Archived Kiawah Tips

ProMeetings Trendspotting 2017

Happy New Year from the ProMeetings team! Let's kick off 2017 with a roundup of what we see on the horizon in the fast-paced and ever-changing world of meetings. We're looking forward to an exciting year with these trends, ideas and buzzwords shaping meetings and events in the months ahead:

Space continues to be reimagined, and that's because engagement is a hot topic. People expect to be active participants, and innovative formats are the key to keeping everyone involved, connected and alert. So don't settle for the same old meeting set-ups. Mix it up with novel configurations that inspire discussion, ideas and teamwork. Cafe-style formats, buzz groups and relaxed lounge-style areas with comfy furniture are all popular alternatives for groups meeting at Kiawah. (For more about evolving space, check out this recap of the Meeting Room of the Future presented by IMEX America back in October.)

Personalization matters. Increasingly, people anticipate experiences tailored to their preferences in many areas of their lives, including personal and business trips. (Read more about personalization and travel here.) When your team attends a conference, they want to be treated as individuals and have opportunities to customize their sessions. So make sure any venue you're considering not only shares this mindset, but can deliver on personalization. Is the venue ready with dynamic ways to customize details for the individuals in your group? Does it have the flexibility to give your team choices about how they configure and use the meeting space? Can it create authentic experiences that let your group discover unique aspects of the destination? (The ProMeetings team invite you to challenge us with all these questions!)

"White space" is the antidote to our hyper-connected world. when attendees are immersed in busy routines and constantly tied to their devices, they need opportunities to unplug and re-energize, mentally and physically. So schedule some white space - those all-important pauses between sessions and activities. Seek out a destination that offers seamless ways to build in dedicated downtime for quick breaks or leisurely group relaxation. On Kiawah Island, for example, guests can reboot with morning yoga or stretch breaks, energizing bike rides, paddling trips, spa treatments or golf on five championship courses.

Face-to-face is here to stay. Even as technology for virtual meetings leaps ahead, we continue to hear our conference guests confirm the value of in-person meetings. They tell us, and we agree, that nothing surpasses interpersonal connection in a focused setting for learning, brainstorming and teamwork. In face, in a world jam-packed with distractions, many business leaders believe that meeting face-to-face is the best way to get business done. Check out this quick read from Forbes about the benefits of in-person meetings.

Let us help you discover Kiawah in 2017 - or welcome your group back to the island again. Our team looks forward to supporting your success in our exceptional conference setting and to introducing you to Charleston, winner of the coveted World's Best City Award from Travel + Leisure magazine in 2016.

To learn more about meeting at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, contact our Director of Group Sales, Marty Couch, and his team at 800.576.1585. Act quickly to enjoy these savings and start this New Year off with the best meeting ever.

Healthy Meetings Toolkit, Part II

Last month, our ProMeetings team blogged about ways to help your team "stay fit and stay focused" during meetings and events. Our healthy meeting theme continues as we cover "eat well, meet well" with news and insights about the power of nutrition. Check out these tips to energize your group with healthy and delicious food and beverage choices. Your team will thank you!

Seek out nutrition-savvy venues. Choose a destination with innovative and flexible culinary programs designed to support health and wellness. These days, everyone is trying to eat healthier and maintain their lifestyle while traveling for business. If your group includes vegetarians, vegans or individuals with food allergies or special dietary requirements, discuss these needs early in the planning process. You want to make sure the culinary team is ready with inspired choices and tasty dishes to take great care of all your attendees.

Ramp up the breakfast benefit. Yes, it IS the most important meal of the day (this WebMD article reveals why Mom was right). So make sure your team kicks off with a nutrient-rich meal that will have them ready to tackle the day's agenda. Nourishing, "food for thought" breakfasts serve up high-protein, whole-grain and low-sugar selections. A satisfying, brain-stimulating start to the day is a specialty of the Kiawah culinary team, and our chefs deliver every morning, whether guests choose a Continental breakfast, a traditional buffet, plated meal or lively stations serving up made-from-scratch chef specialties.

