October 01, 2017

The "I could have been in any city" syndrome is no longer acceptable. Weary of status quo agendas in a generic gathering rut, savvy planners are plugging into more experiential experiences that engage all five senses. In that process, attendees are inspired by interactive opportunities to immerse within a destination's authentic fiber.  

Approaches range from incorporating goodie bags infused with area specialties to local experts teaching attendees to craft signature artworks.  

1) Gastronomy
Nowhere does a destination's role as a gateway for cultural exchange play itself out more splendidly than in its cuisine. Culinary talents take pride in presenting locally sourced ingredients in dishes that showcase their melting pot cultures. 

Beyond the farm-to-fork movement, attendees can walk off calories during food tours or jump onto the agritourism bandwagon with outings to ranches, farms and even farmers' markets. Elevate fare affairs with even lending a hand with the prep process. 

International destinations easily up the ante on cuisine with a fusion of flavors. Sands Resorts Macao, an integrated resort city that comprises seven distinct properties, seamlessly tailors activities for meeting planners desiring to deliver a true sense of place to attendees. Experiences can include hands-on competitive culinary classes where attendees mingle among locals while perusing Red Market stalls stuffed with fresh fish hauled in from the South China Sea, colorful Pearl River Delta produce and a captivating collection of exotic spices. For a simplified option, consider cooking classes that teach the art of making a traditional Macanese/Portuguese egg tart. 

Ballroom at The Venetian Macao

2) Offsite and Outside the Box Recreation
Taking attendees "outside the box" nearly guarantees a more memorable experience. It can also enhance productivity for upcoming sessions by distressing and re-energizing. 

Sands Resorts Macao is a one-stop-shop of creative recreation and activities, day or night, featuring an expansive offering of affordable luxury. With the opening of The Parisian Macao, it now boasts approximately 13,000 hotel rooms and suites, international celebrity entertainment, a huge array of 850 shops ranging from designer brands to mid-range labels, premier meeting and exhibition space (1.6 million square feet), and well over 150 dining options, including Michelin-starred restaurants, bars and lounges. Varied settings make originality and lasting memories easy to achieve.

The Parisian Ballroom at The Parisian Macao

3) Diverse Arts & Culture
Museums truly reveal a community's core and what makes it tick. Since schedules may prevent full-day excursions to these shrines, consider hosting a lunch or dinner with docent-led tour spotlighting the venue's premier exhibits. 

Always take advantage of UNESCO World Heritage Sites lauded for their cultural, historical or scientific significance. With its perfect blend of East-Meets-West architecture and culture influenced by Chinese and Portuguese assimilation, the UNESCO Historic Center of Macao is a collection of 20-plus ruins, structures and monuments linked along narrow streets, old mosaic pathways and squares. Among the most notable are St. Paul's Church, Senado Square, A-Ma Temple and Mount Fortress.  

Sands Resorts Macao, Asia's leading meetings and incentives destination, offers diverse meeting space.

4) Corporate Social Responsibility
Planners can scope out CSR projects that will not only allow attendees to bond with the community, but will also leave a positive impact on its people and the environment. 
Sands Resorts Macao's Sands ECO360 offers an extensive program of options that reflect a commitment to uphold sustainability efforts at all its properties, and includes community outreach activities, locally sourced menus, a green meetings concierge to ensure a meeting's sustainable goals are met, and much more.

For more information on meetings and incentives at Sands Resorts Macao, click here.