Attendees flying in from far and wide to participate in the experiences your events provide may have a hidden—or not so hidden—agenda. According to a new report from Global Business Travel Association, 37 percent of business travelers extended their work trips for pleasure last year, putting them squarely in the hybrid bleisure class. What is more, millennial (48 percent) and Gen X (33 percent) travelers were even more likely than baby boomers (23 percent) to tack on a few extra days of fun after the exhibit hall closes.
What can you do to make their entire journey more enjoyable?
1. Be a local resource provider: Many of these extended-stay visitors (38 percent) say they are doing so because they want to visit a new destination. Providing information about local attractions, restaurants and city guides can be a great way to continue the thoughtful touches included in the rest of the program. A branded street map included in the goodie bag or embedded in the event app allows you to stay by their sides as they discover the wonders of a new place.
2. Offer them a deal: When negotiating with the property for room rates, consider asking the hotel to include a larger window for applying conference pricing. It is good for the attendees because they don’t have to search for alternatives, pack up and move in the middle of their stay. And the hotel retains a guest. The report showed that 82 percent of business travelers stayed at the same place for both the business and leisure portion of their trip. Win-win.
3. Exude family-friendly vibes: Solo exploration has its benefits, but lots of people see meetings as an excuse to bundle a family trip and will bring the whole gang along for all or part of the adventure. This is particularly true for summer meetings and popular vacation destinations such as Florida and Mexico. Including options for children in the resource guide can show that you care.