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About Millennial “bleisure” travellers and events industry…

July 13, 2020

Are you travelling for business or leisure? BOTH – the answer we hear more and more often…

Combining business travel with leisure activities (“bleisure”) has been increasingly more popular over the past few years, especially between Millennials, the generation that values memorable experiences more than material things.

According to the survey by National Car Rental, a whopping 90% of Millennials have experienced the joy of “bleisure” travelling in the past year. Generation X and Baby Boomers weren’t far behind with 81% and 80% respectively. This just shows how popular the concept of bleisure is. And we can understand why, according to another survey, those who engage in bleisure travel are significantly more satisfied with their quality of life (93% vs 75%) as well as their work/life balance (87% vs 64%) while on the road than non-bleisure travellers.

So what does this mean for the conference and meetings sector?

Well, according to Expedia Group and other researchers the most common bleisure trips are for conference travel, followed by external business meetings and sales meetings. Millennials and younger generations are focused not only in advancing their careers, but also in exploring the world, so destination of the conference is crucial, majority of the time it is a deciding factor of attendance.

The TOP 5 bleisure destinations currently are:

  1. Tokyo:

Japan’s capital city is the traveller’s favourite – the tech and innovation industries combined with formal etiquette, rich culture and astonishing architecture equals to number one destination for both – business and leisure. Fast and efficient transport is a bonus, along with local hospitality and some epic conference venues.

  1. Sydney:

With very laid back vibe across the city Sydney is very close to the top spot. There are many iconic landmarks within walking distance from the business district, with some cool event venues overlooking the Harbour Bridge or the Opera House, which is very convenient for sightseeing! For those who have extended their trips by a few days there are plenty picturesque water activities on beautiful sandy beaches.

  1. London:

This city is the global leader in business and leisure travel and we all know why – the stunning architecture and picturesque cityscapes, it’s where historic architecture is mixed with cutting edge tech and ultra modern skyscrapers. It has some of the most famous landmarks, theatres, markets, shops and top restaurants in the world. The diversity of culture, art, hospitality and many other reasons why London is so loved by the bleisure travellers. Selection of conference venues, meeting venues and networking spaces are endless, you are really spoiled for choice here!

  1. New York:

One of the world’s most famous cities, with over 200 languages spoken. The whole city is full of sensational sights and landmarks, no wonder why millions of people every year travel to this amazing metropolitan city. Music lovers, beer drinkers and serious foodies love the vibes of the cultural diversity capital – Brooklyn. Selection of event venues is also impressive, whether you are looking for something around the Times Square or slightly further out.

  1. Singapore:

This island city is known for it’s crazy rich lifestyle. Attracting business travellers for its booming manufacturing industries, construction, finance, insurance, and real estate. With top notch hotels and event venues, epic food culture and number 1 ranking airport in the world Singapore is a really attractive destination. Did you know Changi airport has a rooftop swimming pool, beautiful gardens with waterfalls, movie theatres and wellness centres?

While bleisure is often considered as adding a few personal days to a business trip, corporate event planners and conference organisers are increasingly integrating business and leisure travel activities into their agendas as well. That is because destinations are such an important factor in attendance. Also, as the times are changing you can no longer interest Millennials with just lectures and presentations while sitting still in the conference room. These people are driven by experiences and interactive segments, so sticking them into a conference venue, meeting room or auditorium expecting them to listen to presentations and talks without further engagement is just setting an overall boring tone to an event. More and more organisers are adding leisure elements into their conference programmes – walking tours, team building activities, post conference drinks at iconic locations and many more. Now, more than ever activities, interactive collaboration and information exchange sessions are critical for a successful event.

Modern day Millennial bleisure travellers have certain expectations from hotels and event venues, it is very important that events industry adapts to these preferences. They are no longer additional perks, but more of a necessity:

  1. High speed Wifi

It’s very important that your chosen conference venue or event space has a high speed wifi capabilities. Millennials are creative, outside the box thinking leaders, who thrive on technology, innovation and new developments. Majority of their work is done online, especially when they are working on the road, so just a basic wifi will not do the trick.

  1. Social working spaces

Ideally a hip open plan lobby space within the venue, possibly with pod seating. Millennials can work on their smart devices anywhere, but they prefer an open plan lounge seating with a social component. It’s not a deal breaker if such space is not available at your chosen events venue, as long as there are quirky coffee shops in close proximity

  1. Healthy food options

Modern day Millennials are all about wellbeing, so healthy and interesting food options are a must. Events catering is a major component and can leave lasting impressions not only on the conference venue but the organising body as well, so the look is just as important as the taste. Millennials are not afraid to experiment with their food, local cuisine and latest food innovations will go a long way

When choosing your destination and conference venue please remember that Millennials are all about unique, authentic and social experiences; they enjoy creative design, quirky features and period architecture with character. Most of new, independent event venues are based in vibrant neighbourhoods and often offer social working spaces and tech specs that allow for social engagement, that is why independent venues work best for the audience of bleisure travellers.

SOURCES:

Hospitality Net

Matador Network

Our conference venues offer both traditional and contemporary room layouts, ranging from Grade II listed buildings to contemporary and unique event spaces, with a vast variety of capacities to suit any event. Located in the heart of London, we pride ourselves on the fact that our venues are superbly accessible by public transport. All our London conference venues are situated just steps away from the city’s famous landmarks, as well as within easy reach of a variety of public transport options. If you are looking for Central London conference venue, please get in touch.

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