No matter where an event is hosted, there is always a story to tell. The Hershey Destination Services team at Hershey Resorts, offer six suggestions for building a destination into your overall program.
- 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.
Boasting a Central Pennsylvania location convenient to New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, DC, Hershey is a charming town that has become a premier destination for meetings and conventions. Hershey Resorts includes The Hotel Hershey, which is both historic and elegant, and Hershey Lodge, which is spacious and accommodating. Together, these properties offer more than 900 guest rooms and 125,000 square feet of flexible space that can accommodate almost any event.
Hershey Country Club is also part of Hershey Resorts and offers more than 10,000 square feet of meeting space, including the all-season Picard Grand Pavilion, which provides a scenic view of the East and West golf courses. The Pavilion features a fireplace and removable glass walls for open air events while providing a unique setting for banquets or tournament activities.
Hershey Destination Services (HDS) is an in-house destination management department who works hand-in-hand with the team at Hershey Resorts. An exclusive service to Hershey Resorts clients, the HDS team will listen, recommend and guide groups through Hershey’s unique venues, various services and endless activity options available throughout Hershey and neighboring Lancaster, Harrisburg, and Gettysburg.
Hershey is centrally located three and a half hours from Pittsburgh; three hours from New York City; two hours from Philadelphia and Washington, DC; and 90 minutes from Baltimore. Harrisburg International Airport and Amtrak stations are just 20 minutes from Hershey.
For more information, visit our Cvent Profile or call 1-866-PA MEETS (726-3387).
Lauren Imes, Director – Hershey Destination Services