The Evolution of Group Travel: A New Era of Luxury and Personalization 

The Evolution of Group Travel: A New Era of Luxury and Personalization 

In the vibrant world of event planning, the allure of high-end events continues to rise, captivating clients with the promise of unforgettable experiences in stunning locales.

Whether it’s a lavish wedding, a grand birthday celebration, or an opulent bachelorette party, the task for the perfect blend of luxury, destination, features, and amenities is never-ending. For professional event planners tasked with orchestrating these high-end events, understanding the latest group travel trends is paramount.

Meeting the Demand for Personalized Experiences

The landscape of group event travel is undergoing a transformation, driven by the desires of travelers seeking more than just accommodation; they crave personalized experiences that resonate on a deeper level. This shift has led to an increased demand for hotels and properties that offer more than just a place to stay – they must provide a gateway to the culture, cuisine, and unique charm of the destination.

Technology at the Forefront

One of the most significant trends shaping group travel today is the integration of advanced technology in hotels and venues. Some of the exciting and impressive tech features offering a “Wow” impact with cutting-edge tech solutions are 3D property previews, digital check-ins, app-enabled room keys, and personalized room control systems. These features not only enhance the guest experience but some also streamline the planning process, allowing for seamless communication and organization.

Maximizing the Destination

When it comes to high-end events, the setting plays a starring role. Properties that offer exclusive access to local attractions, immersive cultural experiences, and breathtaking natural beauty are in high demand.  High on many stakeholders lists are venues that serve as a bridge to the destination, offering guests unique opportunities to explore their surroundings and have immersive cultural experiences.

Culinary Excellence

The culinary offerings of a hotel or venue can significantly impact the overall event experience. Properties that prioritize high-quality, locally-sourced cuisine, and offer customizable menu options will stand out. Group travelers want to experience top-tier chefs who can create bespoke dining events that reflect the local culture and satisfy sophisticated palates.

Exceptional Services and Amenities

The level of service and the range of amenities provided by a hotel or venue can elevate an event from great to extraordinary. Properties that offer comprehensive services, such as spa and wellness facilities, butler or cabana concierges, and exclusive entertainment options turn an event into each guest’s personal holiday. Attention to detail and a commitment to excellence in service will ensure the event exceeds your stakeholders’ expectations.

Leveraging Trends to Create Unforgettable Events

For event planners aiming to craft memorable high-end events, staying abreast of top trends for group travel, meetings, and events can help you create the reputation for being THE go-to event planner.

Here’s a quick recap of how to leverage these top trends to reflect your expertise:

1. Use Technology to Your Advantage: Select venues that offer innovative tech solutions to facilitate group interactions and enhance the guest experience. Utilize hotel-provided virtual tours and group-focused hotel booking sites like GroupSync™ to make informed decisions without the need for constant site visits.

 2. Highlight the Destination: Incorporate elements of the destination into the event, whether through decor, entertainment, or activities. Encourage guests to extend their stay and explore what the locale has to offer, enhancing their overall experience.

3. Focus on Culinary Creativity: Collaborate with the venue’s culinary team to design menus that highlight local flavors and traditions, ensuring a unique dining experience that guests will remember long after the event.

4. Customize the Experience: Work closely with your chosen venue to tailor every aspect of the event to your client’s preferences. From personalized welcome gifts to bespoke excursions, these touches will make the event uniquely theirs.

5. Demand Exceptional Service: Choose venues known for their impeccable service and willingness to go above and beyond for their guests. A strong partnership with the venue’s team can make all the difference in executing a flawless event.

By tapping into the latest group travel trends and understanding how to harness them, event planners can elevate their events to new heights. In a world where clients’ desires are constantly evolving, staying informed and adaptable is the key to success. With the right resources, your reputation for creating luxurious, memorable events that captivate and delight guests will continue to grow!

Ready to book an unforgettable group travel experience? Start planning your hotel booking today by creating your FREE GroupSync account!

