August 01, 2017

Busy work schedules can make it difficult to pencil in quality vacation time. Numerous articles instruct us how to work smarter, multitasking as often as possible, making the most of every minute while achieving mental and physical wellness. Traveling for business often eats up the yearly calendar, leaving limited time for a much-needed respite. Is it possible to strike some balance - blend business with enjoyment and a little relaxation; integrate unique aspects and activities of the destination where your meeting or convention is being held? The answer is a resounding yes. 

According to results of a 2017 survey conducted by the Global Business Travel Association and Hilton Hotels, of those polled (675 people over 22 years old), 37 percent North American business travelers extended their work trips by adding extra days for leisure. While this trend is not increasing by leaps and bounds, it is becoming more common. An uptick in frequency is likely because as those traveling for business increases, hotels will offer more reasons for guests to extend their stay and destinations will invest in marketing the special qualities of their locales to increase visitation.

Based on a recent Bookings.com survey, of the 8 travel predictions for 2017, bleisure travel ranked #2. Results revealed 49 percent of business travelers already added days to their business trips for the purpose of experiencing more of the destination. The survey quotes: "No longer seen as lost time or a career inconvenience, business travel is increasingly appreciated as an opportunity to expand horizons, find inspiration and progress in a career."

The concept of bleisure travel is hardly lost on meeting and event planners. Meeting trend research has shown that meeting-goers are hungry for experiential programs where an element of excitement, education and inspiration can be found outside the meeting room. This can be achieved during the program or pre- or post-meeting, with a few extra days to unwind. 

Choosing the right destination with that something extra can really boost attendance for meetings and conventions. Besides attractive accommodations and meeting space, unique offerings and great dining add much allure.

There's nothing like a waterpark to rev up attendance, and Wisconsin Dells is home to more than 200 waterslides in just 19 square miles. In addition to being home to America's largest outdoor waterpark and the largest combination indoor/outdoor waterpark resort, the area boasts a variety of other distinctive activities as well. Attendees may enjoy a relaxing trip down the Wisconsin River on one of the scenic boat or "Duck tours," roll the dice at the casino, unwind at a spa, or play a round of golf on one of the popular courses. Add hiking and horseback riding, four-season amusement parks, a good selection of restaurants, unique shopping, live shows and more, and they've got a range of interests and budgets to meet the needs of a diverse group.

Plan your next meeting and leisure experience here.