@MPIGNY - Winter 2015 - (Page 8)
BY CAROLINE MUDGE
locations for an
event, keeping the
at a hotel can
from a logistical perspective. There's
no transportation to coordinate. There's
continuity in staffing, which allows
planners to hand off that piece of the puzzle
to the hotel. However, taking attendees
off property can transport them out of
the typically windowless ballroom and
gives them a flavor of the local culture.
It's energizing. For conferences and
educational events, it infuses fun and
adventure into the mix. Ultimately, this
can increase attendee retention and
engagement and be a factor in increased
registration in the future. For social events,
location can be a critical draw, particularly
So how do you start looking for that
unique location that will peak attendees'
interest and draw them in? A good first
step is contacting the local convention
and visitors bureau. These experts offer
no-cost resources and have a storehouse
of knowledge about local venues and
vendors. CVBs are one-stop shops for
the multiple resources needed for events,
providing descriptions of locations, as
well as lists of transportation, décor,
entertainment, catering and photography
providers. Some provide RFP services.
Typically, the leg work of contacting and
evaluating vendors is your next step, which
can be time-consuming. If the event is
in a smaller city or town without a CVB,
try the local Chamber of Commerce, or if
you budget allows, considering using a
destination management company.
Now let's look at some of the options
for offsite events that will spark your
attendees' interest. Larger, well known
locations are easy to find on the internet
and your attendees may already be familiar
with them. Some lesser known locations
are below and may provide food for thought
for similar venues.
Giving your guests an exclusive look at a
museum after hours without the crowds
will make them feel special. Touring works
of art, science and/or scandal provides
great conversation openers for networking.
On the West Coast, there are many
options. For classic car enthusiasts, at the
Astor Classics Events Center in Anaheim
attendees can mix and mingle among the
museum's extensive historic and modern
@MPIGNY WINTER 2015
day collection. Dress it up with a period
theme and hire a band with that flair. Why
not encourage invitees to come in costume?
The Hiller Aviation Museum in Silicon
Valley houses an eccentric collection
of aircraft from vintage through the
experimental and absurd. They also have
flight simulators and other interactive
toys. Typically, cocktails are served
throughout the exhibits and there is an
adjoining function room for dinner or
In San Diego, Balboa Park is a center
of arts, science and culture, including lush
gardens, the San Diego Museum of Art and
the world-famous San Diego Zoo. The event
management team will be happy to help you
organize a tour of their many attractions or
assist in choosing one to host an event. The
park is a popular location for weddings.
Back on the East Coast, Washington,
D.C. is a major hub for museums. If the
crowd has an appetite for scandal, try
the Museum of Crime and Punishment.
Attendees can sip cocktails as they learn
about dastardly deeds and how law
enforcement nabbed the bad guys. The
location includes interactive stations, such
as high-speed police chase simulators and
a firearms training simulator. Then head to
the America's Most Wanted studio on the
lower level for dinner.
For news hounds, try the Newseum
and see how the media affects our shared
experience of important moments. There
are multiple sleek, modern event spaces
with thought-provoking exhibits within the
museum and a conference center above it.
Plus, the in-house caterer is Wolfgang Puck.
Some other honorable mentions are the
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of @MPIGNY - Winter 2015
Ask the Board
Thinking Outside the Hotel
Exploring Alternative Venues in Las Vegas
Social Media Events
The Top Meeting and Destination Events of 2015
Travel Tips from the Doctor's Desk
29th Annual Auction and Mixology Madness 2.0!
Save the Date!
Day in the Life
Notes from the Field
15 in 2015 in Chicago
@MPIGNY - Winter 2015