Hotel Booking for Sports & Team Travel: Tips to Help You Plan Like a Pro

Hotel Booking for Sports & Team Travel: Tips to Help You Plan Like a Pro

Are you a part of a large sports organization, club coordinator, a coach, or even a parent with the task of booking team travel? For many, this is not your day job. Without some guidance, organizing travel and accommodations for a sports team is no small feat. Between coordinating with players, managing schedules, and making sure everyone’s needs are met, it can feel like you’re trying to solve a puzzle while new pieces are being added. 

To help ease the stress and ensure your team’s hotel experience runs smoothly, here are our top tips and tricks for making the most out of your hotel planning.

Win Big With These Tips and Tricks for Group Sports Travel

1. Start Planning Early

The early bird doesn’t just get the worm; it often gets the best selection of hotel rooms, too. Large destination tournaments can bring hundreds of teams to a single area, consuming much of the local hotel inventory. Starting your accommodation search early gives you a wider selection of options. For sports teams, this means more time to ensure the chosen hotel can accommodate the unique needs of athletes and coaches, or that it’s close to your sports event, the best pizza place, shopping, or maybe a local attraction during team downtime.

2. Understand Your Group’s Needs

Every sports team, club, or organization has specific requirements that can range from needing rooms with ample space to store equipment, early breakfast options with protein before morning competitions, or late check-out times after a game. Identifying these needs ahead of time will help you filter hotels that can’t accommodate your group effectively.

3. Ask About On-Property Features

The right amenities can make a big difference in your team’s comfort and preparation. Look for hotels with features such as a fitness center, pool for relaxation and recovery, laundry service for uniforms, and space where teams can gather for meetings or meals. With hundreds of players, hotels can be noisy and busy during a tournament, so finding properties with some additional space for groups to congregate can help parents and staff stay organized.

4. Consider Meal Options

Nutrition is key for athletes. Inquire about the hotel’s meal offerings and whether they can provide nutritious, athlete-specific meals or even accommodate any food intolerances, allergies, etc. Some hotels might offer buffet-style dining, which can be a convenient and cost-effective option for teams. Breakfast prep time is important too for those long tournament days that start very early.

5. Check for Transportation Services

If your sports event is away from the property, consider choosing a hotel that offers shuttle services to and from the event or venue. This can save time and simplify logistics, especially in unfamiliar cities where parking at event centers, convention centers, or stadiums can be congested and time-consuming.

6. Review Cancellation Policies

Plans change, especially in the world of sports. Make sure you understand the hotel’s cancellation policy, including any deadlines for making changes to your reservation without incurring fees – and then share out the policy to your group. From experience, we might even suggest you reiterate this, as well as all the other details, several times for your group (or, you’ll be answering dozens of individual questions over and over again).

7. Gather Feedback Post-Stay

After your stay, take the time to gather feedback from the team about their experience. This can help you make better-informed decisions for future bookings and highlight areas to negotiate on or inquiries to make next time. Large hotel brands have some consistent features, amenities, and policies, so taking in some feedback from your group can help ensure they’re comfortable and happy for future events.

8. Utilize Group-Focused Booking Sites

Today’s technology offers solutions like GroupSync™ to streamline the hotel booking process for groups and teams. It allows you to access real-time group rates and availability, submit bid requests, compare options, and even book directly, saving you hours of back-and-forth communication with hotels. We know you’re juggling dozens of other details in managing a team or a club, taking the stress out of sourcing and booking hotel rooms for your team can be a big check off your bigger list!

 

A Great Team Trip Awaits

Being responsible for group travel and accommodations means wearing many hats and keeping numerous balls in the air – no matter the sport. While the logistics of booking hotel rooms for sports teams can seem daunting, following these tips and employing the right tools can transform it from a source of stress to a streamlined part of your role.  With a little preparation, clear communication, and the right technology, you can make hotel booking for your team a breeze—allowing you more time to focus on the game itself.

