How Incorporating Rest & Relaxation Increases Meeting Productivity
By Ben Premack Director of Sales, Marketing and Events, Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa | September 25, 2016
Meetings and events need not be designed around stuffy, windowless rooms involving information overload and ten-minute stretch breaks. These types of gatherings are neither engaging nor fun for anyone. Today, meeting planners want more than just a location; they want a flexible venue in a desirable destination which offers an array of amenities and add-ons for groups looking to make their out-of-office gathering one to remember, and even envied. Well thought-out and customized corporate meetings and events that feel more like a retreat can create new opportunities for employee growth, networking, and creative-thinking - all while boosting productivity and morale.
Meeting Expectations of Today's Meeting Planners
With all of the available year-round and seasonal destinations and venues to choose from, exceptional meeting planners are tasked with sifting through a limitless amount of customizable sites for intimate to large group events. One of the first factors meeting planners need to address is the audience for which they are planning the meeting. A recent study by Carlson Wagonlit Travel's CWT Solutions Group found that long-distance travelers are more likely to take bleisure trips than those who traveled shorter distance. The number of bleisure trips taken, a trip combining business with leisure, has remained largely unchanged within the past few years; however travelers under the age of 25 are three times more likely to add on a weekend leisure trip to a business trip than older generations.
Meetings and events destinations that cater to both the needs of the business gathering and offer possibility for an added leisure trip, such as a resort in a tropical destination, are better options for meetings planners as it offers attendees flexibility. Additionally, MeetingsNet recently reported it's important to keep meetings and events fresh, unpredictable, and personal for attendees. Meeting planners can enhance events by offering new team-building activities at annual events, such as a yoga class or golf, or by including a culturally or regionally-specific add-on, like a luau performance and dinner or whale watching.
While the underlying goals of meeting planners have not changed much, the venue needs have evolved. According to a recent article in Skift, meeting planners want show-stopping experiences and to book highly sought-after venues. Even if meeting planners don't have key contacts who can support special requests, there are destination convention and visitors bureaus ready to lend their expertise. This sounds easy enough, but if the venue fails to offer space equipped for flexible and unique add-ons and access to the latest interactive technologies that can be tailored for the group experience, meeting planners may choose another option.
Another survey by the International Association of Conference Centers found roughly three-quarters of meeting planners seek venues that can offer a curated experience. Resorts with customizable venue space, especially destinations with indoor and outdoor areas that can be personalized for small to large groups, provide easy opportunity to create an authentic event adapted to the needs of the group. Again, flexibility is essential for groups who want to plan an event customized to their needs.
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