It’s not all about the venue, attendees are looking to the destination as a whole to provide unique offerings.

A destination must appeal and complement the event, particularly as a lot of time is spent in hotels, networking or with scheduled free time. You don’t want the event to fall flat because attendees are holed up in a motel, miles away from activities when they break for the day, so choosing a destination that opens up further opportunities is important. We look at the meetings and events industry trends influencing event destinations as well what they can do to prepare themselves for event planners. Make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.

Destination Playgrounds

Add fun and adventure to corporate events by turning the destination into a playground to enjoy and use. This involves play across the city creating an atmosphere as well as activity planning. Seasonal events are an excellent example of how cities can unify through themes and this becomes a creative starting point for event planners. Winter wonderlands, summer fayres or local events can set the tone for the venue and extend the event theme into the city as if all were participants.

City Immersion

With more time spent on leisure than business during a work trip, it means that traveling attendees need to be reached outside the venue and we are looking to destinations to offer an immersive experiences to extend the event floor and message. Oversized Art is another form in which this trend is coming to fruition is through the recreation of city murals. Installing large custom pieces of artwork for photo opportunities is more exciting to guests than the standard photo booth. Something to keep in mind is that the larger the destination city, the more room for interactive oversized art. There is more opportunity to pull inspiration, more ways to educate the attendees via art, and a larger platform with which to show off the destination.

Some destinations are inevitably linked in our minds with certain concepts, sometimes prejudging a location. It requires the effort of many players, from local authorities to small business owners. Focus on the finer details of a destination, whether that’s the experiences, wildlife, local cuisine or culture and capitalize on that by showing a new side to the destination that blows away expectations. Destinations that have previously been known to appeal to one demographic are starting to consider their offerings in other markets. Make a change and surprise attendees by overcoming the odds working against the destination.

Authentic connections help make a destination sink in and lessons learned, attendees form that bond and look deeper to discover all the location or city has to offer. Creating that connection could be done through something as simple as bringing puppies into an internal meeting. The thought itself is exciting, and it is actually a useful tactic to make an otherwise standard business meeting a memorable and positive experience for the group. Plus, by partnering with a local animal shelter in order to bring the puppies into the meeting, the group forms a deeper connection with the destination. The idea of joining forces helps with event destinations providing packages and bids that supersede the greater competition. While one party will inevitably end up the bigger winner, there are benefits to co-opetition and working together when targeting source markets or large events.