By Louisa Watson, director of marketing, Wyboston Lakes Resort
Event organisers in the UK can boost delegate engagement if they do more to help them to make the most of ‘bleisure’ opportunities.
The concept of enabling delegates to extend their business visit with leisure time at the venue or nearby has grown rapidly over the last ten years. According to a report from global research-based publisher Skift, 78 per cent of respondents agree that adding leisure days to business travel adds value to work assignments, while 73 per cent feel bleisure opportunities benefit them as an employee. Nearly 50 per cent of travellers will add two or more leisure days to business trips.
According to the Skift Bleisure Report, younger travellers (between 20 and 25) are ‘more than’ likely to take a ‘bleisure’ trip in the next five years, significantly higher than the worldwide average. Over a third of respondents claim to have experienced outdoor activities as a key part of their ‘bleisure’ experience. This is in line with our own experience at Wyboston Lakes Resort where our golf courses, spa and outdoor Ride Leisure water sports and leisure activities company are highly popular among those who extend their stays here.
This approach matches millennials’ flexible attitude to life. The blurring of the line between their private and professional life fits with their interest in extending business trips with leisure activities. In 2015, the GBTA Foundationfound evidence that Millennials are increasingly demanding bleisure from their work trip.
There are significant benefits to both the company / event organiser and the employee / delegate in increasing bleisure opportunities.
The individual can not only save on personal travel costs, they can use this as a way to restore some work-life balance, especially if they invite family and friends to join them after work is completed.
For the companies, it is an indirect way to give something back to their people to build their engagement and motivation. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that attractive bleisure opportunities at a destination or venue help to attract increased numbers of delegates to association conferences.
How can event organisers make it easier for delegates to take up the opportunities? Here are three ways to help.
- Schedule events so that they finish on Thursday evening or Friday afternoon.
- Agree special rates with the venue on rooms and on the use of the leisure facilities
- Tell delegates about the facilities, the local area and the special rates as soon as the event is confirmed to give them plenty of time to plan their stay.
Bleisure is great opportunity for everyone – the opportunities just need to be communicated to delegates at UK events.