Ready to take your sports team’s travel experience to the next level? Start planning your team’s hotel booking today by creating your FREE GroupSync account!

Bringing Your Dream Destination Wedding to Life

Bringing Your Dream Destination Wedding to Life

Recently Engaged? Dreaming of getting married on a white sandy beach? Surrounded by fragrant tropical flowers and lava rocks in Hawaii? Or, perhaps you dream of a quaint and rustic villa wedding on an Italian hillside? 

Planning a destination wedding doesn’t have to be stressful or time-consuming, especially when it comes to finding the ideal hotel. Choosing the right one not only elevates your wedding day but also crafts an unforgettable experience for your guests. It’s an opportunity to effortlessly reflect your personalities as a couple, creating a memorable experience that aligns perfectly with your vision and budget.

The ideal hotel for your wedding party and guests can come easier than imagined, that is, if you’re using the right type of resource.

What starts out as a thrilling exploration of available locales can quickly become overwhelming. The challenge for brides-to-be? Combing through thousands of hotel properties to understand their amenities, room rates, and availability is incredibly time consuming. Then staying organized and focused during the communication with each hotel during the back and forth volley of endless questions – well, it’s enough to make you want to elope! Coordinating rates and room blocks, logistics, and amenity options with multiple properties to find the right fit for you, your guests, and your overall wedding plan is a big endeavor for a non-professional wedding planner!

We’ve collected some of the best advice from top wedding event planners on how to select the best hotel property for your dream destination wedding.

Transforming Your Vision Into Reality

Imagine finding a property that feels just right—a setting so stunning, it rivals the beauty of your love story. Sounds romantic, right? The ideal hotel for your wedding party and guests can come easier than imagined, that is, if you’re using the right type of resource.

What Do the Experts Say?

Professional destination wedding planner, Maria Tripaldi has planned over 500 destination weddings in the Riviera Maya region and advises brides to consider there are big differences between off-site weddings and all-inclusive resort weddings. 

You’ll need a hotel near your venue for your family and guests if you’re having an off-site wedding, whereas resorts often have packages that include room blocks, photography packages, catering, etc. Resort properties often have an onsite wedding coordinator and suggest brides work with someone who will assist in creating a cohesive vision and experience if there are multiple venues and vendors involved. 

With either scenario, the home base for you and your traveling guests during the days of your wedding celebration is an important part of making those unforgettable memories. 

Your wedding represents more than just the union of two people; it’s a joyous celebration shared with your loved ones. Guest comfort and closeness is paramount. For example, you want your Great Aunt Ida to be with you on your special day, but she can’t climb stairs, so wheelchair access is important. Or, you may have guests traveling from all over the world and small, cozy conversation areas are important for catching up or meeting new friends. 

Picture your guests winding down in relaxed accommodations after dancing the night away, all thanks to your thoughtful planning. This is your chance to ensure everyone’s stay is not just comfortable, but memorable.

It’s All About Flexibility and Fun

Remember, this special time is yours to enjoy. Look for accommodations with amenities that offer the flexibility your big day and surrounding celebrations deserve. 

Are you planning on a bridesmaid’s tea or spa day? Or perhaps your guests and wedding party want to enjoy a round of golf. Once you’ve narrowed down your list of hotel contenders, Darryl Moore, founder of D’Concierge Weddings, recommends visiting the property at least once during the months leading up to your wedding, and if scheduling allows, a couple days before the big day as well. This can prepare you better for envisioning what kind of accommodations and amenities you and your guests will have.

Your Love Story Deserves a Dream Setting

Your destination wedding is not just a possibility; it’s a beautiful adventure waiting to unfold, made easier and more delightful than you could imagine. Properties found in GroupSync™ have hosted millions of weddings, and many more happy wedding guests. 

With thousands of decisions to make about your destination wedding, make finding and booking a hotel easier with the help of GroupSync. Create your FREE GroupSync account and start browsing the beautiful properties that could be the backdrop for your destination wedding!

