One of the biggest challenges among event professionals today is work-life balance. So, when work involves a conference organiser attending a meeting, it’s great to be able to offer spouses and companions an opportunity to accompany and participate in a meaningful way. The team at USA DMC has come up with some exciting activities to keep guest companions engaged and entertained!
“Our clients count on us to help them motivate and reward their employees with spectacular off-site events,” says Chris Lee, CEO of ACCESS Destination Services. “Savvy executives understand that companions can make the difference between an event that’s successful and one that’s not. That’s why ACCESS hosts activities specifically designed for guest companions.”
ACCESS Chicago, for example, offers unique companion activities that are strong on social responsibility, recognizing that many clients want to know that their actions leave a positive impact on local communities and citizens. Companion activities like The Price Does Right: A Shopping Showdown pits teams against each other to compete in a series of price-themed challenges where food and household items are all collected and donated to a local shelter or food pantry. In Study Hall Rocks, guests partner with children from a local charity or school to help them with reading, writing and relating to others . Participants of One Team: Community Care Packages strategize the best ways to tackle challenges and earn essential supplies to be included in care packages for local beneficiaries. These programs are completely customized and unique to each group and are popular with guest companions. Equally important, they benefit the local community.
Not all activities require a community service component to be successful and fulfilling. Sometimes guest companions simply want to enjoy themselves! ACCESS Northern California delivers with a private shopping spree to California’s largest diamond wholesaler! As one of only a handful of jewelers that buy directly from the source, this jeweler offers its exclusive clientele only the finest stones available anywhere, at wholesale prices. This one-of-a-kind experience begins with a glass of champagne, mimosa or Bloody Mary over a discussion of the four “C’s” of diamonds. The exclusive store boasts classic and elegant jewelry and specializes in custom designs for individual pieces or collections. This activity is not available to the public. It’s only through ACCESS’ special relationship with the jeweler that we are able to give guest companions a truly unique shopping experience.
All ACCESS destinations offer customized and unique opportunities for guest companion activities ideal for event management companies and corporate event planning— from cooking classes and vintage shopping trips, to neighborhood architectural tours and stained glass factory visits or tours of local “can’t-miss” museums and historical sites. ACCESS creates memorable experiences for participants and guest companions alike!
ACCESS Destination Services shares tips on historic spaces as meeting venues
, the industry leader in event planning, knows that sometimes the best way to experience a new place is to live its history and shares tips on some of the most historic and exclusive places in the country.
Though most people recognize the historic California Mission in San Juan Capistrano as a religious site, it has also earned the reputation as a unique outdoor meeting space. Founded in the 1770s by Father Junipero Serra, the beautiful Great Stone Church is cloistered inside formidable adobe walls in Orange County’s oldest city. These historic edifices serve as a rustic backdrop to the lush gardens and fountains tended within. The Mission grounds can accommodate intimate groups as small as 50 or concerts and receptions up to 1,000, with unobstructed views of the Southern California sky.
Chicago’s Palmer House Hotel was originally a wedding gift from business magnate, Potter Palmer, to his wife Bertha in the 1880s. The Chicago Fire destroyed the structure thirteen days later, but Potter rebuilt the hotel across the street, creating the world’s first fireproof hotel. Architecturally stunning, the Palmer House is the nation’s longest continually operating hotel, catering to couples, conventioneers and tourists with modern amenities and old-world grandeur. Bertha Palmer, who possessed the greatest collection of Impressionist artwork outside of France, filled the hotel with striking, artistic treasures, from the lobby’s 24-karet gold Louis Comfort Tiffany chandeliers to a pair of the designer’s “Winged Angels,” each weighing 1.25 tons. The Palmer House Hilton is also the birthplace of the brownie, which debuted at the Women’s Pavilion at the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1892.
Chicago is also home to one of the area’s best kept secrets: The Library. Though it sits atop a high rise in the heart of Downtown, few people know of its existence, let alone experience its one-of-a-kind ambiance. It was once a venerable law firm with a library of historic proportions. In fact, when the attorneys decided to move their firm they discovered that their law library was filled with such old, rare and priceless books it was safer to keep them where they were than risk damage in a move. So they left their library and now allow certain vetted VIPs to host exclusive functions there.
The James Leary Flood Mansion is considered one of the most beautiful examples of domestic architecture in the United States. Located in the posh Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, this magnificent marble mansion was designed in 1912 by renowned architects Bliss and Faville exclusively for Mr. and Mrs. James Leary Flood. A symphony of classical styles, Italian Renaissance, Rococo, Tudor and Georgian echo throughout the house.The rooms feature hand-carved wood and intricate pieces sculpted from Italian and Spanish marble, along with hand painted murals. Featuring some of the most breathtaking views of the City, this stunning architectural gem is the perfect backdrop for an intimate gathering or seated dinner up to 200.
USS Hornet is an aircraft carrier first launched in World War II. Now a national treasure permanently moored at historic Alameda Point on the San Francisco Bay, this 17-story floating museum is a timeless memorial and a historical venue that is ideal for groups as small as 30 or as large as 3,000. The USS Hornet offers spectacular views of the San Francisco skyline and Bay Bridge, and offers unique experiences, including a first-hand look at the carrier’s infrastructure, tour exhibits of WWII, Vietnam and the Apollo moon missions, as well as a tour of the Officer’s Country, Crew’s Berthing, Medical Spaces and Pilot Ready Rooms, providing a glimpse into what life must have been like on a floating city.
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