Working with External Decor Companies-A Hotel Perspective


While working as a Hotel Group Coordinator, we hosted some pretty incredible events. It’s a lot of fun to work with Meeting Planners who understand the unique preferences of their group participants and possess the ability to plan well for a desired reaction. As the hotel contact, Group Coordinators often operate as the middleman coordinating the relationship between the Meeting Planner and the external décor company. This is especially the case when language or cultural obstacles exist.

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Here are few tips I learned along the way to help facilitate event concept creation:

  1. Identify the creative minds from both the Meeting Planning Team and the Décor Company. Introduce them and get them talking with one another. I recall a situation when I introduced my client to an external decorator by e-mail. My client envisioned several ambiguous décor concepts which were difficult for her to verbalize. She referenced color schemes and desired moods rather than specific items available in an inventory catalogue. The decorator took note and inquired about the ages and style of the attendees and then responded, “I think I know how to create what you want.” Three weeks later, when my client came for a site inspection, I invited the decorator to set up some sample décor concepts in our hotel ballroom to offer my client. My client walked into the middle of the room and immediately pointed to 3 distinct set ups selecting her desired décor concepts for each of her events. “Yes, yes and yes. Night 1, night 2, night 3.   You nailed it, this is exactly what I wanted.” I stood there with my jaw hanging down. What I expected to take hours was resolved in seconds.
  2.  Give the decorating company space and time to do what they do best. Ensure the timetable is clear but when possible give them the flexibility to deliver and start set up when they prefer. Create an atmosphere that welcomes external companies that contribute to the success of hotel events. Get to know the labor employees, thank them for their hard work and get out of their way so that they can do what they do best.
  3.  Take photos of great set ups! The reality is, not all Meeting Planners are gifted in the area of event concept creation and not all decorators are gifted in suggestive selling. A good hotel contact will bridge the gaps and share photos which help the Meeting Planner select an appropriate décor concept.

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Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Golf & Spa Resort Los Cabos features 270 spacious guest rooms, five swimming pools, two Five-Star Diamond award-winning restaurants (Pitahayas & De Cortez Mesquite Grill), 18,000 square feet of flexible meeting space and charming outdoor event venues for conventions, incentives and weddings. The Resort is surrounded by the Cabo del Sol Ocean Course by Jack Nicklaus. www.sheraton.com/loscabos

Writer: Jayson Stirrup, Sales Manager, Sheraton Hacienda del Mar

Featured Décor by: Del Cabo Event Design

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