With summer upon us, most employees and their families are beginning to plan their vacations. Even though the economy has turned around and gas prices are low, staycations are still very popular with family-oriented, busy professionals.
What is a staycation? It is a vacation spent close to home involving a trip to one or more local attractions. They became very popular several years ago when gas prices were approaching $4 to $5 per gallon and the economy was not doing well.
What about combining your next meeting or conference with the opportunity for a staycation? Today’s blog post focuses on the benefits and drawbacks of a meeting staycation and ways to overcome those drawbacks.
- Somewhere new can stimulate creativity and productivity.
Rather than conducting a boring meeting at your office, why not take the meeting off-site to a fun and exciting location? Many venues can provide meeting space both inside and outside, allowing employees to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air during the event.
- Work during the morning and play in the afternoon.
Having clearly defined meeting times allows you and your team to be the most productive. For example, meet from 8 a.m. to noon and then allow family time from that point forward.
- Easy to garner buy-in from the whole family.
While attendees are in their meeting, the rest of the family can be enjoying the amenities of the hotel or resort or even exploring local attractions.
- Experience a destination you have not gone to before.
Sometimes the most neglected resorts and attractions are the ones closest to us. They are the ones we whiz by on our way to the airport or driving to other vacation spots. Holding a meeting at a unique regional venue can help build up excitement about the function. An easy way to do this is to share something new about the venue via social channels each week.
- The ability to create a “win-win” with the conference center.
Every conference center has slow days when the staff would be happy to host your small meeting or large convention and everything in between. With a meeting staycation, you have more flexibility on dates and times, thus opening up the opportunity to meet at a location you may not be able to afford during its peak season.
Potential Drawbacks and Solutions of a Meeting Staycation
- You may not receive 100 percent attendance.
Depending on the size of your meeting and whether or not it is a corporate or association conference, you may receive some resistance to this concept, due to other family obligations or vacation plans.Be aware of this in your planning efforts and aim for an 80 to 85 percent attendance goal. Work with your attendees and employees through an online collaboration tool to determine the best week to schedule your event.
- Attendees without families may feel out of place.
If you choose a family-friendly destination, schedule interesting things for single people to do.Golf, visiting a local winery or enjoying the hotel’s spa package may be some of those options. Surveys work well in this situation, too.
- If communication is not clear, there may be a misunderstanding regarding the bill.
Be sure to explain, both verbally and in writing, exactly what the company will and will not be paying for. This needs to be communicated several times and confirmed by the employees that they understand what they are responsible for.
At Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, We Are All About Meeting Staycations
Hold your meeting in our convention space, breakout rooms and outdoor patio to get your organization’s creative juices going. Enjoy all aspects of Kalahari Resorts & Conventions’ three locations, including indoor and outdoor waterparks, family entertainment and world-renowned spa!
Call one of our group sales professionals today at 855.411.4605 to learn more about how we can make your meeting staycation a huge success!