Nobody is interested in four walls and a chandelier anymore

 In Hospitality Trends, Meeting and Incentive Programs

According to Brian Lang, director of catering at Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe, planners are asking more frequently for meeting and incentive programs that incorporate outdoors events, beyond the traditional recreational pursuits, team building and cocktail receptions. Hyatt has responded with concepts for general opening sessions, town hall-style gatherings, and breakout meetings by the lakeside.

“We’re seeing an uptick in group occupancy based on growing interest in a healthy outdoor lifestyle. Planners are telling us they’re feeling limited about what they can do in a ballroom. Nobody is interested in four walls and a chandelier anymore”.

This has pushed Lang and his team to come up with more creative group programs that tap into these, which also tie into the business objectives of the meeting. For example, Hyatt Tahoe put together a 9 p.m. evening event for 150 people that involved glow-in- the-dark volleyball and kayak relay racing with a DJ providing tunes by the water.

Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe’s corporate group business is about 60% meetings and 40% incentive. According to Lang, most meetings include half a day or more for everyone to go fishing, mountain biking or hiking because it opens dialogue like nothing else. It’s also an imperative for younger generations of meeting attendees.

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