Civic Hotel provides event planners with an exciting new menu of stunning spaces and amenities for business and social gatherings in Surrey’s City Centre. From the rooftop patio and the outdoor pool to the foyer overlooking the glass-case lobby and outdoor plaza, the Hotel’s unique architectural spaces and design are bringing fresh, new options to those who wish to create extraordinary social and business gatherings right here in Surrey.
Helping planners leverage these exceptional features and create ‘one of a kind’ events is the role of Rob Martin, Civic’s Manager of Catering Sales. Unlike staff at many of the hotels that simply sell space and catering, he is an event planning specialist with more than fifteen years of experience in planning everything from small retirement parties to celebrity fundraisers and dinners for 800.
Martin sees his role as helping event planners leverage the Civic’s spaces and amenities to create memorable events that get noticed and talked about. “If you’re going to have an event, most people want to create one that really stands out. You want it to be out there on social media, on people’s Instagram feeds, because it’s something cool that they’ve never seen before.”
While he collaborates with a lot of professional planners on high-visibility events, Martin has also worked extensively with people organizing smaller social or business events, including those responsible for one-time affairs like a wedding or graduation party. Having witnessed many of the most common challenges encountered when working with hotel venues, he is happy to offer some tips that let planning novices in on some of the secrets used by professionals.
1. Contact the venue as early as possible about dates.
For seasonal events like Christmas or graduation parties, Martin recommends contacting the
hotel as early as a year ahead. For other events, he suggests making contact with the venue at least four to six months in advance. This increases the likelihood that the venue will have space and staff available for hosting.
2. Flexibility around your dates can pay off.
Many event planners limit their dates to the same dates sought by everyone else. These include the periods from March to June, as well as from September through early November. Scheduling events outside these windows can potentially deliver some great benefits as hotels are looking to fill their schedules year round. In the long run, it may earn planners some added features or some savings that help the bottom line.
3. Draw on the expertise of the venue’s professional event planners.
Unlike many hotel venues that simply sell space and catering, Civic Hotel offers the benefits of working with experienced professional planners like Rob Martin. He helps planners maximize the event’s potential within the allocated budget and brings their vision to life with flair and features that might not otherwise have been considered. He also contributes his knowledge of cutting-edge trends and styles from event-savvy cities like New York and Los Angeles.
4. Make sure you review the Event Order carefully before signing off.
After months of planning, decisions have been made on everything from the menu to the delivery of the décor and the setting up of the audio-visual equipment. Several weeks before the event takes place, these decisions will be captured and distilled into a single document called the Event Order. According to Martin, this is the blueprint that will be used and followed by the hotel’s operational staff on the day of the event. To ensure that everyone is aligned, it is critical that planners carefully review this document.
5. During the event, designate one person to liaise with on-site operational staff.
Finally, after months of planning, the event is taking place and everything is unfolding as planned. No matter how careful the planning, however, there are always decisions that need to be made on the spot. Martin suggests that planners designate a single point of contact for operational staff should any questions arise, someone with the authority to make decisions. This results in timely, consistent instructions enabling the operations team to execute a smooth, well-organized event.