Swancon Venue Negotiator

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Contents

Intro

This Job is in aid of Swancon Venue, A bit about the job

Why

What is the "reward" for this activity

Goals

  • Negotiate hotel contract and sign it.

Coordinate these with Swancon Venue Liaison

  • remaining in contact with the venue (even when their liaison person changes, which is common over a 1- to 2-year period)
  • keeping an eye on how many accommodation rooms are left and keeping the Swancon community appraised of this (particularly when they're starting to run low)
  • ironing out misunderstandings and/or disagreements beforehand (particularly if their personnel have changed)
  • making sure we're paying deposits and progress payments on time as needed


Supplied

A budget from the Treasurer

Resources

  • Swancon Email address: treasurer-20xx@swancon.com.au
  • Contact CSC and/or previous venue liaison's for example contracts.

Deliverable

A Signed Hotel contract

Task List

  1. Generate a list of possible venues 2 years out
  2. Visit venues and assess (AV, Accessibility, Programming, etc)
  3. Negotiate contracts using venue@swancon.com.au Swancon Email address
  4. Select "best" contract('s)
  5. Obtain CSC approval
  6. Pay deposit
  7. Schedule future payments
  8. Handover to Swancon Venue Liaison

Guide

Build a list of possible Venues

Suggestions

Hotel Address Price Notes
The Great Southern Hotel (All Seasons,Ibis Styles) 61 Canning Hwy, South Perth WA 6151 Cheap
The Metro 61 Canning Hwy, South Perth WA 6151 Cheap Has had a recent expansion
Mercure Perth 10 Irwin St, Perth WA 6000 Moderate Structure is not ideal
Pan Pacific Hotel 207 Adelaide Terrace, Perth WA 6000 Expensive Very good structure, Accommodation expensive


Accessibility

There are usually one or two wheelchairs at Swancon. Check that all of the convention rooms, at least one set of toilets and at least two of the guest rooms are handicapped-accessible.

  • One level
  • Lifts (lots)
  • Physical space
  • Large aisles
  • Big doors (scooter)
  • Light doors (easy to open)
  • Public transport
  • Accommodation in one location of the Hotel (One level for swancon people, others for public)

Size and Shape

  • 350 regular attendees (average)
  • 450 highest peak
  • Gold coin day peak of 600 people at one time (900 total on the day) - 2012 Doomcon
  • Utilise space better (Usage requirements of panel such as Rebel demos)

Most hotels will have a map of the convention facilities that you can take back to your committee to discuss. Height of ceilings, and size of doorways leading to rooms may be a factor for some program items, e.g. the Masquerade, so take a tape measure.

The hotel has to have enough convention rooms for your convention. One of those has to be big enough to hold your largest events (typically opening and closing ceremony, next Swancon's launch, and the Masquerade). Many hotels achieve this by combining two or more smaller rooms into one larger room, using moveable walls.

You may require that some of these rooms are available to the convention 24 hours. Ensure that these rooms are sufficiently far from guest rooms (including vertically) that you will not annoy mundane hotel guests. You may require that some of your rooms to be secureable out-of-hours (e.g. the room you hold the Art Show in).

Some hotels have all the convention rooms on the same floor, some not. Sometimes this is not a bug but a feature, e.g. if you wish to segregate panel items not suitable for minors away from the rest of programming. Sometimes you can use a hotel guest room with all the furniture removed as a convention room (e.g. for the Art Show).

Venue request

You will need audio/visual gear in at least one room, very likely two. One reason for this is that some AV presentations get a very large turn-out, and some are much smaller. If you have only one room kitted out for AV, then you have to put Great Nigerian TV SF Of 1953 in the same room you used for Neil Gaiman Shows Us Bits Of His New Mini-Series, which isn't ideal utilisation of space. If you have a multi-media stream, then you need two, very likely three rooms kitted out for AV. Dragging AV gear in and out of rooms really sucks.

  • AV Availability
  • AV Capability
  • Food
  • First Aid Officer
  • UniSex Bathroom
  • Room setup by Hotel
  • Water availability
  • Coffee bar
  • Bar (Is it open all weekend?)
  • Room Rates
  • Local businesses (coffee, restaurants)

Demographic

  • Tailoring to venue and in reverse
  • Family friendly
  • Social aspect (Hang out zones)

Price

  • Within budget
  • Relevant to size
  • Staffing requirements
  • Management availability
  • 11 month cancellation option. To allow renegotiation after previous Con

Room requirements

Most hotels will have a map of the convention facilities that you can take back to your committee to discuss. Height of ceilings, and size of doorways leading to rooms may be a factor for some program items, e.g. the Masquerade, so take a tape measure.

