Tee Up and Rejuvenate With New Golf and Spa Options

While golf and spa offerings do not appear to be as common as they once were in meeting programs, they remain quite popular according to the “2013 Successful Meetings Golf and Spa Usage Survey.” Nearly three quarters of the planners who responded said they always or sometimes offer a golf option, while nearly two-thirds send attendees to the spa.

There are a number of good business reasons for doing so, according to the respondents. “Offering both golf and spa options in my meeting itineraries allows my guests to have a moment of relaxation and rejuvenation, allowing them to be better focused during their meetings while also being rewarded upon completion of their program,” says Kapa’a, HI-based planner Christy Robin, CEO of Christy Robin Events. 

“They offer big value,” says Kim Corbeil, owner of Your Event Partner. “They encourage [the booking of] early room nights in the block, and a bigger block equals more negotiating power. They foster communication between members and the board, the board and sponsors, and members and sponsors.”

Among the planners who don’t offer golf and spa options to their participants, budget is a big issue, with 83.4 percent of respondents citing it as a reason to include golf and spa. 

For planners who do offer golf events (41.7 percent), the logistics are the biggest challenge, with 16.7 percent citing perception concerns. With the spa, perception issues were cited slightly more frequently than logistics (29 percent to 26.6 percent) respectively.

One good reason for that split is that it is easier to make an argument for the business value of golf. Ginny Fountain, director of meeting planning for the Raleigh, NC-based North Carolina Association of Electric Cooperatives, puts it this way: “For golf, it’s a teamwork/networking goal. For the spa options, it’s usually a thank-you to someone.