Unique Venues connects meeting planners with one-of-a-kind event locations in the US, Canada, and the UK. The leading authority of unique spaces for nearly 30 years, Unique Venues provides professional and volunteer planners with the industry's most comprehensive website of non-conventional venues at uniquevenues.com and uniquevenues.ca, 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.

Apr 17 2014

Lesson 2 in Customer Service with Chuck Salem

Published by under Marketing Tips,Planner tips

Our second installment of the customer service series with Chuck Salem is about practical steps to implementing quality customer service at your venue. These steps will set your staff and venue up for success in fostering relationships and quality events for your client.

1)   Who will be at the table? Define what key people will be in attendance for  meetings between the client and the venue. Identify these people in advance so that there is consistency in who the client will be working with. This will also create relationships and ensure that your customer service is based on understanding their needs across multiple meetings. Make sure the people in these meetings are listening for what matters to the client and what will effect a “win” at the end of the day.

2)   Establish Proactive communication

Think about what forms of communication can be sent out before they are ever asked for. Send maps of your property before they are ever asked for. What is on the dining menu? Send that in advance too. The key here is to leave the client with the feeling that they are being taken care of especially since they have a million tasks on their agenda. Being proactive also gives the event planner the reassurance that you are there to take care of them, even if there are other events happening at your property.

3)   Be present. This goes back to who will be at the table. Identify who will be the main point of contact from your venue and ensure that person is available throughout the conference, day or night. This means having a welcoming presence at check-in AND check-out. It doesn’t matter if these times overlap a weekend day, make it happen. Show up and be seen. Greet your guests and offer them hospitality that will leave them feeling welcomed and valued during their time at your venue.

Next week we will be back to share Chuck’s advice on how to handle the “hater’s” in customer service.

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Apr 14 2014

Featured Unique Venues College Properties

Published by under Colleges & Universities

The University of Puget Sound Puts Student Center Front and Center

The Tacoma, Washington campus is currently renovating its student center. When complete, the two-story, 18,000-square-foot addition will improve the dining program and traffic flow, provide additional seating and offer a new office for the Dining and Conference Services department. Look for the unveiling this May!

Everything is Bigger in Texas, Like Trinity University’s Conference Center 

The Holt Conference Center in San Antonio rests on the campus’ 117 impeccably landscaped and sculpted acres. The campus is able to welcome as many as 2,865 guests within its 81 meeting and event rooms, with on-campus overnight accommodations for 1,900 available May through August. The Holt Conference Center is available all year long and features space for 60 people. During the school year, there are ample hotel options near to the campus as well.

University Conference Center Chicago is No Second City of Technology

Downton Chicago meeting location
The sprawling Chicago campus infuses state-of-the-art meeting and presentation technologies, including computer data projection with screens, audio/video conferencing, wireless Internet access, DVD/CD players and other streaming media technologies. As well, the Center offers 10 meeting rooms with configurable layouts, 15,000 square feet of meeting space and an outdoor terrace.
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Apr 10 2014

Lesson 1 in Customer Service with Chuck Salem

Published by under Marketing Tips,Venues

This is the first post in a series on customer service and how it sets your venue off from the rest. Chuck Salem recently presented at the ACCED-I and IACC conferences on this very subject. With some great take-aways, you too could have an “IT” factor that is uniquely you. 

For starters, Chuck challenged attendees to evaluate their door sign. You know, the sign that hangs on the front entrance of your venue. What does it really say about your service culture? Not what you want it to say, but what it really says.

  “62% of people polled stated that customer service was the number one factor in vendor trust” according to Zen Desk.

Think about how you do business at your venue. Is the customer first? Are you busy just trying to fix problems, rather than being proactive in responding to customers? Over the next few weeks we will give you practical advice on creating a culture of excellent customer service that will set your venue apart from others.

In the mean time, think about this. We are humans so there will be error in our day-to-day interactions. That is a guarantee you can count on. The question is how will you handle it? Will you correct the situation and create an evangelist or totally bomb? Be in the business of creating evangelists.


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Apr 08 2014

Get it While They’re Hot!

Published by under Colleges & Universities

Today we have some hot deals for you in regards to meeting venues. We are lucky enough to have outstanding venues and we couldn’t keep the secret of their current deals to ourselves.

Hampshire College is currently offering one free room for every eight attendees. They will also upgrade your meals. 

Looking for a spot to host your summer camp, conference, retreat or training? Consider Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. For the dates of June 16 – July 12 and July 21 – August 10, the campus is offering a complimentary overnight accommodation (with upgraded linens) for every EIGHT participants.

In order to receive the deal, your program package must include accommodations, daily meal service and facility use. Hampshire will also upgrade one meal to a fully catered, private luncheon, dinner or barbeque at no additional cost. Call Kate Fields at (413) 559.5610 or e-mail krobert@hampshire.edu to reserve your dates.


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Apr 07 2014

Travel Recap: ACCED-I Expo

Published by under Venues

Our team just returned from the 34th Annual ACCED-I Conference in New Orleans.  The trip was a busy one as we gathered with many of our collegiate members and met new friends in the Expo area.

After the Expo, our team broke off for the night for some creative fun. With five of us at the conference, we took advantage of the team being in one place by doing some team building. The team went to a local painting place to let the creative juices flow. The idea behind the paintings was for us to each paint one of the steps and then rotate to the next persons painting. We ended up with a masterpiece for our walls where all five of us contributed to the final product. It was a night to remember!

Beyond painting, Chuck, Tony, and Mandy all gave presentations. Presentations ranged from customer service to marketing and technology.

Overall it was a great trip and conference. Thank you to all of our members who stopped by to say hello during the show. Up next, we head off to ACUI in Orlando. Who will be at the celebration? Stop by and see us this afternoon.

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Apr 04 2014

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner: March Giveaways

Published by under Venues

Are you a reader or a scanner in terms of your email? Do you instantly trash emails or give them a glance to see the highlights? Whatever your style is, make sure you don’t merely scan emails or blogs from Unique Venues.

Case in point- we have been running some pretty great promotions! So to cap off this work week, we want to announce our March winners from the email and blog promotions we sent out.

  • Troy Bristow from Wheaton College is our Certified Member Logo contest winner. They are the winner of a $25 Amazon Gift Card.
  • Congratulations to Dana Brown from Drexel University for renewing her university membership. She is the winner of a $100 Amazon Gift Card.
  • The winner of our $100 Fuel Gift Card goes to Matt Sirnek from Carroll University.

Keep in mind, there will be new chances to win in April so make sure you look out for emails and come back here to the blog to see giveaways from Unique Venues!

Enjoy your weekend.

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Apr 03 2014

Meeting Planner Giveaway: Help Us Help You

Published by under Contests,Planner tips

Are you feeling lucky? Follow just two easy steps, and you will be entered into a drawing to win one of two $25 Amazon gift cards. One, like Unique Venues on Facebook and two, complete our Assisted Search form atUniqueVenues.com, which will help us help you find the perfect event space for your next gala or gathering, free.

Can we pause for a moment to discuss how Amazon Prime dues are going up? This gift card could be just the ticket to keep your subscription active for one more year, because let’s face it, with a simple click I can have anything I need delivered in two days. No hassle at the store.

So let’s make this a win-win all around.  Not only will you have the chance to win a gift card (and who doesn’t like Amazon?), but you will also realize how easy and simple it is to use this great Unique Venues service. The Assisted Search form needs only eight fields of required info to complete – and when you send it in, a member of our meeting department will search our list of member venues to find the perfect match for you.

Try it today! Winners will be announced on our Facebook page on April 30.

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