Making Corporate Group Travel a Breeze: Your Hotel Selection Guide

Making Corporate Group Travel a Breeze: Your Hotel Selection Guide

Picture this scenario: you’re tasked with coordinating travel arrangements that shift unpredictably due to the dynamic nature of business demands. From orchestrating accommodations for an executive board meeting, to organizing stays for field engineers en route to a distant installation project, the variables are endless. With the wide variety of personalities, preferences, purposes, and budgets that a corporate meeting or event planner can face, we know you need a tight list of considerations to address with each set of stakeholder’s demands.

Your Go-To Tips for Picking the Perfect Corporate Group Hotel

Location Is Everything

Envision a hotel positioned so ideally that the airport, your key meeting spots, and the best local entertainment options are just moments away, minimizing travel stress and maximizing the team’s time to deliver on their purpose. Knowing the purpose of your group’s itinerary is key to nailing their lodging location. Have a group who is flying in and out for a same-day meeting with key decision makers? Make sure the hotel’s meeting space is close to the airport and that the onsite restaurant has high quality cuisine! Team bonding? Book a property at a golf resort or in a bustling downtown area. Understanding the purpose and key outcomes of the meeting or event can help you quickly narrow down the perfect location for each request.

Size Matters

Global hotel brands are known for their reliable quality and consistency. Many frequent corporate travelers have their preferred brand as they know what to expect. Hotel brands with expansive footprints can be an easy choice to suit your group’s needs, but don’t overlook the unique charm of boutique accommodations with different amenities. If it’s a smaller group that’s traveling, boutique hotels could be a great option for team building trips due to the quaint environment many independent properties have.

ATTRIBUTES Make a Big Impact 

Whether it’s the flow of your meeting space and pre-function areas, or comfortable break-out rooms for problem solving discussions, the attributes of the hotel you choose for your corporate group is likely more important to the success of the trip than the rooms themselves. Is your team driving and need parking, valet, or concierge service? What about accessibility for team members with different physical abilities? Unique onsite restaurant experiences or outlet options that offer something different? Gathering a list of the top amenities and required hotel features from the group you’re planning for will make it easier for you to source the best hotel for their needs.

Dining That Delights

If meals are on the agenda for your stakeholders, onsite dining will be the easiest way to help keep your costs on budget. Many properties have elevated dining experiences—the best will offer local or unique food options that enhance your attendees’ time— so hotels that boast excellent on-site dining or customizable catering services within budget are ideal. And here’s a tip: when sourcing hotels we recommend sharing your group’s realistic F&B spend as it shows the overall value of your program to the hotel. The better the value, the more flexibility a hotel has with booking timeframes, concessions and earning your business.

Booking Made Easy

Say goodbye to booking headaches! The ideal hotel will offer a straightforward process for managing your group’s stay. And with GroupSync™, organizing everything from hotel sourcing to awarding your business just got a whole lot easier.

Streamlining Your Hotel Sourcing and Booking with GroupSync

The challenges of finding the right hotel that meets the needs and preferences of the various stakeholders you’re working with AND keeping budgets, expectations, and timelines in check is a non-stop juggling act. That’s why leveraging the right tools is crucial for modern corporate travel planning.

GroupSync is designed to address the complexities of corporate group accommodations, offering a comprehensive platform where planners can streamline their meetings and events, seamlessly source and compare hotels, and manage RFPs and bookings, all in one website.

Create your FREE GroupSync account and start browsing the best hotel options for your next corporate event!

5 budget-friendlier alternatives to the most booked U.S. destinations

5 budget-friendlier alternatives to the most booked U.S. destinations

Whether you’re planning a bachelorette party, corporate offsite, or family reunion, you probably have the “perfect” city in mind. Many cities develop reputations for being ideal for certain events—and those reputations are well-deserved.

However, your “perfect” city is probably somebody else’s perfect city too. And the popularity of many of these top-tier markets can sometimes have negative consequences such as:

  • Higher Room Rates
  • Limited Availability

So, before you invest time sending endless proposals to hotels only to find out that your perfect city is out of budget or unavailable during your event dates (a good reason why you should use GroupSync instead!) – check out our list of similar but smaller cities to consider for your event.

