FEB 2018

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 8 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 30 FAMILY-FRIENDLY MEETINGS with leisure travel) that encompasses corporate, association and educational meetings as well as religious and reunion meetings. At some companies, it is being added as an employee perk. Additionally, there is statistical evidence showing that millennials are strongly embracing this trend. A Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Business Credit Card Survey published in 2017 found that 78 percent of millennials "intention- ally carved out personal time on a business trip." also, 60 percent of millennials and 49 percent of baby boomers said that vacation time "ben- efits their business by helping them think big picture." What Makes a Destination Family Friendly? Luks noted that her family-friendly event was a success because both the destination and venues clearly understood the group's needs. "Every part of what they did absolutely had focus on children and families," she recalled of the group's experience at the Richmond Marriott and Omni Richmond Hotel. "It was each venue taking the extra step and going the extra mile to make sure families were accom- modated." Robinette pointed out that destinations need to be both family- and business-friendly to effectively cater to a broad range of groups. "Meeting planners and destinations are each trying to provide authentic destination experi- ences to their attendees," he said. "As the desti- nation becomes a selling point to the attendees, their families may see the value in traveling together." For this reason, well-established convention properties, such as the Orlando World Cen- ter Marriott, are attractive to family-friendly groups due to their infrastructure that appeals to both professionals and families. Not only does the property house more than 450,000 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting space and the nation's largest pillar-free ballroom but it also encourages groups to bring their fam- ilies with offerings such as a weekly activity calendar, kid's activity center, massive pool deck featuring a 200-foot winding waterslide and zero-entry splash zone, interactive tech- style lounge equipped with the latest gaming technology and traditional offerings such as a spa and golf. ► Orlando World Center Marriott Margaritaville Resort Biloxi Pool Margaritaville Resort Biloxi Escape

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