  • Family room
  • Game Room
  • Academic Room
  • Vendors Room
  • Program Rooms (Min 3)
  • Room size (to accommodate launch of 300 People’ theatre style’)

Recommendations from 2012 ConCommittee

  • Better contract negotiation (set contract with proper change management)
  • One person of contact at both Committee and venue levels
  • Streamline WASFF, CSC approval

  • Have a room funded by a external group (Rebel Empire, GenghisCon)

Initial contact

It is usually worth seeing a Venue before start formal contact, it gives you a contact person and allows you to assess the feasibility of the Venue upfront before anyone invests effort in contracts, most places will allow/take you for a walk through of the available space immediately although it may take 30 minutes to organise on access

A suggested template for your initial email/contact.

Hi <Name>


Thank you for seeing me today, as the Venue <Negotiator/Liaison> for Swancon <Year> I would like to request an initial quote for venue space discussed please.
OR
Thank your for staff for seeing me today, they have passed on your contact details after showing me your conference space. I'm the Venue <Negotiator/Liaison> for Swancon <Year> I would like to request an initial quote for venue space discussed please.


I have included some preliminary requirements and preferences below.
  • Swancon is Australia’s longest running Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Speculative Fiction Convention and is the premiere event in Perth for fans of all forms of media.
  • Event details:
    • Start: xx/xx/20xx xPM
    • Finishing: xx/xx/20xx xPM
    • Attendees: ~x00
    • Closed: 11:59PM till 8am
    • We believe we would need x ms venue space including.
    • We are looking to book within x.
    • A floor plan that indicates what partitioning can be added/removed and room sizes etc.
    • A no penalty cancellation clause for up until 11 months before the convention to allow for a change of venue based on previous years numbers, while this doesn't normally happen, its a necessary safeguard.
  • Other Requirements:
    • AV equipment, as we usually supply our own at virtually no cost it would be nice if any existing equipment is included complementary. Our AV technician is happy to set-up and operate the existing equipment for us if this is permissible but we can supply our own if this is not.
    • Due to a significant number of people and any disability scooters please ensure there is clear access to facilitate and rooms.
    • A room night allowance (for our invited guests) based on the number of convention attendee's staying at your hotel we would receive a number of complimentary room nights.
    • As we usually have hotel room booking portal and prices supplied by your venue we would like an assurance that the price offered to our attendees will not be undercut by other promotions or portals (lastminute.com, direct bookings, etc), or that such bookings will be counted towards our complimentary room nights.
  • Optional's, could you please provide pricing (approximate is sufficient) for the following as optional extras.
    • Coffee Station for the duration of the convention
    • Catering for a Masquerade Ball, ~150 people, finger food.
    • Room reconfiguration (do we get any included?)
    • 24 hour access to one/some of the rooms
    • 24 hour access to the last large room on the left for the entire convention
    • If there is a cost with the AV gear could you please quote it here

Negotiations

There are several aspects to price. The hotel may have a fixed price that they let the convention facilities out for; this may not be negotiable. But they may be able to negotiate in other areas. For example, they may be able to throw in free rooms for your guests, or do special deals for convention members at the hotel's restaurant. Another place rich for negotiation is the guest room rate. In the hotel industry, the standard rate given to people who walk in off the street is called the "rack rate". The next rate down is called the "corporate rate"; this is the rate given to business travellers, and is slightly cheaper. You should be able to persuade the hotel with no trouble at all to give you the corporate rate. With a little work, you may be able to get lower than this.

  • It is worth a few visits to the venue if you are not familiar with it, we are a big convention the hotel should not have issues accommodating this.
  • Make sure interested parties (Convenor's, Programmers, AV) have a chance to have input.
  • Always push for extra beyond the initial offer the first is never the best.

Signing the contract

Signing Process

Conclusion and Notes

Dont Panic CSC will not let you sign a bad contract or at least not without warning you first.

Help

Who do you contact for help, list previous Personnel? Jack,Brian Johnson

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