April 2018

Picture this scene: Professionals are engaged in a networking event in the lobby of an upscale resort in Orlando Florida. In a nearby room, their children – supervised by trained staff – are having a great time in a play room equipped with corn-hole, board games, an arts and crafts bonanza, and a kid friendly buffet.

It’s a win-win for all involved and a scenario that is becoming increasingly common as meeting planners seek out venues and destinations willing to cater to family-friendly meetings. And if you haven’t been paying attention, you will have missed the fact that family-friendly meetings are on the uptick for multiple reasons, the biggest of which is that more and more families are traveling together more outside of traditional vacation windows. As many insiders have noted, “vacations aren’t just for spring break and summer anymore.

Also, busy schedules make it increasingly difficult for families to get away for long vacations, so many are looking for opportunities to travel together on short trips throughout the year. Multi-generational families are finding that day trips, short vacations and long weekends fit their schedules better than long stays at expensive, distant destinations. To that end, family-friendly offerings can make the venue more enticing to business groups and drive up attendance numbers for meeting planners.

78Madison handles a lot of travel industry business across the country, and believes strongly that combining meeting-related travel with a short vacation and bring family members along are two key aspects of the growing “bleisure” travel trend that encompasses corporate, association and educational meetings as well as religious and reunion meetings. In fact, at some companies it is being added as an employee perk. Further, there is statistical evidence that millennials are strongly embracing this trend.

What do you think? Are you for, against, or in the middle of mixing business-family travel? Let us know.

Joe Bouch
CEO 78Madison

78Madison is a full service marketing communications firm – advertising agency – located in Orlando-Altamonte Springs, Florida.