Does this sound familiar?

  • You’ve got the location of your next business meeting nailed down
  • Arrangements for travel and accommodations are running smoothly
  • The guest speakers are burrowing down to get the content down pat

But you still have to plan for that one critical thing that will make the difference between a meeting that is, well, bland, or one that hits it through the ballpark: the off-site venue.

Choosing an exceptional venue requires creative thinking and seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary.

Québec City, a leading reference in business tourism, has helped event planners around the world organize exciting off-site activities. Here are its top three tips to choosing an off-site venue that will impress event goers for years to come. 

Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec | Credit:  Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec
Credit: Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec

Tip 1. Set the objectives

Before you start researching locations, think about your event’s objectives and the audience experience. Does the off-site event need to be structured with presentations? Must it provide moments for networking? Is it simply a social gathering with food and beverages?  Are you looking for attendees to be energized or relaxed at the end of the activity? It may sound obvious, but once you hone in on these details, you’ll get a much better feel for vibe you want to create.

Croisières AML | Credit:  Croisières AML
Credit: Croisières AML

Tip 2. Never overlook the obvious

Be sure to consider the standard requirements of transportation links and facilities. Just because you want something off-beat doesn’t mean you want to overly complicate your planning with having to deal with more than your share of additional logistics. Rely on your research, but also tap into the expertise of local representatives; they’ll give you the lowdown on what’s fun—and feasible.

Parc de la Chute-Montmorency | Credit:  Parc de la Chute-Montmorency
Credit: Parc de la Chute-Montmorency

Tip 3. Don’t overestimate the cost of unique locations

A word on budget. Unconventional does not necessarily equal pricey. You may be pleasantly surprised that some of the most “out there” venues cost no more than a traditional hotel or conference facility. Oftentimes, eccentric venues provide attractive packages and services that you may not identify upon first glance. It will be up to you to price it out and determine whether a traditional or eccentric venue will deliver more value for your money.

While it does take some research, finding that perfect off-site venue, organizing that one activity that will get event goers to unwind, and concocting impressive menus throughout your meeting will definitely go a long way to having attendees fall in love with business meetings all over again. Be sure to speak to local representatives too; they have a wealth of information to find that hidden gem!

More info

Keep exploring the Québec City Business Destination official website. You'll find all the information about accommodations, meeting venues and original places to host your event.