We’ve taken 5 of the most popular destinations booked on GroupSync in 2023, and found cities in 2nd and 3rd tier markets that offer a similar experience.

Spoiler alert: our recommended cities could save you $50-$160+* per room/night, and they’re more likely to have availability during your event dates.

Here are our top 5 similar but smaller cities to consider for your next group event:

Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Alexandria, VA vs. Washington, DC

Estimated Savings: $92.12 per room/night

Book: Alexandria, VA

In 2023, Washington, DC, was the #1 booked city in GroupSync—and it’s easy to understand why. The US Capitol is a vibrant city full of history, architecture, and culture.

Just five miles away, however, lies the much more budget-friendly Alexandria, VA. Alexandria has proximity to the same amenities as the US Capitol—without the expense and city traffic. Founded in 1749, Alexandria offers a rich history to explore while still accommodating every palate with hundreds of restaurants.

  • Ideal for: Weddings, family reunions, school groups.
  • Unique Attractions: Enjoy a “ghost tour” from Alexandria Colonial Tours!
  • Transportation: The city is served by Reagan National Airport and offers five Metrorail stations, Amtrak, and a free trolley service along King Street. In addition, the city offers a water taxi service aboard the Cherry Blossom, an authentic sternwheeler that can also be booked for weddings.
  • Convention Center: The Cooperative Plaza Conference Center can accommodate up to 750 people.

Where to start:
Visit Alexandria

 

Park City, Utah

Milwaukee, WI vs. Chicago, IL

Estimated Savings: $59.02 per room/night

Book: Milwaukee, WI

If you’re looking for a charming Midwest venue, look no further than Milwaukee, WI. Similar to nearby Chicago, Milwaukee offers many amenities and attractions that can make it just as appealing as the Windy City.

The Milwaukee RiverWalk offers endless entertainment options for groups of all sorts. Dine al fresco at dozens of patios, restaurants and bars. Take a selfie with the Bronze Fonz, a statue honoring Arthur Fonzarelli, aka, “Fonzie” from the popular 1950’s based sitcom “Happy Days”. Or enjoy a show at the Peck Pavilion outdoor theater and event venue. From boat cruises to brews, this 3.7 mile waterfront district has something for everyone.

Speaking of brews, make sure to check out the Pabst Mansion. The former family home of Captain Frederick and Maria Pabst of the Pabst Brewing Company, is now an award-wining museum and event venue. Ideal for small gatherings, receptions and micro weddings, this unique space combines history, art and elegance for an unforgettable event.

  • Ideal for: Family reunions, weddings, company meetings and offsites.
  • Unique Attractions: Even if you aren’t a motorcycle buff, take the time to check out the only Harley-Davidson Museum in the world and celebrate this iconic American brand.
  • Transportation: Milwaukee is served by Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport, and there are ample ground transportation options, including rideshare services, public transit, and even electric scooters!
  • Convention Center: Milwaukee’s newly remodeled Baird Center will offer 1.3 million square feet of meeting space.

 
Where to start:
Visit Milwaukee

Coeur d’Alene, Idaho

Louisville, KY vs. Nashville, TN

Estimated Savings: $55.00 per room/night

Book: Louisville, KY

If you’re planning a bachelor or bachelorette party, Louisville, KY, offers many of the advantages of Nashville, TN, at a much more budget-friendly rate. Known as Bourbon City, Louisville is the official starting point of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail and features more than ten distilleries, giving it ample entertainment options that won’t make you miss Nashville’s Broadway.

But Louisville features much more than just its signature spirit. Home to such slices of Americana as the Louisville Slugger baseball bat, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, the city is also home to multiple Fortune 500 companies and boxing legend Muhammad Ali!

