• Perks of the resort and lodge experience
• Entice the best and brightest attendees and presenters
• Exclusive experiences are well within reach
a success. Plus, they come with more than a few perks for you and your attendees.
Many of these venues have the business traveler as a top target demographic with amenities to match. Their conference rooms are
updated with the best technologies and plush surroundings. They also often have someone on staff to assist with connecting your
devices and setting up your presentations with expert efficiency. Most resorts and lodges have a business center complete with printers, copiers, and scanners enabling you to take care of that inevitable piece of work that comes up while you are away from your own desk. If the WiFi isn’t already free (and it often is), be sure to negotiate it into your contract. Your attendees will thank you.
In addition to business and tech amenities, resorts and lodges generally have everything else you might need or want for your event. This makes both planning and attending a smooth, positive experience. Without the distractions inherent to managing, setting up, and commuting amongst multiple venues, resorts are perfect for focusing on other important tasks like the quality of your meeting or conference.
From restaurants to diverse meeting spaces and golf courses to nightlife, resorts and lodges are the “one-stop-shop” of the meeting industry. Many offer live entertainment nightly and have perfected the art of ambience. They are experts at creating a space people want to spend time in. Having everything and everyone under “one roof” enhances not just efficiency, but also networking opportunities. Effectively, staying at a resort or lodge is equivalent to staying in a tiny, self-contained community.
Resorts and lodges are often overlooked by budget conscious planners as being overly expensive, but because they are all inclusive, these locations are often actually a great value. Their setup inherently minimizes transportation costs (and headaches), while also allowing you to optimize time. In a highly competitive industry, there is often fl exibility in pricing without sacrifi cing amenities. As the planner, your options and prices are clearer. You can be sure nothing will be overlooked. Ask about tiered and package deals designed to tailor your attendees’ experience for the best price.
While a main selling point is the resort or lodge’s all-inclusiveness, sometimes the big draw lies outside the grounds. These venues are often built in locations known for their natural beauty. Others share an area with great cultural or historical attractions. Resorts sometimes have a free shuttle service to these locations. Ask about working visits to these places into your schedule and
promote them with your conference.
Many larger resorts and lodges have someone on staff whose whole job, or at least part of it, is working with meeting and event planners. Additionally, there is usually a full support staff in place with expertise in the various aspects of the venue who are equipped to help you make the most of it. From technology to meal planning, these men and women are available to enhance your gathering. In fact, refreshingly, that’s often their only job.
These places are made for a premiere teambuilding experience. Spacious indoor and outdoor spaces are perfect for activities that
open communication and bring people together. Many have built-in activities like kayaking, horseback riding, zip-lining, tennis, and more tailored to get attendees out of their comfort zone and increase original thinking and discourse. Talk to your venue contact about the most innovative exercises they have seen. You and your attendees will benefi t from the creativity of past planners.
A VIP Experience
Resorts and lodges have built an industry on giving even the budget-conscious planner the feeling of an exclusive experience. From lighting to sheets, the details matter at these locations and the staff is trained to pay attention. They have perfected these experiences with all the little extras you didn’t know you (or your attendees) needed. These locations go way beyond a mint on your pillow and tiny bottles of shampoo with premier amenities and stellar customer service. It’s how they differentiate their venue and your event. You’ll also enjoy that pre-meeting yoga class or massage.
Your attendees vary and so do your resort and lodge options. Whether you are looking for a spa retreat or a hunting/fishing outdoor adventure, the options are available right here in the Midwest. Do your homework and poll your potential attendees on their wish list before you book the venue. It illustrates your responsiveness as a planner and will help you fi ll your conference
with happy attendees.
The variety extends beyond venue type, though. Many resorts and lodges have multiple dining, activity, and lodging options onsite and at a variety of price points. Give your attendees and their employees the same options. Some individuals will pay a premium out-of-pocket for some perks. Other times, employers will upgrade their employees as a bonus or incentive for attending. Make sure all parties know the options on the table and make it easy for them to upgrade if they would like.
Because they are often all inclusive, resorts offer your attendees the benefi t of choosing between multiple and varied entertainment activities. As the old saying goes, you will never please everyone. However, having options makes it far more likely you’ll please almost everyone.
Many attendees are not traveling alone, especially when the destination is a great one. Resorts and lodges know this and are happy to welcome families, which they are really, really good at. Indoor and outdoor pools as well as beautiful outdoor spaces at the resort itself are complemented by nearby beaches, forests, theme parks, and other attractions. Often the resort has programs and activities specifi cally for children of a variety of ages. As a planner, these extras are also a great way to entice the best and brightest attendees and presenters. It might also help secure some positive comments on the feedback cards and repeat attendees.
The Midwest offers incredible resort and lodge options at every price point. As you plan your next meeting, consider including
them among your options. You may be surprised that these exclusive experiences are well within reach and an ideal setting for both you and your attendees. Happy planning!