Choosing the Perfect Destination for Your Next Event
When accessibility meets infrastructure, attendees and meeting planners win.
So you’ve found the perfect destination for your next event? But is it really perfect for your attendees? Will they love the city as much as you do?
There are many factors that make a destination attractive for both meeting planners and attendees. Destination cities that are accessible and also engaging for prospective attendees are where the magic happens. So how do you find such a destination city?
To find out what makes a city a draw for meeting attendees and planners alike we turned to the pros at the Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority (RSCVA) for advice on what draws meeting executives and attendees to the city each year.
To start, the team in Reno says that facilities outfitted with the infrastructure attendees need and expect are key when you’re looking to plan a successful event.
For example, RSCVA President and CEO Charles Harris says that several resorts and hotels in the Reno area have seen millions of dollars’ worth of renovations in recent years. These updates included the Reno-Sparks Convention Center where a $10 million refresh updated interior design and available technology.
Harris explained that economic development initiatives have successfully attracted big-name businesses like Tesla, Amazon, Apple, Toast and Switch to the area, spurring on the development of new infrastructure and area amenities that are attractive to meeting attendees.
All that new business has translated to new downtown development in the form of hotels and restaurants, including a brand-new Reno Kimpton hotel expected to open in early 2023, providing new options for meeting attendees who’ll be visiting the city, Harris said.
While visiting a destination city, another factor Harris says is important for planners to consider is how attendees will expect to travel throughout the area.
Will attendees expect to walk to different restaurants and venues or will you need to provide other modes of transportation?
The walkability of a city or destination can play a huge role in how accessible – and enjoyable – a destination is to attendees. For example, areas of interest around the Reno area, like popular Lake Tahoe, would be best traveled to by car or bus. Meanwhile, the downtown area of Reno is extremely walkable with a walkability score of 90 out of 100.
Located in the heart of downtown Reno, the Reno Riverwalk District is home to restaurants, bars, and shopping along the scenic Truckee River.
Just down the road, the Midtown District is defined by its dynamic art scene and nearly every wall is adorned with colorful murals – standing ready to delight event attendees.The Midtown area is also home to some of the city’s newest and hippest eateries.
When considering a venue, it’s important to take note of the geographic area your event will encompass. A smaller area with a good amount of variety is great for planners when moving delegates around a city. For example, Harris says that Reno Tahoe is concentrated within a limited footprint, making it a convenient and hassle-free city that’s easy to navigate.
In addition to the availability of attractions and eateries in a destination city, some other questions to consider are:
- Will the attendee have enough free time to enjoy the destination?
- Will they be bringing their significant other or family? If so, are there enough diverse attractions to keep them busy during the day?
- What will the average weather conditions be during your convention?
Fun for Everyone
While continuing industry education, member connections and advocacy work are certainly the main goals of most association meetings, but it’s no secret that many attendees often bring family to make a trip out of a conference or convention event.
If that’s the case for your attendees, we’d be remiss not to mention that an event planned in a location where family-friendly attractions and venues are available is key.
For example, visitors to the Reno area don’t need to venture out of downtown Reno to get their fill of outdoor fun. The Truckee River Whitewater Park at Wingfield Park features Class 2 and 3 rapids accessible to kayaks, canoes, rafts and inner tubes, integrating nature right into the urban environment.
Once meeting attendees and their guests venture further from downtown Reno, the nearby Lake Tahoe region has the largest concentration of ski resorts in North America. In the winter, opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, sledding and snowshoeing abound. Meanwhile, in the summer, swimming, hiking, mountain biking, cycling and stand-up paddleboarding are all popular pastimes.
To find out more about planning a meeting that checks all the boxes for your attendees, visit visitrenotahoe.com/meeting-planners.