Remember, food is fuel. After a power breakfast, keep that momentum going. What we eat has a huge impact on concentration, cognition and productivity throughout the day. (For a quick read about how food affects your brain, check out this article from Harvard Medical School.) Make sure your day features nutritious meals and breaks that help everyone sail through your sessions and skip that mid-afternoon slump. Healthy choices can be simple, appealing and affordable. Here at Kiawah, for example, groups can enjoy break stations with snacks like nuts, trail mix, fresh veggies with healthful dips, fresh juices and luscious smoothies. For meals and buffets, just a few ways we satisfy guests' preferences are menus with abundant seasonal fruit and vegetables and locally sourced and sustainable meats and fish. Another guest favorite is an array of bite-size sweet treats instead of heavy, calorie-laden desserts.

Have fun with F&B. Creative culinary choices do more than fuel our bodies and brains. They also enhance camaraderie and add relaxation to your meeting - key elements in creating healthier attendee experiences. Spice up your agenda with a fun and interactive cooking class or a culinary team building event led by a personable chef. Reward your team after a productive day with a wine tasting and food pairing event or a mixology class where everyone participates in crafting a tasty new cocktail. These are just a few ideas that are always a big hit with our groups on Kiawah Island.

Count on our ProMeetings team and the Kiawah Island culinary staff to help you "eat well and meet well" during your next event. Let us delight you with our Banquet and Catering Repertoire and creative menus at more than a dozen restaurants, cafes and lounges around the island. You can also maintain your healthy lifestyle in Kiawah's energizing natural environment, where you'll find ten miles of pristine beach, five championship golf courses, two tennis complexes, a five-star spa and endless recreation and eco-adventures.

To learn more about meeting at Kiawah Island Golf Resort, contact our Director of Group Sales, Marty Couch, and his team at 800.576.1585 - and be sure to take advantage of these special rates for your end-of-year and early 2017 meetings:


Healthy Meetings Toolkit, Part I

In the meetings world, the connection between well-being and personal performance is in the spotlight. Last month, our ProMeetings team was in Las Vegas for IMEX America, where we were excited to see "Be Well" initiatives* at this annual mega trade show for the incentive travel and meetings industry. Healthier attendee experiences can boost energy and focus—and they can be part of every event you plan for your group. This month, we share our team's top ideas to "Stay fit and stay focused." Check back in December for part II, with our tips to "Eat well and meet well."
*Didn't make it to IMEX America? Check out its Be Well program here.

Look and listen during your site visit.

Make sure any venue you're considering is committed to providing "well space" for your meetings. In addition to ergonomic furnishings, good lighting and acoustics are essential. So choose conference spaces that emulate the quality of natural light (or, even better, feature a source of natural light) with extra illumination over work areas to promote focus and productivity. For your acoustics checklist, make sure surfaces are designed to absorb sound, HVAC systems operate quietly and there are no outside or traffic noises to distract your group.

Do a digital detox—and get off your duff.

Hours spent plugged into devices and concentrating on learning presentations can leave your group mentally tired and physically achy from sitting most of the day. Some experts claim that "sitting is the new smoking" (learn more about its risks in this Forbes article), so choose a destination that makes it easy for your group to refresh their minds and stretch their muscles. Morning yoga or stretch breaks, energizing bike rides, a stroll on the beach, revitalizing spa treatments or a challenging round of championship golf are just a few ways our conference guests unplug and make the most of every day on Kiawah Island.

Keep the fresh air/fresh ideas connection in mind.

Artificially heated and cooled meeting rooms can sometimes lead to less-than-optimal air quality and slower-working brains. Make sure you can adjust temperatures to your group's preference and that ventilation is plentiful. Consider taking your breaks outdoors, or even moving your meeting to an outside venue during pleasant weather. Kiawah Island's Grand Lawn, complete with Atlantic Ocean views and breezes, is a favorite spot for our conference guests to meet and mingle.

Create balance in a fast-paced schedule.

All of us instinctively feel better and less stressed when we have access to nature (this article explains that the more tech-driven our lives become, the more we need nature). Seek out calming meeting spaces that incorporate elements of nature in decor and art or with live, indoor plants. Conference destinations like Kiawah Island that are surrounded by nature and wildlife create a feeling of respite and personal relaxation that is an integral part of meeting wellness.

Count on our ProMeetings team to help you stay fit and focused during your next event. We're committed to your healthy lifestyle while staying and meeting on the island. Kiawah's energizing environment includes ten miles of pristine beach, five championship golf courses, two tennis complexes, a five-star spa and endless recreation and eco-adventures.