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Posted: February 17, 2014

Why choose Vail?

Antlers at Vail has the answers

Katie Nelson

From an industry trade show for hundreds to wildflower Vail weddings to a group of lawyers from across the country more interested in skiing than meeting, the Antlers at Vail meeting and banquet facilities receive all kinds of group requests and can handle up to 100 people comfortably, depending on the type of event. In addition, the smaller venue ensures that a dedicated conference services manager oversees a group’s experience from the time of booking to “day of” details, through checkout.

The Antlers’ 7 Tips for the Perfect Vail Event

Because each group’s needs – from high-tech audiovisual capabilities to catered fine dining to convenient ski storage – are different, we pride ourselves on our personalized – and personal – service for one and all. Along the way, we’ve come up with a few tips for meeting planners to consider when booking a Vail event:

One on One: Want to make sure everything goes perfectly from the first planning stages to the final checkout? Choose a hotel where the person who books your meeting is the one who services it. We can handle up to 100 people comfortably, depending on the type of event, but because we are a smaller venue, the meeting planner has the benefit of one person who can see the group’s experience through from start to finish – they don’t have to track down a separate ‘day of contact’ person from the person who books them, for instance. And details don’t “slip through the cracks.”

Can You Hear Me Now: Make sure a venue’s audiovisual system can handle your technology and presentation needs. While Antlers has just installed an all-new A/V system for winter 2014, hotels with slightly older systems may not be able to sync easily with whatever a presenter might be bringing. And many hotels charge extra for audiovisual services, which are provided by an outside company. At Antlers, it’s all handled in-house without any fees. One additional tip, learned the hard way: When in doubt, put everything on a flash drive that can be easily moved from one computer to another in case of glitches.

Location, Location, Location: The number one rule of real estate applies to group events, too – from meetings and conferences to weddings and reunions. Your attendees or guests will be happiest if they have quick access to an area’s amenities – like the Antlers’ proximity to great restaurants, shops, your morning latte, a bike/hike path, the slopes (the Lionshead Gondola is just yards from our front door), and events from Vail Jazz Fest to the Lionshead Oktoberfest. And for everything else, the free Vail shuttle stops right outside our door.

Dine Al Fresco: An outdoor dining spot can bring a breath of fresh air to meetings – ask during planning stages if the venue includes the chance to step outside at meals. When you get your lunch at the Antlers (or even your continental breakfast), take it down the steps just outside the conference room and eat poolside, overlooking Gore Creek. Don’t miss the start of your meeting, though.

Fee or Free: Hotel “extras” can increase your bill significantly when each service comes with a price attached. Consider what services your conference-goers might need, including WiFi, parking, or even watching a movie, and ask about hidden charges. The Antlers at Vail prides itself on its many complimentary extras (including unlikely ones like bikes and snowshoes) – so much so that we wrote a separate blog post on the subject.

Community Props: A strong community marketing organization helps conference planners find your community and get the big picture on what the area has to offer. Vail is lucky to have the nonprofit Vail Valley Partnership – a 2012 and 2013 winner with Colorado Meetings + Events magazine for “best destination marketing” – representing the community to groups.

Know Your Audience: Tailoring a meeting for best results can be as easy as having a way to efficiently gather audience responses. Antlers meetings offer polling devices – used successfully with diverse groups including Vail Symposium – that project conveniently graphed results on the screen instantly.

(Editor's note: This paid content is sponsored by Antlers at Vail.)

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Katie Nelson has been Conference Services Manager and "Jill of all trades" at the Antlers at Vail for the past five years. She is on the board of the Vail chapter of HSMAI, handling logistics. Nelson has a culinary degree and worked as a pastry chef for eight years before joining the Antlers team. She is originally from New Mexico and has been a Vail area resident since 1998, with a two-year hiatus to Las Vegas to work as Bellagio Aqua's assistant pastry chef. Reach her at knelson@antlersvail.com or 970-790-5217.

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