Danielle Hinesley of HB Hospitality, based in Durham, NC, was an attendee at a conference in Cancun a while back and decided she’d take a few extra days after the meeting to enjoy all the amenities the host resort had to offer. “For two days after the event I jet-skied, went into town one night, and enjoyed the beach and spa at the hotel. It was like a reward after the meeting.” Hinesley encourages her attendees to do the same when she’s planning an event. “The company is paying for the airfare and usually they’ve negotiated pre- and post- rates at the hotel for the attendees. I think that for people to stay focused on the seminars and all the educational aspects of a meeting, it’s important that they can look forward to enjoying the property at the tail end.
“It’s a waste of the sponsor’s time or the association’s money if attendees are physically present, but not mentally, because they are thinking about hitting the beach. It’s like bringing a kid to a candy store and not letting them taste anything,” Hinesley says. On the other hand, “if they’ve come in early and enjoyed the property or other activities off-property, they won’t feel they’ve missed out.”
For meeting attendees who bring their spouses and kids to a meeting, there are several resorts that have kids’ camps. The Moon Palace Resort Kids Club, for example, offers a variety of planned activities for children aged 4 to 12: Tennis lessons, mini-golf, board games, cookie making, pool games, beach soccer and more. For adults, there’s golf, scuba diving, a spa, kayaking, sailing, tennis, billiards, and a newly added Sports Book offering betting and a casino with tables and slot machines. Now that’s the way to start—and end—a meeting!
TROPICAL TIDBIT The Mexican diet is essentially gluten free! “Gluten is a type of protein commonly found in wheat, rye and barley, all of them introduced by Europeans and not included in the diet of pre-Hispanic Mesoamerica. Corn, the subsistence carbohydrate of Mexico, is gluten free, and so are beans, sources of protein when consumed with corn, and amaranth, an important ritual food in ancient Mexico. To avoid gluten, use corn tortillas even when making Tex-Mex dishes like burritos, which are usually made with wheat tortillas.” Source: Mexconnect.com
DID YOU KNOW? Fernando Valenzuela, the only Major League player ever to be named Rookie of the Year and win a Cy Young Award in the same season was born Nov. 1, 1960 in Etchohuaquila, a village in the municipality of Navojoa, Sonora in Mexico.