- History – Every destination has a unique history. Capture the feel of the city or region for your attendees by including a museum visit or adding a trolley or walking tour to the agenda. Promote notable landmarks or sites that highlight the destination’s historical legacy.
- Corporate Social Responsibility – Wherever your event is located, be sure to leave a positive social impact. Find a cause important to the area and build it into the event programming. If there is a local military base nearby, create and deliver care packages as a team building activity. Visit a local children’s hospital or make craft kits for the kids to cheer them up. Consider having a local, nonprofit speaker for a keynote presentation. Groups visiting our area have used speakers from Milton Hershey School in their program to inspire their attendees. Hershey Resorts supports Milton Hershey School, the largest residential home and school for boys and girls in financial need. It was established in 1909 by the chocolate magnate, Milton S. Hershey and his wife, “Kitty.”
- Unique Venues – An off-site event at a unique venue can help tell the story of the destination and give your guests a one-of-a-kind experience. The Hershey Destination Services team can coordinate an after-hours event at the new Milton & Catherine Hershey Conservatory at Hershey Gardens, including an indoor butterfly atrium featuring 600 butterflies from around the world; or a behind-the-scenes tour at ZooAmerica North American Wildlife Park. Work with the local convention and visitors bureau or destination management company to identify the ideal location to host your event. They have a wealth of knowledge and know the destination inside-out.
- Theme – Find the unique aspect of the destination and use this to theme your events. In Hershey The Sweetest Place On Earth, chocolate is abundant. Groups in Hershey usually incorporate chocolate into their meetings and events; examples include:
- Selecting a specialty drink like the Hershey’s Kisses Signature Chocolate Martini, or working with the chef to have cocoa-infused food for dinner.
- Enjoying a wine and chocolate or beer and chocolate pairing class.
- Incorporating Hershey’s candy into their centerpieces.
- Using Hershey’s Product Characters for a photo keepsake.
- Using their hands in creating themed structures out of Hershey’s candy products – a team building activity called Chocolate Challenge.
- Attractions – Give attendees the opportunity to immerse themselves in the destination before and after the conference or meeting. For example, experience a parade in New Orleans, take the Miller Brewery Tour in Milwaukee or tour Fenway Park in Boston.
- Cuisine – Build menus and décor based on your destination. For example, serve deep dish pizza in Chicago or Cajun and French-inspired cuisines in New Orleans. Or, welcome your guests with an amenity filled with local treats like personalized wine bottles, craft beer, or snacks produced in the area.
For more information, visit our Cvent Profile or call 1-866-PA MEETS (726-3387).
Lauren Imes, Director – Hershey Destination Services