“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.”