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How to Wow Attendees at your Next Destination Program

October 13, 2017

It seems to be an ongoing quest for meeting planners; how to deliver an exceptional experience for attendees that not only addresses business needs but captures the vibe of the chosen destination. The solution however, may be so obvious that it’s often overlooked. Turning to the destination itself to infuse your meeting with its local flavor can be the very thing you need to deliver a meeting experience your group will long remember. To get you started, we’ve listed several tips that are certain to wow attendees at your next destination program:

4 steps that will wow your attendees

Authentic Experiences/Excursions
Incorporating an authentic destination activity into your program will help enhance the attendee experience. Every destination has offerings that are unique to the area. By tapping into these experiences you’ll be giving your attendees a true feel for the vibe of the destination, as well as an appreciation as to why you chose the area. Consider private historical toursthrough the destination via foot, coach or in Newport Beach, CA via bike or boat. A cruise along ocean bluff tops or around Newport’s tranquil natural estuary on electric Pedego bikes is an experience guests are sure to remember and one which many locals often enjoy.

Groups preferring something a bit more relaxing may enjoy a private harbor cruise aboard Newport’s iconic Wild Goose. Once the private luxury yacht of actor John Wayne, the ship was frequented by Wayne’s Rat Pack buddies including Joey Bishop, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. A trip through Newport Harbor will give guests a glimpse of Newport’s history, including peninsula’s historic ‘fun zone’, home of the landmark Harborside Restaurant, which was the place to be and be seen during Hollywood’s Golden Era.

Step Outside
Hear the word meeting and your mind inevitably thinks indoor space, classroom style seating, white boards and PowerPoint’s. Why not break free from the ordinary and take your meeting outside. Taking a meeting outdoors fires up the creative juices, increases productivity and can lead to a positive meeting experience. Groups heading to Newport Beach, CA can indulge their senses with a private cruise through the destination’s picturesque harbor. Just being in fresh air and on the water puts both mind and body into a state of relaxation, helping to spark creativity. Newport Harbor provides the perfect backdrop for meetings or private dinner cruises. Spanning three miles and housing over 9,000 private vessels, Newport Harbor is the largest small craft harbor in the United States. Holding meetings on these beautiful waters puts a spin on the basic corporate event, offering a stress free environment that can lead to inspired ideas.

Art & Culture
Destinations are often identified through their culture, history and lifestyle. Meeting planners hoping to weave the vibe of a community into their program can do so by tapping into the local history and interests. Historical landmarks, community events and exhibits all reveal the
essence of a destination. Incorporating these elements into a meeting or event can bring the destination to life for attendees. Newport Beach has several annual events that celebrate the area’s outdoor lifestyle, including the annual sandcastle competition where teams gather to create masterpieces along the coast.  Groups visiting Newport Beach can easily join in the fun by working alongside locals to construct their own castle. Additionally, groups in town anytime between mid-June and mid-October can enjoy a fantastic line-up of top entertainment at the annual outdoor summer concert series. The concert can be a great way to cap off a dine-around or celebrate another successful program!   

Food & Beverage
Destinations vary not only in their ambiance but also in the food and flavor they present. Tasting the unique food and drink that is indigenous to a destination is a great way to enhance the destination experience. According to a study by The American Culinary Traveler, more than 60% of respondents prefer a trip that incorporates the flavors of a destination. Restaurants in Newport Beach certainly seem to understand this desire for local sensations as the area has a variety of restaurants serving fare either indigenous to the destination or honoring local traditions. If your group program happens to be in Newport Beach during autumn, they can experience many of the areas top restaurants at the annual Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival. A visit to the food festival could be a nice afternoon activity option or a perfect spot for foodies as an ‘evening on your own adventure’.

Create a cultural connection to wow attendees

Incorporating a bit of a destination’s culture into your program can lead to the long lasting memories every group desires. Taking it a step further by involving attendees in ongoing local activities will lead to a cultural connection that boosts the destination experience. Where can you find up-to-date insider information on an area? Call upon your CVB partners. As local experts, they’ll help you determine the ideal properties and experiences for your group.

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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