Creating an engaging “experience” for participants has become a major goal — and challenge — for organizations and meeting planners seeking creative, breakthrough team building and overall event satisfaction. More and more meetings and conferences will be seeking more and more creative means to deliver these captivating and memorable experiences.
Golf and deep sea fishing have been popular southern meeting experiences for decades. Now, planners are stepping up the variety (and participation rates) among conference attendees, many of whom just may not play golf or cannot bring themselves to bait a hook. Outdoor experiences continue to lead the way of this growing trend of creating extraordinary meeting experiences. Eco-adventures and activities immersed in native regional culture have become sought after experiences by event planners and attendees alike.
Enhancing your R.O.E.
Today’s meeting participants seek a positive Return On Experience (R.O.E.), wanting the events they attend to be exciting and memorable. Fortunately, the South is full of destinations and venues that can engage groups in a variety of unique ways.
In this scenic region, outdoor adventures range from whitewater rafting exploring caves to ziplining through treetops and from train rides through steep terrain to swamp tours into bayous filled with wildlife.
Cultural experiences abound in the South. Groups can take in historical sites in the morning, tour aquariums in the afternoon and enjoy laser shows at night. Musical events run the gamut from bluegrass to rock ‘n roll to symphony concerts, while art galleries and botanical gardens provide visual stimulation.
For dining experiences, the flavors of the South start with down-home cooking and extend to culinary specialities from around the globe. A growing farm to table movement, distillery tours, brewery visits and wine tastings add an interactive element.
Here’s a Preview:
Professional sandcastle building lessons offer a great way for groups to enjoy the area’s sparkling emerald waters and sugar white beaches along the Gulf of Mexico.
Dive into Adventure on the Mississippi Gulf Coast
Fishing and diving expeditions, island camping trips, dolphin- and bird-watching tours off the Mississippi Barrier islands, and kayaking excursions can all be experienced by small and mid sized groups.
Exhibits include the Indonesian Volcanic Island, Malaysian Peat Swamp, Chesapeake Bay Touch Pooland the Chesapeake Light Tower Aquarium with three species of sea turtles. For those wanting extreme fun, The Adventure Park at Virginia Aquarium is an eco-friendly zip-line and aerial experience that enables guests to soar above Owls Creek.
The Atlantic Explorer offers sighting tours of bottlenose dolphins, brown pelicans, bald eagles and sea turtles.