Planning a meeting in an international destination requires a lot of homework. Meeting planners must research customs, for example, currency, safety, cuisine and weather patterns, among many other things. In order to make their program successful, however, one of the most important things they must discover is what group activities will leave the biggest impression on their attendees, suggests Successful Meetings Senior Editor Andrea Doyle.
"When a group experiences something … memorable together, the camaraderie created -- not to mention the memories -- can be powerful," she says.
Of course, finding memorable activities in a destination you're unfamiliar with is no easy task. Luckily, there a number of resources meeting planners can take advantage of to help them uncover local treasures.
For instance, association planners can leverage their members, according to Lindsay Griffiths, director of global relationship management for International Lawyers Network. "I use the expertise of our local members to find out what we should incorporate into the program," she tells Doyle, suggesting destination management companies (DMCs) as another option. "I've found that local DMCs can get access to things that you wouldn't be able to get on your own."
Finally, there's your hotel or meeting venue. "Finding [unique local activities] is so important that many hotels, resorts, airlines, and even convention and visitors bureaus have added cultural ambassadors to their staffs," Doyle concludes.