  • Ideal for: Bachelor/bachelorette parties, corporate offsites, weddings, family reunions.
  • Unique Attractions: For a one-of-a-kind adventure, check out the Louisville Mega Cavern—a 100-acre theme park located entirely underground in a former limestone quarry!
  • Transportation: The city is served by Muhammad Ali International Airport,
    and there are multiple shuttles and public transportation options within the city. In addition, there are several electric scooter companies around the downtown and surrounding areas for local travel.
  • Convention Center: The Kentucky International Convention Center can host events up to 4,000 people, making it ideal for large conferences or company meetings.

Where to start:
Go to Louisville

Palisades Tahoe, California

Atlantic City, NJ vs. Las Vegas, NV

Estimated Savings: $70.35 per room/night

Book: Atlantic City, NJ

If it’s nightlife you’re looking for with your next group event, consider Atlantic City, NJ for that Vegas experience without the expense. With year-round shows, multiple casinos, and even an amusement park at Steel Pier, Atlantic City shares many features of its larger cousin out west.

With multiple conference and meeting centers, Atlantic City is an ideal destination for corporate events and sales meetings.

If golf is your game, break up the meetings at one of over 25 courses around the city. For those attendees who prefer salt air and sand, there’s the famous Atlantic City Boardwalk and several miles of free access to the Jersey Shore.

  • Ideal for: Corporate offsites and meetings, bachelor/bachelorette parties, class reunions.
  • Unique Attractions: If you’re feeling energetic, climb the 228 steps of the Absecon Lighthouse, the third tallest lighthouse in the United States!
  • Transportation: Atlantic City is served by Atlantic City International Airport. On the ground, the city offers Jitneys—minibuses that run 24/7 to most locations in the city at fares of just $2.50 per person.
  • Convention Center: The Atlantic City Convention Center features almost one million square feet of space.

Where to start:
Visit Atlantic City

Quebec, Canada

Austin, TX vs. San Diego, CA

Estimated Savings: $162.86 per room/night

Book: Austin, TX

For sun and good vibes, it’s hard to beat Austin, TX—especially considering that you can save over $160 per night on average over San Diego, CA!

Known as the Live Music Capital of the World®, Austin features entertainment in every corner—from the airport terminal to clubs to outdoor festivals and indoor concert halls. The walkable downtown area makes popping in and out of unique venues easy, and music lovers can enjoy some of the best acts in the world as they take in great food and drink.

If it’s water, sand, and sun you want, rent kayaks, canoes, or paddleboards for yourself or the whole group through Rowing Dock on Lady Bird Lake. And for more outdoor adventure, get outside the city for plenty of hiking, biking, camping, swimming, and even climbing in Texas Hill Country.

  • Ideal for: Weddings, company offsites, family reunions.
  • Unique Attractions: For those who enjoy the music of nature, there’s ample opportunity to view hundreds of different species of birds throughout the Austin area. The Zilker Botanical Garden offers great bird-watching opportunities and it can even be rented out for a wide variety of indoor and outdoor events.
  • Transportation: Austin is served by three airports; the primary airport is Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The city has multiple ground transportation options, including public buses and rail lines, rideshare options, and shuttles.
  • Convention Center: The Austin Convention Center offers 881,400 square feet of meeting space, making it ideal for a large corporate meeting.

Where to start:
Visit Austin

Could a 2nd or 3rd tier city be your 1st choice?

Even if your event dates and budget are not flexible, many 2nd and 3rd tier cities can offer a top-notch experience when the top-tier market is out of reach.

Of course, there are many factors to consider when choosing the destination for your next group event:

  • Value
  • Availability
  • Unique experiences
  • Location

With so many great smaller cities around the country, you can plan your next group event with confidence—and save money in the process!

Find and book the perfect hotel for your group event with GroupSync – get your free account today!

 

*Based on average room rates booked on GroupSync in 2023, all room rates subject to change.

