Friday, September 4, 2009

September 7, 2009

Tip #288: Preparing to Conduct Workshops in Hotels #5

In these last tips to prepare to conduct workshops in hotels, we focus on the hotel experience itself.

18. Internet access

We are all tethered to our world by our email. You will want to determine if internet access is available- and if so, if it is wireless and if it is free.

Today, many hotels offer free internet service in the rooms. If it isn’t available in the rooms, it is often available in the lobby.
When you check in, make sure to ask about it and get any password you may need.

However, be aware that many high end hotels charge by the day for internet access. It depends on the hotel chain and the location.

I use Entourage for Mac for my email application, and I often find that I am unable to directly access my email. However, I have discovered that I can go online to my two servers to read and respond to my email there. Find out what works for you, so you have a back up plan if you need to stay in touch with clients online.

19. Keep expenses down

I am always concerned about keeping my expenses to a minimum. Therefore, I avoid the exorbitant prices charged for mini bar items and vending machines in the hotel. Usually, I can find a local grocery store or drug store that sells the soda, water, yogurt, fruit or snack items I want. Anything that requires refrigeration goes into the mini bar.

20. LCD projector

Every now and then, my lap top computer and the hotel’s LCD projector are incompatible for some reason. After many highly stressful moments, I have learned that I should always have my PowerPoint program available on a thumb drive. This way, an alternate laptop can be used. I may only rely on PowerPoint for audiovisual emphasis: mostly bullet points and cartoons, but I’d still rather have it available to use.

Most hotel conference staff are savvy to the need to tape down electrical cords. However, if they haven’t done so already, make sure that they do so you don’t trip over the cords.

This concludes our checklist for preparing to conduct workshops in hotels. Next week, we will start a discussion of some wonderful sites.

May your learning be sweet.

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