In this business we spend A LOT of time in group rooms. Some are great and some are not so great… and there are a number of others sitting in between that. These are the top things I look for in a group room – but I’d be interested in what other people are after:
- A variety of settings: I like rooms that have a range of different layouts and furniture types, so you can pick and choose the room layout you need for a particular project. Sometimes you need a boardroom table, other times, a lounge is much more appropriate. Maybe this time you need bean bags – or it is a one-on-one interview, so a more intimate setting is more suitable.
- Friendly and accommodating staff: well, this one does go a little without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. There is nothing I appreciate more than when the staff go out of their way to make my life (as a moderator) easier. From stapling and photocopying, to cutting out magazines, to making sure my client is well looked after.
- Good AV and other ‘props’ – supplied without a hassle: I am hopeless at sticking to discussion guides and am often changing or switching the way I do things mid project – so a room that has a good supply of stationery, flip-charts, scissors, magazines and other equipment is a must (and who don’t begrudge giving these things to you).
- Food for the moderator: I was watching a presentation the other night about why people LOVE market research. One of the tongue in cheek points made by a speaker was the fact that moderators clearly don’t need to eat, and a diet of cookies and left over chips is enough to sustain us. Yes, we could be more prepared and bring our dinner, but venues who make sure that the moderator has something to eat are the ones that make me want to go back and visit again.
- Good food for the client (that doesn’t blow your project budget!): Isn’t this an issue? Clients complain about Thai take-away after Thai take-away and average quality wine. Yet somehow, when we get the bill – the client food costs an arm and a leg (and odds on, we forgot to account for it when we were pricing – which is probably why it seems so high). Should there be standard pricing for client meals, should there be home cooked meals on offer, do we need a separate wine budget? I’m not sure what the solution is for that one – but I’m sure there is one!
So what can you add? What would you like to see in a group room? Have you visited a room that has knocked your socks off?
That’s it for my group room rant. Have a great week!