When the option is there, many might automatically take the easy road of staying in the same venue where a conference is taking place. It’s convenient, you don’t have to think, and the event organiser has arranged a special rate with the hotel.
But what about those (perhaps lesser known) benefits of keeping your conference venue and your hotel separate?
Let’s flesh them out.
Cons Disguised as Pros?
Reasons cited for favouring the ‘stay within’ option (if your venue happens to be a hotel) frequently include convenience and discounted rates. But even these perceived benefits may cons masquerading as pros.
Let’s examine convenience for example. Staying within the conference venue means no hassle getting to and from the venue each day. The reality is however, most venues are located centrally anyway, with a myriad of accommodation options surrounding them in the neighbouring blocks. Then there are those discounted rates. With the high guaranteed demand large events bring, just how discounted will they really be?
Getting Away from It All
Conferences, training or business events can be hectic.
Operating on a jam-packed schedule for an entire day (or more) coupled with the pressure of networking is mentally tiring. It’s almost like being back at school. Your day’s itinerary and break times are pre-determined by someone else, you sit through countless lectures, and you may even have to endure awkward ice-breaking activities.
After such a draining day, the last thing you want is to walk upstairs to discover that annoying guy during question time is your next door neighbour.
When you stay outside the venue, there is little chance of bumping into undesirables at breakfast or the hotel gym. And if you have made a friend, the option to catch up outside conference hours is purely on your terms.
The Power of Silence
At Cliftons venues, separation of business and leisure is mandatory. Your relaxation time during the day happens in the breakout area, but come 5 pm each day you get to walk out the door and leave it all behind. Delegates have time to properly rejuvenate and get some silence.
And the value of such silence can’t be underestimated.
In a study of the effects of sound in the brains of adult mice, Imke Kirste found two hours of silence a day led to cell development in the hippocampus – the part of the brain associated with long-term memory. Kirste, a regenerative biologist at Duke University North Carolina, said these new cells became healthy functioning neurons.
So what does this say about keeping conference venues and accommodation separate? Having that quiet time to rest and regenerate may just mean delegates can properly ingest the day’s content and recall it beyond the conference room walls.
The Experience Factor
Along with the human-centred approach to contemporary office design and the push for flexible working arrangements, companies are increasingly looking for ways to incentivise their employees.
A widespread hunger for experiences in every facet of hospitality and travel is filtering into the business world, and as a result business travel is fast becoming another avenue of experience creations for employers.
Whereas previously an employer may have pushed the ‘stay-in’ option on their delegate, offering an experience through a separate venue and accommodation is an attractive option.
With the rise of platforms such as Airbnb, not all business travellers necessarily want to be in a hotel environment anymore. Allowing them the choice will mean greater all-round satisfaction that carries over into their day of learning and networking.
Bang for Buck
Which leads us to value. The increased competition created by Airbnb means some business travellers can secure much better value for themselves elsewhere.
Whether it’s free breakfast or Wi-Fi, shopping around for external accommodation allows delegates to secure the most attractive deal.
At Cliftons, the advantage of the ‘conference venue only’ design means the best of both worlds. There is no option to combine conferencing with accommodation, so delegates enjoy a separated work and leisure environment without having one accommodation option pushed on them. Without your hands tied, you can make the most of negotiated rates with a whole host of hotels.