Start with assessing the existing strengths of your meeting venue and community-- and lean into these. For instance, Madison, WI is a university town that offers many free activities plus has lots of green space including lakes. Our team has been able to help meeting planner partners integrate these things into their meeting agenda.
Taking advantage of free things to do in your city is a great way to expand the meeting budget. Does the group need a relaxing break? We found complimentary rooftop yoga and Tai Chi, offered weekly by the local Community and Convention Center, is a hit with some planners. Need a fun lunch for the whole group? Every Wednesday during the summer, the city offers free jazz concerts one block from our hotel. Our team boxes up healthy lunches and turns the outing into a picnic lunch with live music.
Finding ways to get attendees outside and enjoying fresh air leans into our strengths. Need an experiential offsite activity? We partner with B-Cycle to provide a physically-active mental break. Situated along a beautiful bike trail, our meeting attendees can relax by taking a scenic ride along Lake Monona. We customize group outings by supplying TREK bikes (a local company) and a granola station upon their return.
So look around and find those unique opportunities all around you!
Ranette Maurer is Madison Area Director of Sales for Marcus Hotels & Resorts. A force in the hospitality industry, Marcus Hotels & Resorts provides expertise in management, development and historic renovations. The company’s portfolio includes a wide variety of properties including city-center meeting hotels, upscale resorts and branded first-class hotels. For more information on the latest news and updates, please visit: http://media.marcushotels.com and follow the company on Facebook and Twitter (@MarcusHotels).