Ø  Central/Easy access

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Ø  Affordable

Ø  Comfortable



Ø  Hotel

§  Services such as catering, equipment rental generally easy to arrange.

Ø  School/University

§  Cost may be lower. 

§  Scheduling dependent on school year cycle. 

§  Food service on campus may be available for your use.

Ø  Corporations/Associations/Engineering Firms

§  Businesses with large conference rooms may be a good source for small meetings.

§  Offer a low cost alternative.

Ø  Community Centers/Convention Centers

§  These vary with location and size, costs and services


Meeting Facility Requirements:

Ø  Be sure there is enough space to accommodate your session. 

Ø  Allow extra space for check-in, onsite registration and networking

Ø  Be sure there is adequate seating for the room setup required for your session. 

Ø  Theater seating may work well for a lecture style presentation, but an interactive workshop may require classroom seating, boardroom, panel discussions need head table, etc.  

Ø  Room space is maximized with theater seating.

Ø  Are there hookups for any technology you need? 

Ø  If someone is participating by conference call, is there a speakerphone in the room. 

Ø  Need an Internet hookup, make sure there is one available.  (local dial up, T-1, other high speed options available)


Audio Visual & Technology Requirements: 

Ø  Microphone:  Do you need a microphone for your speaker or microphones for audience questions?

Ø  Computer, data projector, screen: Will you need a computer and data projector and screen for the presentation.  Is the speaker bringing that equipment, or are you responsible for providing that?

Ø  Speakerphone: Is a speakerphone needed?  Make sure there is a phone line and phone in the room.

Ø  Tech support: If you are using the hotel to provide your equipment, do they have tech support on staff?  If not who will supply that help and for what cost.  If you are using an outside vendor will tech support be available to setup and handle any emergencies that come up during the presentation?  If you are using your own or borrowed equipment, can you handle technology problems that might arise, or have you made arrangements for a vendor to do that?

Ø  Internet hook-up: Internet hook-ups vary from dial-up to T-1.  Make sure you have the speed you need and your computer has the appropriate hardware and software to connect.   For example if you are using dial-up, your computer needs to have a modem or if using wireless you need to have wireless connectivity on your computer.


Food & Beverage:

Ø  If you are serving food and beverage, anything from coffee and soda to full meals, consider the following:       

§  In a hotel or with most caterers the bottom line includes the cost of food and  “plus, plus.”  This means service charges and taxes will be added to the quoted price. The additional charges can add up to 30%.  Service is usually between 18-20% and taxes (state & local) are from 7 to 10%.

§  Generally hotels require that you use their food services.  No outside food can be brought in.

§  Guarantees for food are generally confirmed 72 hours prior to the event.  Hotels plan seating and food for 5% over guarantees.  This allows you to accommodate up to 5% over your guarantee.  Additional food charges will apply if more than the number of people guaranteed are seated. Guarantees can not be decreased.

§  Determine whether any of your participants require a special diet and arrange to meet their needs.


Room Block:

Ø  Will your meeting require some participants to stay overnight?  If so what are you expected to provide.

§  Information about hotels in the area: locations/directions and corporate room rates provided to participants ahead of time. 

§  Negotiating a conference rate with a hotel.  This usually involves establishing a room block for the total number of nights your group will use (number of patrons X length of their stay).  Attrition fees apply when room blocks guarantees are not met.  It is safer to underestimate the number of room nights needed and try to increase the room block.  If you set the room block guarantee too high, you may have to pay the attrition fees. 


Contract Negotiation:


Ø  NSPE always has hotel contracts looked at by our general counsel before signing.  Please be sure that any contract you enter into is looked at with a professional eye.  (state executive, lawyer, someone familiar with contract negotiating and terms)

Ø  Some things that might be negotiated in a contract:

§  Sleeping room rate is based on usage.

§  Meeting room fee is usually based on food & beverage usage on a sliding scale.

§  Room comps are typically offered for volume business (1 complimentary room per 50 room nights)

§  Attrition fees “for cancellation” are negotiable for another meeting date instead of fees.

§  Room blocks – use history to define your room block, low estimates recommended.

§  Date of room block drop – You can negotiate the deadline for room block rates.

§  Food & beverage

§  Audio visual

§  Internet hook-up rate – Multiple connections can be negotiated at a reduced rate.



Have backup plans in the event of

Ø  Speaker  cancellation, illness, or lateness

Ø  Weather

Ø  Equipment failure

Ø  Schedule changes

Putting on a Welcome Meeting


P-PLAN What will this meeting accomplish?


q    Bring prospects in contact with enthusiastic members.

q    Explain the benefits of membership

q    Welcome prospects (newly-licensed PEs) to the profession and to offer our assistance in their present and future career needs.

q    Write articles about the upcoming Welcome meeting in your monthly newsletter.  Be sure to explain the purpose of the meeting and the importance of recruiting new members.

q    Mail invitations to prospects within your local community.  Ask a member or staff to follow-up via email or phone to encourage the prospect to attend.

q    Encourage a member to stand up and tell about his/her most positive experience as a member.

q    Make sure there is an element of fun in the meeting.


L-LOGISTICS What do we need to make this meeting successful?  Is the site prepared for the meeting?


q    Schedule the meeting shortly after the exam date.

q    Works best if it is approximately 25 people or less.

Decide where you will have this meeting.  Try to think outside the box.  Consider grade schools, galleries and museums, outdoor spaces, etc.  Always select spaces and manage the environment so it encourages and supports the typ


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