Bleisure is defined as the act of combining a business trip with leisure activities in one trip. Bleisure trips allow professionals to take advantage of cost-covered travel expenses by extending their stay and/or activities beyond solely business. According to an Expedia Group study performed in 2018, an average of 60% of business trips turned into bleisure trips for travelers. Learn how to promote bleisure travel for your next meeting to further create unforgettable experiences for all of your attendees.
Qualify your destination
One of the main deciding factors in whether a business traveler decides to extend their trip into leisure is the destination itself. Characteristics that are important to travelers include the restaurant/dining scene, nearby beaches, natural sightseeing locations, weather, historical monuments, museums/arts/culture, iconic/bucket list stops, and outdoor recreation (Expedia Group, 2018). Does your destination offer a variety of those factors? Consider making it easier for your attendees to get their bleisure on.
Qualify your event & attendees
According to Expedia Group, 50% of bleisure trips happen when they start with a business trip that lasts for 2-3 nights. Plus, 49% of bleisure trips happen when the destination is far from the traveler’s home (Expedia Group, 2018). If you know that the majority of your travelers have to travel a good distance and are spending more than one night in your destination, then you have a good fit for a bleisure event.
Offer extended conference lodging rates
Include buffer days before and after in your conference lodging block to further help travelers save. This will hopefully entice them to take an extra day or two to explore the destination (while working remotely – we’ll get to that shortly), especially if they’re covering the extra cost themselves. Work with your destination’s CVB to get this set up.
Simplify working remotely
Prepare a designated location or list of suggestions where attendees can plug in and continue to work while staying in the destination. The ability and desire to work remotely is continuously growing, and if you can make it as simple as possible for your attendees to do so, you will make it easier for them to take a bleisure trip they’ll love.
Incorporate bleisure elements into your event
It may not be possible for all attendees to take extra days to enjoy leisure activities at your destination, as much as they would love to. Use that as an opportunity to grow attendee satisfaction by incorporating leisure activities into your event, such as planning tours of local attractions in the evenings, incorporating local food and drinks into meals, giving attendees free time during the event to explore, and pre-sending ideas and itineraries to attendees as they make their travel plans. Work with your destination’s CVB to come up with customized ideas and plans for your specific group.
Provide ideas for things to do
To further encourage bleisure travel and to also make your attendees’ lives easier, work with your destination’s CVB to come up with an easy list of things to do, places to eat, and “must-sees” in the area. This will make the decision – and desire – to stay longer easier, because you’ve already enticed them with a list of things they will now want to experience. Hosting your next event in Greater St. Cloud? Contact us for customized options or browse our things to do listings for inspiration.
Include “reflection time” after your conference
For most business travelers, the first day back to work after a conference is spent trying to remember what you’ve learned, trying to reach out to connections you’ve made, and still being fuzzy around the edges due to time spent traveling and trying to resist getting back into the daily grind. Plan an extra day for attendees to reflect on everything they’ve learned, connections they’ve made, etc. while still in the destination of the event so that they can truly maximize their experience.
Planning a bleisure trip in Greater St. Cloud is easy with the help of the St. Cloud Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. Our team would love to share ideas, inspiration, and unique, local angles with you as you plan your next big event. We know that attendee satisfaction is extremely important, and we want to help you achieve that in every way!