April 01, 2018

Meeting planners know that one of the top reasons people attend a meeting or convention is to network. Understanding this important facet of a meeting can play a large role in deciding on which destination to choose for an event. Here are the top five things to look for when picking a destination to enhance networking opportunities:

Easy Navigation - Choosing a destination that is easy to navigate can help attendees not only make it to their sessions on time, but also network close to their meeting location. Destinations like National Harbor, Md. offer a safe and walkable waterfront community with a variety of dining, shopping and entertainment venues that provide options for groups to explore and build relationships after their scheduled programs. It also allows meeting planners to plan off-site evening and day events without having to worry about transportation.   

Flexible Space - Finding a destination with a host hotel or convention center that offers flexible space is vital for networking. The ability to create unique receptions, team-building events or vender showcases are just as important as learning sessions. Larger hotels, like Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, can offer the flexibility needed to customize space for these events. With more than 545,000-square-feet of meeting space, Gaylord National allows meeting planners to work with a large footprint when determining the best setting for their networking offerings - whether it be in the Washington, D.C. region's first waterfront infinity ballroom, an exhibit hall, on a dock along the Potomac River or its lush indoor atrium gardens.

Interactive Attractions
 - A destination that offers a variety of attractions or interactive offerings make for the perfect off-site networking location. Whether it is a museum, ballpark, casino, outdoor activity or culinary class, attendees can find common ground when discovering new experiences. It allows for great conversation, team-building and boosts overall morale, especially when working side by side on crafting one's own cocktail or testing one's balance on a paddleboard.
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Local Flavors - Food and beverage is another extremely important part of a meeting or convention - as food is known to bring people together. Choosing a destination with a great culinary scene provides the opportunity to organize dine-around events for attendees to bond while discovering the unique flavors of the destination. Host hotels can also play a role in bringing those local flavors inside. At Gaylord National Resort, the hotels' culinary team offers innovated and interactive dining experiences with themed menus of fresh, local fare including Maryland's famous crab cakes. The resort also took the farm-to-table concept a bit further by creating a menu of local fare acquired within a 150-mile radius for every season.
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Partnership - Another important component in choosing a destination is to determine if the host site has partnerships. If an event planner networks locally, it will ultimately make the meeting planner's life easier. Gaylord National Resort's meetings and events team partners daily with area outlets to guarantee a variety of off-site networking options both within National Harbor and the greater Washing, D.C. area - whether it's traveling to a Washington National's game of heading to MGM National Harbor for an evening of gaming. Choosing a destination rich in partnerships is key to creating a smooth, well-planned meeting or event when looking for off-site networking opportunities.
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For more information on building great networking events at Gaylord National Resort, visit www.GaylordNational.com