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Setting the Tone for Destination Meetings with Room Drops

April 20, 2017

Often one of the most appreciated touches that can set the tone for group meetings is the room drop. More than the traditional VIP “Welcome Basket”, room drops can extend to all attendees and be a great way to get a group engaged prior to the actual program. They can also be used to highlight various aspects of a destination as well as a program theme. To help stir your creative juices, we’ve compiled a list of room drop ideas along with those items best to leave out.

Guidelines to consider with destination meeting room drops

  • If you are considering room drops, plan ahead. Deliveries can cost over $5 per room. You can often lower this cost provided you indicate upfront with your RFP.
  • Setting the tone for destination meetings with room drops can actually begin prior to the program. Consider sending information about the area and the planned group events to attendees ahead of time perhaps on a flash drive or in unique packaging representative of the destination. For example, groups heading to Newport Beach, CA may enjoy flip-flops with the schedule printed on the bottom of each sandal. Or if your planning a private yacht event during any portion of your program, a captain’s hat with the program tucked inside could be a clever pre-event gift.
  • Get creative by adding area trivia, history and facts that the group may not be aware of. Are there any historical details, famous or infamous landmarks? Any stories you can share that bring the destination to life? Newport Beach has plenty of interesting points worth sharing. In fact, in the 1920’s Newport Beach provided an escape for Hollywood’s elite. The iconic Balboa Pavilion hosted many parties attended by such noted celebrities as Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra and of course legendary actor and longtime Newport Beach resident, John Wayne. Wayne often entertained his Rat Pack buddies aboard his private yacht, the Wild Goose, which is still docked in Newport Harbor today and available for private events.
  • Once the group is on-site, you can use the information you’ve already sent for a contest with destination questions based on those points. Incorporating a game or a mental challenge can stir up excitement. Can you create engagement with scavenger hunt type clues, sent prior to and during the event as a room drop that eventually culminates in a final day/evening contest? Continue the clues through the arrival, on the airport transfer, and in the room, culminating with the Welcome Reception. This is a creative industry let your mind expand and have some fun!
  • Locally themed drops are a great way to connect the experience of attending the conference to the destination. Consider locally grown or produced delicacies, which can be consumed on-site or packed to savor once home. Clean living and clean food seems to be synonymous with Newport Beach’s outdoor lifestyle. With most area restaurants serving organic, locally grown food, room drops consisting of destination favorites is rather easy. For example, you could include locally produced hummus and fresh baked artisan breads perfect for a pre-event appetizer or send home organic and fair trade coffee from Newport Beach roast house, Kean Coffee. Prefer to offer a late night snack, consider a delicious sweet from Newport Beach local B. toffee.
  • Useful items like eco-friendly, reusable totes, which can also be branded, make great gifts. Groups heading to Newport Beach are in luck, the socially conscience LOVE bags is local and offers recyclable totes in a wide-range of styles and prints.

The list of what not to include in your destination room drop

Your attendees will appreciate the fact that you did not include any of the following items in the room drop.

  • Do not include any large, hard to pack items.
  • Stay away from large bottles of wine or six packs of craft beer, unless you know with certainty that attendees will consume these products on-site.
  • Don’t add straw hats or beach hats, while they may be indicative of the area, they’re just too hard to pack and one size does not fit all.
  • No perishable items. Produce, no matter how fresh, often gets left behind.
  • Remember that most attendees will have flown in, and they’re going to have to fly home. Unless the cost of shipping room drops is in your meeting budget, it’s best to avoid large, bulky or heavy items or anything that cannot be used prior to departure or easily packed.

It’s the little details that lead to meeting excellence. Including creative rooms drops that highlight the destination while boosting attendee engagement will create memorable experiences. When you’re ready to begin organizing your next group meeting, contact the staff at Visit Newport Beach, the destination marketing organization for Newport Beach, CA. Visit Newport Beach opens the doors to this Pacific paradise with destination expertise, customized site visits, strong partnerships with valuable resources.

Written by Visit Newport Beach Meetings

As a not-for-profit Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), Visit Newport Beach provides destination expertise, customized site visits, strong partnerships and resources tailored specifically to the needs of meeting planners and their clients.

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