Make your next group event less costly and more eco-friendly

Make your next group event less costly and more eco-friendly

For group travel, meetings and events, costs are always a factor to manage. In fact, a 2024 survey by hospitality solution provider Knowland Group found that 47% of planners identify event costs being their number one area of dissatisfaction. And there’s not much relief in sight; the same survey found that meals and audio-visual expenses are expected to rise by 50% this year.

But costs aren’t the only concern the survey identified. Approximately 45% of planners say that sustainability is a priority for them, and about 35% have implemented some sustainability practices.

This begs the question…is it possible to reduce event expenses and be a little more eco-friendly in the process?

We think so. And with a little creative thinking and some simple tweaks, any group event planner can reduce impact to both the budget and the environment.

We’ve pulled together four ideas on how to do just that. While this list isn’t meant to fit every program, it is meant to be a starting point for thinking outside the box.

Find hotels that align with your needs

This all starts with choosing a hotel that makes both economic sense and offers eco-friendly options at the same time. If sustainability is a greater concern for your group, consider the venue’s policies and the on-property steps they take. For example, Marriott and Starwood venues are on track for 100% sustainability certification by 2025, with 650 hotels pursuing LEED certifications.

Some groups may find airport hotels the most convenient and economical option, especially if the group doesn’t have a high need for entertainment or restaurant options. For small corporate meetings or training events, attendees can fly in and out easily and either walk or use the airport shuttle to save on local transportation costs. Airport hotel rates can be very reasonable, even when room rates in the rest of the city are high.

Minimize Food Waste

Before planning any breaks or meals, think about your group. Do you need a large, formal dinner? For a wedding or reunion, you may, but for a sales team meeting, individuals may prefer to go out on their own. If you’re planning a larger event, look at previous years’ attendance for guidance. If formal dinners were poorly attended, give people the flexibility to go out for meals on their own.

You could find that attendees may prefer to explore the local cuisine. Work with the hotel to curate a list of nearby recommendations and give attendees a “free” night to discover what the city has to offer. This can bring your costs down and encourage the local economy at the same time.

If you’re planning to host meals within the hotel, there are several benefits to reducing the quantity of food provided without impacting the quality of the attendee experience. For example, for working meetings, consider cutting the number of food options offered. By cutting excessive food options, you can reduce costs and food waste.

You can also opt for more vegetarian options that are often less expensive (and usually have a lower environmental impact) than meat dishes. More veggie dishes may be a preferred way to go anyway, one case study of the 2023 IMEX Frankfurt event found a 20% uptick in the selection of a vegetarian option. Locally sourced food can often be less expensive with the added benefit of contributing to the local economy.

When it is time to sit down for a formal meal, pre-portioned plated servings can be less expensive than an all-you-can-eat buffet style. While there are labor costs to consider, overall, plated options tend to reduce waste and environmental impact. The IMEX Frankfurt 2023 Sustainable Event Report found that, by serving nearly 3,500 meals with reusable dishes and flatware, the event saved the equivalent of 51 barrels of oil in emissions reduction.

Use QR codes and go paperless

There’s been a resurgence of QR code usage as they make it easier to replace paper printouts for digital assets. There are several free QR code generators available, all of which are pretty easy to use. Attendees also have it easy since most basic photo apps on mobile devices have QR code compatibility.

For tradeshows, include a QR code on the back of each attendee’s badge that, when scanned, shows a map of the tradeshow floor and event agenda.

And for event planners, QR codes can enable easy access to an attendee experience survey.

Make smarter swag choices

Event attendees all approach swag a little differently. Some look forward to collecting it, some ignore it entirely, and some may collect everything and then leave things behind when their suitcases get too full. For swag to make economic and environmental sense, be intentional about the giveaway.

For example, a reusable water bottle from Fill it Forward can be refilled at any water station, during and after your event. In addition to your company logo, these bottles have a QR code that when scanned, it unlocks a donation to support clean water projects—ensuring that the benefits to the environment will continue long after your event has ended.

Ready to book your next cost-effective, eco-friendly event? Find and book the perfect hotel on GroupSync!