A case for the out-of-town conference
Remember the days when going away on conference, whether it was an hour out of town or an international or domestic flight to a cool destination, when budgets were bold and bolstered and you could even take your other half, was ever popular? Not anymore! The past few years have seen in-house conferences or those close-to-home getaways becoming the norm and with bottom-lines being paramount, groups got smaller and time spent out of the office less and less.
But with business slowly gathering momentum and a resurgence in the economy the conference landscape is once again changing and the out-of-town conference is gaining popularity for businesses large and small. Why? Well, it has enormous benefits, apart from an increase in employee retention and improved motivation – there is less absenteeism which all contributes to a better bottom line and therefore bigger budgets to get your team out of the office.
Craig Scott, CEO of Langebaan Country Estate, a lifestyle estate and conference venue up the West Coast, says, “We have definitely seen an upsurge in conference bookings, particularly for destinations that offer more than just a room. Conference-goers are wanting to be able to work while they stay and play, and venues are having to up their game in terms of their offering.”
Conferences may be expensive – from venue hire, to the plane ticket, car hire, meals and the ever-burgeoning bar tab, never mind the time away from the office where you could be doing ‘work’; however, conferences provide a unique opportunity to learn, engage, uplift and have some fun in a single package, allowing staff to grow and challenge themselves. And, if you are the boss man or woman, allowing your employees to get out of the office, gain confidence in their abilities and bring new ideas back into the business, is quite simply an investment for the company.
Scott adds, “Many venues offer great specials and packages to accommodate any pocket, so even if you can’t swing an overseas or long-distance trip, there are great spots on your doorstep that give you that out-of-town feel.”
So, why bother with the time and expense of an out-of-town, in-person conference or workshop? Well, here’s why:
1. No distractions
2. A sense of camaraderie
3. Greater focus and commitment to the project at hand
4. Buy-in from the team
5. Connection with your peers
6. An ideas incubator
7. Learning in a new space
8. Investing in yourself
9. Having fun
Get outta here!