4 real-life trends that are important to our industry – and how our venues can and are maximising them
Bleisure – Everyone loves a new word, and this one is causing a fair bit of discussion. As work-life balance is on everyone’s agenda, more and more employees are thinking about how they can add some ‘me’ time to their business trips and conferences. In some recent research by Expedia 37% of respondents wanted an equal number of business and leisure days. So here are our top tips to maximise this trend:
- Consider making partnerships with local activities, adventures or experiences so that you can offer clients packages to extend to employees wanting to stay
- Arm yourself with knowledge – businesses can save money on travel by allowing employees to extend their trip – plan events at the beginning or end of the week as flights, travel and accommodation may be cheaper at the weekend outside of peak commuter times.
EQ (emotional intelligence) – many of the best performing bloggers and Instagrammers out there are all about self-improvement. Whether it’s mindfulness, wellness or doing something good (paying it forward), its high on people’s agendas in every day lives. And that’s why we have to consider bringing it into the event planning world too. We know that Wellbeing activities and mindfulness can improve engagement and learning and serving the right food can also increase attention. Many of our venues are already exploring these concepts in the workplace. Sundial Group, recently launched a guide to Wellbeing in the Workplace and EEF Venues who have launched a wellbeing campaign. So what do we need to consider?
- Partner with meditation and mindfulness experts that you can add to client proposals
- Encourage clients to include physical activity using your outside space during events
- Menu choices to improve attention span and energy levels
- When helping clients to create positive experiences for their attendees consider incorporating fundraising or volunteering activities that give people that sense of ‘feel good’ and boost CSR
Experiences that spark imagination – Keeping everyone interested can be hard – nothing sparks imagination and conversation like curiosity. Perfect for when your clients are unveiling something new or want to reward their attendees, creating a sense of the unknown can be a great way to boost attendance and memorability. In everyday life, there is little we can’t find out now with search engines and social media there are few secrets anymore. So spark imagination with these ideas:
- Create a secret bar in the evening and only tell a few people – soon everyone will be finding out and talking about it
- Take inspiration from murder mystery and the trend towards escape rooms to create some fun – it encourages people to work together and also to step outside of their reality
- Have something hidden in plain sight – uses coded messages or treasure hunts, hide something behind a curtain or leave ‘top secret’ details unknown in the run-up to the event to spark curiosity
- Use AR to reveal a surprising guest speaker – a famous person from the past with a motivational message for everyone
Shared dining space – This might seem odd but US hotels, in the spirit of WeWork, have started using shared, all day dining packages as a way of making conference packages more cost effective for clients. The option gives groups a shared dining experience with pre-set menus at a package price. You can read about this catering trend more here.