October 14, 2020

Destination Event Planning: What You Need to Know

Have you always dreamed of traveling to a stunning destination to marry the love of your life? Or perhaps you are eager to celebrate a milestone birthday with cocktails by the pool on a tropical island? Or maybe your company is hosting employees for a luxury incentive trip? Regardless of the occasion, destination weddings & events are a great way to extended the celebration beyond the event itself, creating a lifelong memory for all involved. As guidelines are continuing to update regarding travel in and outside of the US, we are eager to start planning our client’s upcoming destination celebrations. For example destinations such as the Bahamas, Mexico, & Hawaii, are now accepting tourists but are requiring visitors to obtain an online health visa, present a negative COVID-19 test, and adhere to specific travel plans. As you start thinking about your next event, we’ve outlined all that you need to know for planning a top notch destination event.

Location, location, location.

We always suggest picking a location that is meaningful to you and/or your celebration. It is important to remember that this will not be a single day event, but rather a multi-day experience at a destination that you and your guests will remember for a lifetime. When choosing the location consider climate for the time of year, ease of travel for your demographic, and any local or cultural elements you want to incorporate into your event. All of these factors will help you narrow down where you chose to celebrate.

Venue: Grand Velas Los Cabos | Photo: Larissa Cleveland

Offer seamless travel plans & details for your guests.

Since your guests will most likely be traveling a great distance to celebrate with you, you want to do all you can to make their experience relaxing yet efficient. It is often ideal to have your guests arrive to the destination at the same time so you can offer a transportation plan for your group. You also want to make sure the itinerary and travel plan and details are communicated clearly with your guests. A great solution for sharing these details is via an event website. You can update your site as often as you need to keep all the details up to date and in one concise location.

Think globally, source locally.

Whether you are choosing a rental or linen vendor, specific types of flowers, or specialty gift items we always advise sourcing these details locally. Not only will this help with your budget, but it will offer your guests a bespoke experience showcasing unique items and products from your destination location. Sourcing as much as you can locally also helps keep your event more eco-friendly – another great perk!

Destinations = Details.

Deciding to host a destination wedding or event means there that while there a lot of logistics details to coordinate, there are also endless opportunities for thoughtful, unique details you can use to impress your guests giving them an incredible event experience. A great way to cover those logistics while also sharing something special with your guests is an itinerary. You will likely have at least a full day if not several days packed full with meals, experiences, and events so you want to make sure to share these details with your guests. Another favorite detail we love is welcome bags. Creating a curated bag for your guests is such a nice touch and one that will no doubt elevate the guest experience. Include your itinerary along with snacks, products from local artisans, emergency kits, and any other details you think your guests might love while enjoying the destination.

Planning a top notch destination event means planning unique activities.

Since you will be entertaining your guests for more than just the event itself, you want to be sure to offer exciting experiences throughout their stay. A new trend we are loving is wellness-focused activities and experiences. Treat your guests to a day at the spa, suggest a specialty workout class, or offer a guided hike. Your guests are sure to enjoy a rejuvenating experience centered around their wellbeing.

Photo: Larissa Cleveland

Give your guests more than meals, give them dining experiences.

It goes without saying that food is a big part of travel and events alike. To really elevate your destination event, provide unique dining experiences. A great way to do this is by offering a meal with a tasting menu featuring local ingredients. This allows guests to try more than just a dish or to and lets them truly experience the cultural cuisine. Another way to create a unique dining experience is by changing meal locations throughout the course of your event. Instead of hosting dinners at the same restaurant each night, try different areas on the property or nearby so your guests can take in as much of the area as possible. From patios, to cliff side, to on the beach your options are endless.

Are you ready to starting planning a top notch destination event? Share where you want to host your next destination event below in the comments! If you need help managing the many details and logistics that come with destination event planning, contact us today. Stay tuned for an upcoming blog showcasing top destination resorts across the globe!

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