Destination: Colombia

Four event ideas inspired by the South American country

South America is known for its mountainous views, ancient ruins and lively nightlife—and Colombia delivers on all fronts. 

Named one of the top international destinations to visit in 2019, Colombia has become a hot meeting location, as planners are eager to take part in the repositioning of the long-troubled nation into a beautiful, energetic and storied country. 

It’s a country worth the trip, but if you can’t make it there in person, we’ve got a few ideas for you on how to capitalize on the essence of Colombia, featuring the Cali Marriott Hotel, Bogota Marriott Hotel and JW Marriott Hotel Bogota.

Leverage the Scenery

From the Andes Mountains to the Amazon and everything in between, Colombia isn’t short of natural beauty or breathtaking views. But depending on your meeting purpose, an outdoor venue, or one with a view, might not always be possible. In this case, invite the outdoors in. Try a jungle-themed meeting to match Colombia’s rainforests by layering greenery together for a textured accent wall and including natural centerpieces and décor pieces.  

Flavor Up

Like other South American countries, Colombian cuisine tends to be hearty and starchy. Grilled meats, stews, soups and grains make up most traditional dishes, which are defined more by an earthy flavor rather than by heat, like other South American dishes. Coastal towns also make use of fresh fish for dishes such as ceviche, which is typically made with fresh white fish cured in citrus juice and spices.

To really capture the Colombian appetite, try an arepa, a cross between a tortilla and a pancake, which can be served a multitude of ways: deep-fried, pan-seared or grilled; stuffed or not; an entire meal or just a snack. 

Time to Dance

Every major Colombian city has a Zona Rosa, or a main nightlife district, where many of its restaurants, bars and clubs reside. One of its most popular features: crossover clubs. Instead of one-genre clubs, many Colombians prefer venues that mix up popular Latin music together, including salsa, merengue, cumbia, reggaetón and more. Dancing is central to Colombia’s nightlife, so let attendees dance off the stress of the week with a track list that keeps them guessing. 

Tell a Story

Colombia is home to many historical sites, including Ciudad Perdida (“Lost City” in Spanish), an archaeological site founded in 800 A.D., about 650 years before Machu Picchu. And though all of the country’s storied past isn’t known, its ancient sites are among Colombia’s most popular destinations.

Again, planners might not be able to replicate Colombia’s sights, but there is something to be said about the allure of the stories behind them. Planners should try to replicate Colombia’s narrative spirit in their own meetings, too. So, what kind of story can your event tell? 

Although events in Colombia might be far from home, should you find yourself in the country, consider booking time at the Cali Marriott Hotel, Bogota Marriott Hotel and JW Marriott Hotel Bogota, all of which host a variety of meeting spaces fit for any event.