Navigating Business Travel Trends

As 2024 unfolds, the vibrant travel scene has returned. Driven by trends such as rising environmental consciousness, tighter budget considerations and a greater focus on employee wellness, hospitality businesses and corporate meeting planners have had to pivot accordingly. 

Now more than ever, organizations hoping to retain their top talent are increasingly prioritizing sustainable and wellness-focused travel itineraries. For example, instead of orchestrating meeting arrangements that are exclusively business-oriented, meeting planners in Kansas City are increasingly tasked with incorporating eco-friendly elements and stress-relieving activities into the event schedule. At the same time, corporate clients are intent on streamlining travel and event expenses while simultaneously enriching the experience for every guest and staff member in attendance.

Travel Trends Expand to Include “Bleisure” Activities

Building upon the rising demand for proactive staff wellness, our corporate and association meeting planners have seen an increase in requests for cultural, entertainment, and activity-focused event additions. One reason behind this shift in business meeting-focused travel trends. Many organizations are in recovery mode following restructuring, budget cuts, and staff reallocations. In response to these noticeable shifts, promoting staff unity and enriching participant satisfaction for remaining team members has become a pressing need. 

How can organizations adapt to these changing needs while supporting their team or association members in a meaningful way? A well-coordinated “bleisure” activity can be crafted to accommodate business goals while also allowing participants leisure time to rest and relax, or explore the city on their own. 

For other ways to enrich staff morale while balancing business with pleasure during your next meeting or conference, consider these suggestions: 

  • A relaxing guided tour of the host city; explore the sights and learn about the rich history and culture of our “City of Fountains” on your next trip.
  • A dine-around event; take care of business while sampling delicious cuisines from some of the top restaurants around the city. 
  • Exciting entertainment additions; consider a strolling magician or mentalist, caricature artist, classical guitarist, or Quixotic team performance to elevate your event and reward your participants for their hard work while melting away any business-related stress.
  • Lively activities to keep the spirits lifted; enjoyable activities like group yoga, pickleball matches, a department vs. department sports tournament, a walking tour of local arts, or visits to local museums are simple and effective ways to improve the event experience. 

Even organizations that haven’t undergone major restructuring or budget cuts can still benefit from a creative event plan that merges productivity with fun. For instance, our DMC team can combine professional meeting plans with local entertainment and memorable team-building activities for a balanced approach to your educational-focused function. 

Hospitality Industries Offer a Wider Range of Services

Good news for many travelers – hospitality services and event planners have broadened their offerings to accommodate the growing demand for combining business and leisure amenities. For example, many hotels hope to remain relevant have introduced spas, offered convenient ground transportation options, and partnered with their local DMC to provide all-inclusive services for corporate and association clients who would like to host events at their venue.  

Directly and indirectly, caused by the shifting trend towards budget-friendly and sustainable “bleisure” travel, hospitality companies that can make this transition successfully have become the top contenders. By empowering their clients with numerous entertainment options, convenient services, and relaxing participant wellness amenities, both the corporate and association clients and the hospitality companies benefit in the long run. 

Searching for the perfect partner to help you enhance your meeting or conference? Our professional event planners in Kansas City make it easy to arrange unique event experiences, streamline transportation logistics, and achieve the perfect balance of business and leisure.