New White Paper on Experiential Meetings

meetings, experiential

“Attendees are looking for memorable experiences where the culture, food and people of the destination are an integral part of their time there.”

A new white paper by Prevue and CWT Meetings & Events explores how the trend toward hyperlocal experiences has influenced every aspect of meetings, from attendee activities to F&B to amenities. Often, adding local elements to an event isn’t costly; planners can tap into their hotel’s activity calendar, and many CVBs offer resources for groups.

For example, the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau’s “People First Tourism” program features activities such as a walkabout of Mordacai, the oldest neighborhood in Raleigh. Attendees visit backyard gardens, community gardens and various restaurants that source their food locally. On Hawaii’s Big Island, the Ka‘upulehu Cultural Center at the Four Seasons Hualalai provides a built-in schedule of daily classes in everything from ukulele playing to traditional crafts to natural history, and has its own naturalists and historians on staff.

F&B trends are being driven by an increasingly sophisticated audience, including Millennials; this group has grown up with TV cooking shows and a world of ingredients to experiment with, and consider themselves to be foodies. On the amenity side, attendees are seeking authenticity over generic luxury. For example, at Rosewood San Miguel de Allende, a luxury boutique hotel located in a historic artists’ village in central Mexico, guests are welcomed with an easel in their room, complete with paints and tools so that they can create their own works to take home.

“Attendees are looking for memorable experiences where the culture, food and people of the destination are an integral part of their time there,” says Eva Aimable-Kolosko, CWT Meetings & Events Operations Manager. “Experiential travel is tantamount to the success of the industry.”

Download the free white paper here.


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Barbara Scofidio is editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In 25 years of covering the industry, her articles have spanned topics ranging from social media to strategic meetings management. She is currently the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee and was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of Site, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. A familiar face at industry events, Barbara often leads panel discussions or speaks on topics close to her heart, such as green meetings or how the industry can help combat human trafficking. She is also on the board of ECPAT USA, the human trafficking organization. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.