Are venues universally misrepresenting their meeting space? Do they only care about getting the contract – THEN cramming your group into the space?
It’s doubtful that this is universal among all venues. In my 44 years of experience I’ve found some contributing factors to these errors, sometimes even the venues don’t know about them.
First; the hotel will give you the information they have on hand, and many times that information is very old. In most cases the room dimensions are put into sales brochures prior to the venue being built. Changes in room sizes that occur during construction don’t make it into the brochures.
In my early days in the business, I was sent to Atlanta to do a site survey for an upcoming meeting. Sales brochure in hand with the room diagrams on page 4, I presketched the room and had all my measuring equipment so I could get the “real” measurements. When I arrived I was given a hardhat and taken up a caged construction elevator to the appropriate floor. I got off, was introduced to the construction supervisor who proceeded to gyrate his arms to give me a visual reference for where the walls were “probably” going to be, with an occasional
“Now these beams ended up here, so we need to move this wall over a couple of feet”.
There was nothing but cement floor above and below, the four outside walls weren’t even constructed yet. Fifteen years later the same brochure page was being used for the room layout and dimensions, only with real pictures of the ballroom instead of architectural renderings and Yes . . . it still had the same old, inaccurate measurements.
Second; To the sales department and in-house AV, when convenient a front projection screen in the corner and a microphone positioned directly under one of the ceiling speakers qualifies as “AV”. Remember when you pick a function space, there are things to be kept in mind, things that deduct from the total square footage of the space. Keep in mind these elements that take away seating area:
• How much projection room from the back wall to the screen?
• How deep is the stage?
• How much room from the front of stage to the first row of the audience?
• How much space do you want from the audience entrance of the room to the back row of audience seating?
• How wide are the side aisles, between seats and side walls?
• How many center aisles and how wide are they?
These are the things that production professionals consider. The venue is hopefully not misrepresenting the space, they just don’t understand the real needs of your event.
As your partner, Canon House Productions will know what you need and help you get it!