Location, Location, Location: 9 Tips to Further Your Global Event Domination

By Sydney WolfRenee Splittgerber, and Jason Rudoy

metroConnections is your single source for creating and managing the entire event experience from conferences and meetings to stage productions and transportation. Founded in 1984, we first began work in our own back yard – Minneapolis / St. Paul, Minnesota. Today, from our offices in both Minnesota and Orlando, Florida – we design and implement events throughout North America and around the world! To date our four service centers have collaborated to complete programs in 49 states and 10 different countries.

Planning conferences, tours, and events on a national or international scale is exciting. It can also be daunting if location specific details aren’t researched well in advance. In this month’s blog, our Conference Services, Events, Production, and Transportation teams have joined forces to determine valuable tricks-of-the-trade when attempting to grow your global presence.

  1. Chicago, Boston, New York
    Big cities typically mean higher budgets and often times a union labor force. When you are planning to head to a city like one of these – do your research! Figure out if your venue requires union labor and be clear on what this means for your load-in and load-out processes as well as your overall conference budget.
  2. The “North”
    It’s true – Midwesterners love to head up north during the summer to enjoy the cabin, lake, and North woods atmosphere. Embrace outdoor locations and incorporate an outdoor teambuilding activity that fits the environment. Competitions like a camping challenge, boat building competition, or interactive scavenger hunt are a fun addition. When planning your programming – remember to consider your geographic location and use that in your teambuilding and evening events.
  3. Washington, D.C.
    There are definitely more safety and security concerns in our nation’s capital. Working through the implications of this can be tricky. Become familiar with what this might mean as you are moving your group around the city. All shuttles must have a special permit to provide pick-up and drop-off service. In addition, all tours must be hosted by a licensed tour guide.
  4. London
    It’s important to meet the needs of your attendees and communicate in their native language – or even accent – wherever you go. On a recent trip to London, we worked with native talent to pre-record all the VOG (voice of god) announcements so they were in an authentic British accent! Consider this and other adaptations as you manage your meeting content.
  5. Isolated Locales
    We often find ourselves in remote resort locations or small town America. For resort locations specifically, take into account higher per Diem expenses for staff and crew members. Prices are high and there may not be another food or hotel option nearby. For smaller towns or secluded sites, consider packing extra event supplies, AV equipment, badges, etc. Should anything go awry, you’ll need to be prepared! Local sourcing options may be few and far between and may cost you.
  6. Florida
    Home to our second office! We love working in cities where our staff and partners are based. Embrace locations near vendors and other affiliates. This helps your team leverage local partners and maximize your buying power – not to mention your margin. Tip: Consider bilingual needs for programs in Miami.
  7. Canada
    We are seeing more domestic groups expanding into Canada for destination meetings. Even though they are our neighbors to the north, there is a very specific commercial invoicing process that needs to take place when shipping event and conference materials. Research the requirements for working across boarders immediately, as you’ll need to cross customs and export your event items on time.
  8. Las Vegas
    One of the world’s top destinations for meetings and conventions. There is no shortage of meeting space in Vegas! But how do you determine what location is the best fit for your group? Answer: By partnering with experts well-versed in site selection, contract negotiation and RFP management. You’ll save yourself time and money by working with experts in the site selection and procurement industry. This first – and often times most important – venue decision during the planning process will help you start off on the right foot!
  9. Arizona
    One of our favorite places to work, this beautiful state offers a dynamic landscape that is the perfect setting for evening events. Play up the southwest theme through your food, beverage and décor selections. Pick a unique venue like an outdoor canyon, dude ranch, or beautiful golf course to set the scene!

Since 1984, metroConnections has provided complete conference, event, stage production and transportation services for meeting and event planners nationwide. With annual revenue of $15+ million, the company operates from its headquarters in Minneapolis, Minn. and produces more than 1,400 programs per year. The metroConnections team uses its expertise and resources to specialize in the design and implementation of themed events, stage productions, transportation, tours and conference program logistics and meetings. metroConnections also offers audio/visual and production services and is the creator of Attend-eSource®, a web-based solution that includes elements such as online registration and custom-built event websites. For information on planning conferences, events, stage productions, transportation logistics or group/companion tours, contact metroConnections at 612-333-868.

Sydney Wolf has been working in the Event Services division at metroConnections since May 2011. As a member of the Sales Team, Sydney leverages her expertise in creative design, program management and event logistics to create experiences for metroConnections clients. Sydney holds a degree in Sports, Entertainment and Event Management from Johnson & Wales University with an emphasis in Sales and Meeting Management.

A member of the metroConnections team since 1990, Renee Splittgerber started as a Transportation Services Coordinator and moved into sales for the same division before being promoted to Director, Transportation Services. In this role, she oversees the Tour and Transportation Services division, its operations and sales functions.

As a Conference Services Account Manager, Jason Rudoy brings incredible marketing and project management experience to the team. With more than 15 years of experience in the industry, prior positions include event and meeting management with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Target Corp. In his current role, he assists with public relations and marketing activities for the sales and operations teams.

For information contact metroConnections at 612-333-8687 or email info@metroconnections.com.