As fellow Cvent blogger Bruce Serlen recently pointed out, destination demand patterns are not always clearly defined. There are a number of factors that can influence demand and pricing. Weather is just one of them.
In sun belt resort areas, what is taking place at their market destinations has a huge impact. For example, a representative from a major hotel chain in Dubai made me aware of the fact that, as the UAE draws a lot of tourists from the Russian Federation, rates are higher during Russian holidays. The only way to know is to ask. Scheduling a conference or meeting a week or two later, can make a significant difference in pricing and incentives. Advise clients to postpone locking in final dates until options have been fully explored.
At resorts in destinations near the equator, temperatures do have an impact on demand patterns.
Some clients may decide to take advantage of favourable rates when the mercury climbs. If they do, it is important to keep some practical considerations in mind to keep attendees safe and comfortable.
- Select cool resorts in mountain destinations or beach destinations.
- Make sure that there is medical service onsite (a doctor or nurse).
- Arrange for attendees to arrive at the destination early in the morning or late in the evening when it's cooler.
- Schedule meetings in air conditioned function venues when temperatures are higher.
9:30 am - 5:30 pm is your best bet to give guests time outdoors when it's cooler.
- Opt for indoor recreational activities & venues.
Consider indoor ski resorts, snow houses, ice rinks, indoor waterparks, cooking team building, ice sculpting.
- If the client insists on outdoor activities, schedule them very early in the morning.
Document your concerns in writing. Obtain signed waivers from the client and all participants in case any one gets sick because of the heat. Opt for the coolest locations and activities you can find (e.g. waterfalls, waterparks, rafting).
- Provide shelter and a place to cool down (such as a cool zone or misting station).
- Provide shuttle to transport participants who are uncomfortable to an air conditioned environment before they become overheated.
- Remind participants to wear head coverings and slap on sunscreen when they head outside.
Yes it's common sense, but people do get busy and forget. (More about that in a moment.) Personal misting units are a nice touch.
- Provide plenty of water. Remind guests to drink lots of it and always carry a large bottle of cold water when they venture away from the hotel, resort or event venue.
Unforeseen circumstances can happen.
I know better but I was reminded of this a few years ago at a destination where the temperature soared past 40° C/104° F in May. I took the shuttle to the shopping centre. I had not planned on being outside for long at all so I didn't take water.
I walked in the shade and for some reason missed the shuttle.
Within less than an hour or returning to the resort and having a light snack, the cramps and nausea began. I delayed my transfer to the airport and consulted a nurse. By the time I checked in, I was so weak I needed a wheelchair. Fortunately, after sleeping for almost the whole 12 hours flight back to Toronto, I was fine when upon landing.
For more shoulder season & hot weather tips, read Shoulder Season: Perfect Time to Stretch Meeting Budgets, Business, Not Weather Pattern, Defines Urban Shoulder Seasons, 6 Places to Keep Your Cool as Temperatures Soar, 5 Ways to Keep Your Cool as Temperatures Soar.
Photo Credit: Fred Miller