Kindred Resorts & Hotels Forecasts Top Meeting Trends of 2017

Outdoor activities are in and formal receptions are out. So reports Kindred Resorts & Hotels, which on Dec. 13 released the results of a survey conducted among its 64 properties, each of which was asked for its take on the trends that will drive meetings and events in 2017.

Trends that are on the rise, Kindred properties report, include:

• Outdoor programming and experiential, destination-focused teambuilding activities: "Groups are more and more wanting to get out of the boardrooms and explore the destination, partaking in authentic, local experiences," Kindred said.

• Community service: "Community service activities … provide a great teambuilding opportunity to come together in helping others," Kindred said.

• Healthy food and beverage: "Thirty percent of those surveyed noted that soda requests are decreasing, and as an alternative, meeting attendees are requesting beverages such as water, smoothies, or organic juices," Kindred said. "Gluten-free menus have been the most requested dietary option (61 percent) followed by vegetarian (32 percent)."

• Casual events: "Guests are favoring receptions and causal beach barbecues or clambakes over more formal seated dinners with suit-and-tie requirements," Kindred said.

• Nontraditional meeting spaces: "With so many unique meeting and breakout venue options -- from rooms with incredible views and a sense of place to renovated barns, upscale guesthouses, luxury boats, gardens, and more -- the need for a traditional meeting room is no longer as necessary for productivity," Kindred said.

Financial trends also are positive, according to Kindred, which said that 61 percent of its properties met their 2016 projected revenue for group business, and that 66 percent of them are reporting increases in booked revenue so far for 2017.

Concluded Bree Brostko, managing director of Kindred Resorts & Hotels, "Across the board, 2017 booked business is up and the group trends we are seeing are centered around experiences and health. Meeting planners are looking to break off from the traditional boardroom conferences and offerings and get outside, experience the destination, and truly get a taste of the local culture and cuisine."

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