptical about overnight accommodations and wondering if they are the right fit for your group?
We give you the straight story in the latest issue of Unique Venues Magazine, released this month. Our cover feature gives you an exclusive, in-depth tour of four different types of housing options (such as traditional residence halls and deluxe hotel-style accommodations) that cater to various group’s needs and budgets.
In the article, we quiz campuses across the country, from the University of California Davis to Indiana University of Pennsylvania, as well as planners to get the full picture of what you can expect when hosting overnight groups in this setting – and the honest truth comes out, disclosing the pros and cons of each situation and what may (or may not) be provided.
It’s the first-ever story of its kind and a must-read for planners considering campuses for a multi-day event. Other features in this all-campus magazine issue include a rundown of the latest technology universities have to offer, a tour through the University of Florida school system and expert advice on hosting faith-based meetings on collegiate properties.
Are you a member of Unique Venues? If so, do you wear your badge of being a certified member with honor?
Being a member of Unique Venues places you in a league of your own. By displaying your badge, you let planners know that you are committed to seeking new business and responding to leads in a timely fashion. Displaying our member logo demonstrates professionalism and commitment to your clients and the venue you represent.
As if the meaning of your badge were not enough incentive to display the Unique Venues logo on your website, we have a little contest going to sweeten the deal! You have until March 31st to place the Unique Venues badge on your website to be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $100 Amazon gift card.
Let’s get started. Visit the Certified Member page here to be taken to the area of our website that has the code for the badges. When you finish, come on back here and comment to let us know you are wearing your badge with honor!
Recently Jim Jenks from Collinson Media & Events spoke with Unique Venues Magazine to share some advice on hosting religious functions on a college campus.
Here is what he had to say:
COST SAVINGS ADD UP
Cost is one of the biggest factors behind choosing a campus setting. The rates of the residence halls are so much more affordable and planners can get more bang for their buck.
UNIVERSITIES ARE ADAPTING TO CUSTOMS
Collegiate conference departments are eager to accommodate religious groups that are different and unique in their own ways. And many are adapting, especially when it comes to food and making sure kitchens are primed to meet the customary needs of these groups. There are more and more people of all faiths with special dietary needs and catering is keeping up with the demand for providing gluten-free, kosher and vegetarian menus.
HOUSING IS ADAPTABLE
More so than hotels, campus housing is arranged to meet the needs of traditional groups who’d like to book separate spaces for men and women. As well, there are a number of options suited to family or youth groups, too.
MAKE RFPS DETAILED
The biggest rule of thumb for planners is to work on building a relationship with a collegiate conference department and always be as specific as possible with them, especially on the RFP. If there are any unique needs for your group, large or small, you’ll want to list them in your proposal so that the team can know what you will need and will be able to accept or decline the request if they can’t meet the requirements.
Thank you, Jim, for sharing your thoughts on faith-based meetings on campus!
We are excited to welcome a few new members to the Unique Venues family!
Messiah College is perfect for summer conferences ranging in size from 25-1500 guests in Pennsylvania.
University Club of St. Paul
Located in Minnesota, The University Club of St. Paul features a grand ballroom that is perfect for a wedding. They even offer a special if you are interested in having your wedding on a Sunday!
Stout’s Island Lodge
Have you ever held your event on an island? Stout’s Island Lodge offers exactly that in Wisconsin!
Collaborative Labs at St. Petersburg College
Dynamic and collaborative meetings are at the core of the labs at St. Petersburg College. Think of it as an incubator for a team to use in the brainstorming process outside of the normal cubical walls.
353 West NYC
Artist showcase, release parties, and fundraisers are the perfect events for this Manhattan Private event space.
Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital
Located in Washington, D.C. this elegant venue accommodates 10-600 guests. The Hill Center features state of the art audio visual equipment and offers attendees the ideal location near Capital Hill.
Saint Paul Athletic Club
To cap off our newest member introductions, meet Saint Paul Athletic Club. They are located in St. Paul Minnesota and offer Banquet Halls and Conference Rooms for corporate events and trainings. The architecture alone will have your guests in awe at the meeting, but paired with the menus your event is sure to be an experience!
Give a warm welcome to these wonderful properties.
The Unique Venues team is hitting the road, and we want to see you during our travels! Below is a complete list of where you can find us at the upcoming tradeshows. There are opportunities to meet up with us in the Expo or to attend a session lead by our knowledgeable team members.
We will see our College and University colleagues at the ACCED-I Annual Conference March 23-26th in New Orleans. In addition to the Expo where you can stop by to see us about the latest Membership information, you can join us in a few sessions. Chuck Salem will be presenting on Customer Service in a presentation titled “BIG and EASY Customer Service Assurance”. Tony McGuirt will be presenting a session titled “Once Upon A Time on a Dark Dreary URL”. Mandy Volpe, our newest team member, will present during the Special Interest session regarding Marketing with Technology.
Our next stop will be at the ACUI- conference April 6-10th in Orlando, FL. Chuck will be at the conference leading a presentation with Carlos Costa called “From the Outside In: Improving Conference Services.”
To round out the spring road trip, you can find Jeanne Feathers and Chuck Salem at the ACUHO-I Conference in Washington, DC.
We hope you will stop by and say hey. There will be exciting giveaways and raffles happening at the shows, so make sure you find one of our team members to get all of the details!
Our sales team just returned from RCMA. While at the show, an interesting statistic proved itself in real life. Allow me to explain:
Think of a baby. Experts say that you have to offer new foods to a child 10-15 times before they’ll try it or it or even like it.
So how many times do you have to ask a meeting planner who uses hotels and traditional venues to TRY a unique venue?
Ask Chuck Salem, President of Unique Venues. It took one planner at RCMA visiting the Unique Venues section at the trade show and attending Chuck’s 70-minute session before he finally said, “OK, here are my RFP’s. I’ll TRY some of your venues.” And he really meant try. No promises.
Our meeting planning department has since processed all of these hot RCMA leads. Hot leads have short lives and therefore need to be responded to quickly. Set a goal to follow up on leads in a timely fashion. Let’s not let this guy get away from trying something new. Who knows? He might even like it.