So you have heard the buzz word bleisure popping up every so often over the last few years and from previous blogs, you know that bleisure travel is a trend that’s here to stay.
But what does bleisure travel mean for your conference?
As mentioned in previous blogs, bleisure travel is snowballing, and hotels and businesses need to keep their fingers on this pulse.
But how does this affect you and your conference?
Well, the location of course!
Event and conference attendees will pay significantly more attention to where the conference or event is taking place; with bleisure, it’s not just about wanting to attend the event or conference but wanting to go the destination where it’s been hosted as well.
Your event schedule should also be appealing and enticing to the event attendees, or they may just leave the event early to make the most of their time at this new spot.
Rather than risk attendees leaving early, think of planning shorter days and extend the duration of the conference. Or you could make plans for tourist attractions to stay open late and take the group and their partners or families on an evening private tour once the event has concluded.
Event planners and companies will have to accommodate the bleisure travellers and make the conference or event as bleisure traveller friendly as possible.
Companies should ask the hotels that they work with to extend their group rates. Back in the day, the hotel block was negotiated for a day before and a day after the conference. It is now necessary to offer additional savings to the bleisure travellers who want to prolong their stay, especially at in-demand locations such as beach hotels like Umthunzi Hotel and other places with additional benefits to staying there.
This kind of negotiating practice could also be advantageous to an event or conference planner as part of a frequent stay promotion or loyalty program. The plus side for the hotel is that It may also keep hotels full for more extended periods of time.
Conference planners and companies can also partner up with other organisations and activities to offer their attendees and bleisure guests a total experience of the place. This partnership should result in discounted rates on activities in and around the area and at a specific time, like in the afternoon when all the events or programs for the day are done.
So how can you make your next KZN event more conducive to bleisure travel?
- The destination that you choose should be a place that is family and partner friendly. The KZN South Coast is an excellent example of a bleisure friendly destination. With its beachside hotels and conference venues and nature spots, fun children activities, world renown dive sites and family-friendly blue flag beaches, the KZN South Coast definitely has something for everyone. Did you know that 96% of bleisure travellers believe that they gain cultural knowledge when mixing business with pleasure?
- The next event you hose should endeavour to promote the work/life balance. Many companies and their employees are becoming increasingly aware of the health and productivity benefits of maintaining a good work/life balance. If you are thinking of taking this angle for your next event you could incorporate a hiking excursion to really promote this idea of a healthy work-life balance. The KZN South Coast really has some great trails that will make sure your bleisure travellers are really exploring the destination. We highly recommend these top 4 hiking trails.
- Bleisure is good for business, so businesses will encourage employees to participate in events. Apart from hotels and event planners getting something out of bleisure travel, companies will also reap the rewards as bleisure increases morale which will result in greater productivity and higher revenue. What this means is that you should market your event to business owners and they will, in turn, encourage their staff to attend.
- Offer pre and post activity planning assistance. Your events company should encourage bleisure travel by offering help with planning activities and logistics outside of the event. This could also mean planning activities for an event attendees family while the attendee is at the event. Why don’t you take a look at some of Umthunzi’s conference offerings, we are perfectly situated along the leafy KZN South Coast making us a perfect bleisure destination 😊
- Ensure that your attendee’s partner or travel companion has access to the hotel’s amenities and activities even when the attendee isn’t around. You want the whole experience to blow your guests away, the amenities and constant flow of activities at Umthunzi will mean that your partner or travel companion will never be bored.
A last sneaky top tip for you;
** If you really want to blow your bleisure guests away; the KZN South Coast is home to the famous Waffle House, something you surely want your guests to tick off their list of South Coast to-dos.
Arrange a signature event that speaks to the location that the event is hosted in for attendees. This can be through music, food, art or anything else that tells the tale of the location. This will make your attendees more excited about the destination, the event and perhaps even encourage them to attend an event in that location again.
There is only one way that these bleisure trends are going to go, and that is up. Be sure to plan your next conference or event in a way that will attract this group of travellers.
Need some help with that? Get in touch with us to plan your upcoming bleisure friendly conference today.