Meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz.’s August heat or Banff, Canada’s February flurries may seem less than ideal, but for meeting planners, those circumstances may not matter, especially if a majority of your meeting is planned indoors. Here are five considerations when planning off-season meetings that will not only help you stay within budget, but could introduce a destination to your attendees in a whole new way.
- Costs are significantly lower. In August, Scottsdale, Ariz.’s resort rates drop significantly as demand is down during the destination’s hotter months. That means groups can stay at a Four- or Five-Diamond resort such as Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North for much less, still providing a high-end experience for attendees within a company’s budget.
- Destinations are less crowded. Similar to costs being lower, destinations are less crowded during off-season months. That means your group can take over an entire property or even a downtown and not worry about traffic or high-demand rates.
- Attendees can participate in atypical activities. While groups might typically prefer a beach destination in the winter months, going to a mountain location such as Banff, Canada introduces groups to snow shoeing, dogsledding and even skiing activities that will be more memorable for attendees who have never before experienced them.
- Weather may play a role. Of course, planning during the off-season increases the chance of weather affecting your meeting. Make sure to always have a backup plan if, for instance, you’re planning an event in Bermuda during the rainy season.
- Staffing may be limited. Similarly, hotels and venues often decrease staff and even close some F&B outlets during the off-season because there are fewer crowds. Ask the hotels or venues about whether or not their property will be properly staffed and if all their food outlets will be open.