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5 Important Things to Keep In Mind When Planning a Destination Event

By: Beth Becker, MicroTek | Jun 24, 2019

5 things2Planning an event in an unfamiliar city, or country can present challenges for both the planner and the attendee.  Below are 5 things to keep in mind when planning a destination event:

1. Location ... Location ... Location

Selecting the right location is the first step in creating a successful event. Asking key questions can help you to evaluate the unique offerings of each location. Questions to ask include: “Does the location allow easy access for all attendees?” “Are there any safety concerns?” “What type of weather can be expected?” “Is this a desirable location for attendees?” “Is it affordable?” “Is the location in sync with the tone and purpose of the event?”

Once you have answered these questions you will be able to evaluate the unique offerings of each city, and select the one that best meets the needs of your event.

2. Take a little trip

It is always a good idea to familiarize yourself with a destination before your event begins. Questions like: “How is the drive to/from the airport?” “What is there to do nearby?” “Is the area walkable?” and other attendee questions are much easier to answer when you have experienced the location firsthand.

3. Walk a mile in their shoes

Most event planners are seasoned travelers. Your attendees, however, may not be. It is important to keep this in mind when preparing event communications. Providing detailed information about event location, ground transportation, meet-up areas, time differences and who to call for assistance, can go a long way in making your attendees feel more comfortable (and reduce the number of questions that land in your inbox.)

If your event is in a foreign country always include information regarding required travel documents and customs information. You may also want to include a list of important words or phrases, telephone and international calling instructions, information on local business etiquette and links to helpful travel sites.

4. Partner

When planning an event in a destination you are unfamiliar with, don’t go it alone. Partner with a local DMC (Destination Management Company) or CVB (Convention & Visitors Bureau). These organizations have extensive knowledge of the destinations they serve and can provide valuable “feet on the street” information, suggestions and resources. Hint: When speaking with the CVB be sure to ask about any financial incentives that may be available to your group.

5. Celebrate local food and culture

From Chicago Mix to Michigan’s Superman ice cream, or an antipasti plate in Italy and pho ga in Vietnam, food is part of a city’s personality and culture. Including local specialties in your menu selection can enhance your attendees experience and their connection to the city and your event.

To further immerse attendees in the cities culture, consider bringing in local speakers or entertainment, arrange a city tour, or participate in a local festival or charitable event.

Remember these five things and you will be on your way to creating a successful event.

About the Author: Beth Becker has more than 20 years experience in the travel, hospitality and meetings industry.  Beth works full time as the Global Meeting Services Manager for MicroTek focusing on high visibility, enterprise-wide training programs, meetings and events. Active in the meeting community, Beth currently volunteers on the MPI-CAC Marketing Committee and as moderator for MeCo. She holds an additional role as Global Correspondent for i-Meet. You can connect with Beth via LinkedIn.



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Beth Becker, MicroTek

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