Back in January, when our ProMeetings team put together its annual trend-spotting blog, the rise of boutique destinations made our list. Since then, the buzz about this topic has amped up a notch. So let’s take a closer look. Just what is a boutique destination? When are these unique venues a smart choice for planners? And how can they make your meetings better? The answers reveal the advantages of meeting a little differently:
Unique is a break from the expected. Think refreshing, exhilarating and intimate experiences. Forget conventional, been-there-done-that venues that could be Anywhere, USA. The trend in personal travel to seek out fresh and genuine experiences is shaping the nature of business travel too. That’s why planners are not just looking at what a destination offers, but at what if offers that’s different. Choose a venue with memorable character — whether it’s a stunning stretch of beach, the culture of a heritage city or an exciting dining scene. Opportunities to discover what’s new do more than keep your group satisfied. You’ll inspire their minds and spirit too.
Unique can make the difference. Attendees value what’s local and authentic and want to integrate these experiences into their meetings. In fact, in a recent Successful Meetings‘ survey, the “need to create a compelling meeting experience” was fourth on the list of important issues and identified by nearly two-thirds of respondents. A distinctive venue can create those experiences. Here on Kiawah, for example, groups enthusiastically delve into Lowcountry culture as they shuck oysters at a casual riverside oyster roast. They relive glory moments of the PGA Championship or Ryder Cup as they play The Ocean Course or check out memorabilia in the Ryder Cup Bar. They ride a horse-drawn carriage through Charleston’s cobbled streets or paddle into the marsh early one morning and see their first-ever great blue heron. Compelling? You bet.
Unique can boost meeting quality. When you step out of your corporate realm for an executive retreat or brainstorming session, you need a setting that’s conducive to your mission. Unlike big-brand conference centers that can feel like a parallel corporate environment, unique venues encourage people to relax and ides to flourish. When corporate guests relate their success stories, they tell us the feeling of being on a private island brings new perspective and fresh ways to focus. They enjoy coming together is less structured situations, perhaps even rethinking the conference room completely. Kiawah groups have options to meet outdoors in the fresh Atlantic air, keep dialogue and ideas flowing as they walk a nature trail or clear their minds by cycling through a tranquil setting. These experiences help them feel at their best – and perform at their best.
Unique can be a better value. Savvy planners can have it all – an exceptional destination and an enriching experience that fits their budget. For top value, plan ahead and be flexible with your dates. Ask the venue about time-sensitive rates and dates with more attractive pricing, and keep in mind that the non-cookie-cutter properties are more likely to put together creative, customized packages. Factor in value-added features like complimentary on-property transportation that destinations like Kiawah offer and consider the benefits of working with a staff that takes pride in delivering highly personalized service. A boutique venue can elevate a good meeting to an extraordinary event.
Let our ProMeetings team create an experience your attendees will be buzzing about for yours to come. And check out our offer below for the ultimate boutique meeting at the Five-Star Sanctuary Hotel. When you meet on Kiawah, named among the top three “Best Beach Resorts in the World” by Travel + Leisure, they’ll be wowed by the island’s setting and amenities, including five championship golf courses, two tennis complexes and endless recreation. And we’ll dazzle you with our exceptional value and dedicated support. Please contact our Director of Group Sales, Marty Couch, and his team at 800.576.1585 to take advantage of special summer offers: