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A series of articles about all facets of event planning with helpful hints, planning ideas, sample schedules and budgeting tips from the B&E Team.

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Planning A Destination Meeting

 Seattle Destination Meetings

Selecting your destination location. When choosing a location for a destination meeting, there are several factors to consider. For instance, you should know the site's proximity to airports, bus or train stations or boats. You should also consider the travel time and the weather conditions that may affect travel plans. Destination sites can be a location where the group only travels for the day, but if over night accommodations are required you must consider the cost and number of rooms you will need to block out.

Define the purpose of your trip. Destination meetings can be much more than just a place to discuss company business. They also offer great opportunities to act as morale and team building sessions. Always determine what the goal is you want to accomplish and then consider how to execute your plan most effectively. Consider your group size, gender mix, age group and personality profiles when planning activities that will work best for your group.

Create a schedule of events and make it available to your group in advance. Everyone in the group will feel more relaxed knowing the exact type of activities that lay ahead.

Plan your budget. Once you know what you'd like to accomplish with your meeting, work diligently to establish an accurate and comprehensive budget. Don't forget anything. Small items can add up very quickly when travel is involved. Consider the cost of transportation, staffing, marketing, food, accommodations, activities, entertainment, electrical needs, rental equipment and all taxes and gratuities.

Promote your event. At every opportunity remind your group of the upcoming event and always do it with enthusiasm. Don't expect everyone to be excited about the event if you act stressed out or overwhelmed. Create hype early and the better attendance and attitudes will be.

Enjoy your event. Work with the facility of your choice to assure that you will also get to enjoy the activities you have arranged. Trust that the meeting planner you are working with knows what they are doing and try to seize every moment possible to take time to relax and engage with your group members.

Get feedback. Following your event, don't be afraid to ask for feedback from your group. Take note of the areas that worked and those that need improvement. By building on your previous year's event, you can assure that each event thereafter will be even better than the previous year. Always determine if your original goals were met and what you can do to assure that everything that was learned is executed at the home front.