How to create an exclusive event experience in the world’s most sought-after meeting destination
Planning a destination meeting? If Spain is at the top of your list, you’re not alone. The country is once again the most in-demand meeting destination in the world.
For planners, that means any Spanish excursions should be organized with care. Infusing the local culture into the event should be the priority, as per usual in destination meetings—but visits to famous sites and landmarks, such as Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia cathedral, can make for a crowded meeting agenda.
Here are three ways planners can introduce Spanish culture while also ensuring that attendees receive an exclusive event experience:
Dance the Flamenco
Think of Spain, and your mind might immediately wander to flamenco, an artistic dance accompanied by music of the same name. The rhythmic moves are both choreographed and improvised, with male dancers focused on intricate footwork and female dancers emphasizing the hands and torso, usually while wearing big, ruffled dresses.
Considered a Spanish cultural institution, flamenco is a great way to immerse guests in Spanish tradition. Treat guests to a flamenco show after the day’s festivities—or better yet, offer a private flamenco class where attendees can learn the steps.
Encourage Air Guitar
Spain has a long, storied history of musical traditions (including flamenco), and it was forever changed with the introduction of the Spanish guitar. Through most of the 16th century, most European guitars had only four strings. Then, in the late 1500s, the Spanish unveiled a new guitar with five strings—an instrument that paved the way for the modern classical guitar.
Seen as a symbol of Spanish innovation, the Spanish guitar makes for great cultural entertainment during mealtime or happy hours. Try a live band that highlights the instrument, or queue up classical Spanish guitar ballads on your meeting’s playlist.
Cook Up Some Culture
One of the most exciting parts of visiting any new country: the food. And Spain’s is no exception. Paella (a rice dish with chicken or seafood), gazpacho (a tomato soup, often made with other vegetables, that’s served cold) and patatas bravas (potatoes served with a spicy tomato sauce) are among the country’s most loved dishes.
With a jam-packed meeting agenda, introducing attendees to such celebrated dishes is as easy as including them on your meeting menu. But if you have more time, consider making Spanish fare part of your breakout sessions. An exclusive live cooking demonstration or a paella-making class will not only satisfy appetites but also give guests insight into Spanish food customs and history.
Although there are many ways to incorporate international culture into your meeting, should your budget allow a trip to Spain, we encourage you to visit the Madrid Marriott Auditorium Hotel & Conference Center, Renaissance Barcelona Fira Hotel or Renaissance Barcelona Hotel. All offer a variety of meeting spaces for every type of event.