Want your guests to marvel at your planning superpowers? Conjure up an agenda that grants them the ability to transform the meeting experience into something that speaks to their needs. The hospitality experts at Tampa Marriott Water Street—a destination that combines an urban conference center hotel and a luxurious waterfront resort—have some tips for meeting all your attendees’ expectations.
No meeting is an island. That is why setting up your event headquarters with easy access to the places people need to be and things they want to see is the planning equivalent of leaping a tall building. Whether it is walking distance to the convention center or a world-class aquarium or a body of water (bonus points if the property has easy access to all three like newly reinvented Tampa Marriott Water Street), make it easy for attendees to get around by offering passes to local transportation, such as streetcars, water taxis and bike share programs. In Tampa that could include stand-up paddleboards (an activity offered by Tampa Marriott Water Street), pedal-powered water bikes, group cycleboats or a ferry equipped with lounging areas for seeing the sights. Wherever you are, go the extra step to unleash secret mobility identities.
Activate the Power of Choice
Once you have decided on a location that offers a wide variety of options—hip restaurants, boutique shopping, an ale trail—give attendees a chance to get close and personal with these magnificent attractions. This could mean a night off in the schedule to explore, extending the group block prices for a few days before or after the conference to let people discover their bleisure powers or offering tours as part of the opening day festivities. In a town like Tampa, where sports fever thrives at Amalie Arena—home of Tampa Bay Lightning—and Raymond James Stadium—home of Tampa Bay Bucs—it is worth checking the game schedule before booking. When you let people personalize the conference by picking which parts of the destination they want to explore, they are going to enjoy the experience more and remember it long after the nametag is in the recycle bin.
Release Their Inner Water Warriors
The sound of water can transform moods and bay views put everyone in a more relaxed state. Use that mind-altering power to bring your group together on a river cruise or welcome dinner on a patio overlooking sun-dappled currents. There is not better way to beat apathy—the arch-nemesis of creativity that lives in predictable spaces—than to open the group up to a sweeping liquid vista.