Destination is Deciding Factor for Conference Attendance

As riveting as your association's conferences are, your conference content isn't the only reason professionals pack their suitcases and hit the road to attend.

Over the last several years, business travel has made the shift from corporate-only events to a combination of business and leisure travel, often with families in tow. With hectic work schedules, bleisure travel helps professionals maximize their time, their money and their experiences.

Sunsets in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama

A 2017 study by The Experience Institute surveyed nearly 9,000 people; 71 percent of respondents said one of the top three drivers for meeting attendance is the actual destination. Ninety-two percent said education was a top priority and 76 percent said networking and social interactions ranks high for them.

Attendees want the entire experience, from networking and team building to discovering the destination. A healthy dose of rest and relaxation doesn’t hurt, either. Fifty-three percent of those surveyed in the study said they will likely extend their conference stay with vacation days, and nearly 50 percent will bring along a friend or family member to share in their experiences. Meeting planners can consider this fact a “value add” when selecting their meeting destination.

Conferences in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama

The old adage “location, location, location” has even more credence in today’s meetings industry. People are distracted and lead busier lives than ever before. Combining a great destination such as Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama, with great conference agendas is a win/win for attendees and helps ensure greater success for meeting planners.

Maximize Bleisure Travel Experiences

  • Connect with a sales team member  to plan group activities like sunset cruises and golf tournaments.
  • Negotiate post- or pre-conference rates for add-on days at your Gulf Shores and Orange Beach hotel.
  • Use e-postcards to market your destination meeting to your attendees. These postcards show picturesque scenes, food and activities throughout the Alabama Gulf Coast.
  • Send your attendees a link to the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Visitors Guide so they can get to know the area prior to arrival.

For more information on holding your next destination meeting on Alabama’s white-sand beaches, contact our sales team.


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