The traditional concept of bleisure (mixing business with leisure travel) is very familiar across the corporate market, however, its influence in the events industry is becoming increasingly significant.
This is supported by studies showing that business trips to attend conferences and/or conventions are more likely to turn into a bleisure trip than those for any other business purpose (43%)1. As the nature of events travel shifts towards a bleisure focus, event planners are exploring opportunities to make their events more family-friendly and accommodating for their guests.
Encouraging guests to expand their travel arrangements for conferences and events will see a positive ripple effect spread across the events, tourism and hospitality sectors. We can expect to see an increase in event attendance rates as barriers such as family duties, expensive airfares and limited holiday leave are alleviated.
Find out how the events industry can embrace the shift towards blending corporate events with leisure travel, and how companies can work with event managers to effectively manage bleisure travel for their employees.
Choose an event destination with sightseeing locations and/or beaches
It is important to choose the location of your event carefully, as 82% of guests consider the destination of a meeting or conference to be a major determinate of their attendance2. Events that are located in cities with sightseeing locations and beaches are more likely to have higher attendance rates, as the opportunities for bleisure travel are extensive. Take New York City for example. When surveyed, 67% of travellers rated New York City the best destination for bleisure travel, whereas 22% of travellers considered it the best for vacation, and only 11% of travellers considered it the best destination for business alone3.
Include information on leisure activities in your event program
As bleisure takes hold of the meeting and events industry, event planners seek to find a balance between work and play in their conference programs. It is becoming increasingly common to designate leisure time during conferences and arrange pre- and post-conference activities for guests. This can often involve walking tours, family passes to theme parks or team-building activities. A recent study by BridgeStreet Hospitality4 shows that 55% of travellers bring family members or partners with them on a work-related trip, highlighting the importance of adding leisure elements to your event program to accommodate guests and their families.
Incorporate bleisure travel into your company’s travel policy
Companies that embrace bleisure travel for their employees serve to benefit from increased employee satisfaction and greater attendance rates at conferences and events. However, when encouraging employees to add leisure components to their events travel, it is important to consider the risks and expenses involved. By implementing a bleisure policy into your travel management program, companies are able to regulate these risks and expenses and ensure all duty of care requirements are fulfilled. The policy should cover eligible parties, any paid inclusions (e.g. car hire), allocation of frequent flyer points and rewards, and the time-frame of the work-related trip and vacation for insurance and expense management purposes.
The opportunities bleisure presents for companies, employees and the events sector in its entirety are too good to let pass. It is important for companies and event managers to embrace the shift towards bleisure for events travel, and work together to deliver a greater, more accommodating event experience for all.
AT ETM, our team of event travel experts can assist your company in finding the perfect bleisure destination for your next event, with the best deals to cater to your delegates’ travel needs.
If you would like to learn more about finding the best location and deals for your next event, get in touch with our team today: