Your Perfect Meeting Solution
They choose Grand Geneva for a multitude of reasons; location – far, but not too far from the university, and because the resort is gorgeous and reasonably priced for such posh surroundings and amenities.
Reggie Driscoll, CMP, Meeting Planner, State Bar of Wisconsin, plans an annual event every fall for solo law practitioners and small law firms. His group includes many younger lawyers with families. By using a resort that is family friendly, they can encourage their attendees to bring their families. Driscoll notes the tie-in with their venue and programming, “One of our conference tracks is a Quality of Life/Ethics track. It makes sense to us to include the families in our conference while we’re offering programs on dealing with life outside of the office and work/life balance. Having a resort with a spa, waterpark, theme park and many other nearby options makes it an easy sell for the families.”
Not everything has to be a planned event. Driscoll has seen a trend lately where their attendees want to know what activities and options are available, but they don’t necessarily want to go in a formal group. Driscoll notes, “We find out what activities are available, whether there are discounts for our guests and provide them with as many details as we can. If families have young kids or teenagers, they might rather go on their own time, than be on someone else’s schedule.”
Harkin’s group took advantage of Honey Creek’s south-central Iowa setting and created a night filled with camaraderie and relaxation. Attendees could go for a boat ride and there was a picnic on the large patio. The resort staff also offered a night hike and finished with a bonfire.
Martha Steele, Freightliner Trucks (parent company is Daimler Trucks North America), had an equally wonderful event at Honey Creek. She worked with the venue on a regional meeting for approximately 40 people. Steele notes, “We needed a facility in the middle of the region that offered excellent meeting space, adequate number of rooms and teambuilding activities such as fishing, boating and golf.”
Covic’s annual retreat kicks off with their annual ‘MSTP trivia smack down’ and afterwards the attendees gather for additional late night beverages at one of the many Grand Geneva bars. Covic ensures they have time to enjoy the resort’s amenities, “We make sure that the afternoon is wide open for students and faculty to enjoy a number of leisure activities. This year students played laser tag, went to the waterpark, climbed on the indoor climbing wall or lounged by the pool. It’s impossible not to have a good time.”
Driscoll finds it heartwarming to see the same people working with their group year after year. “The staff has moved up in their positions, but they know our group and they know our expectations. This really helps as a planner when the staff knows how neurotic we can be with counting food items before they are taken away, meal counts and when to replenish beverages and breaks.”
Resorts and lodges can truly be more than a getaway. Their unique settings, high caliber staff and amenities provide planners and guests with memorable experiences, both professionally and personally.