Event Industry Trends

Event Industry Trends

Events are a lifeline for many businesses and individuals. After all, it’s the best channel to network, catch up with industry peers, build relationships, and share information. 

Whether they happen virtually, live, or in a hybrid model, events that remain flexible, prioritize safety, and emphasize meaning will likely become the norm. Here are some trends you can expect to see now or in the upcoming year. 

 

Trend 1

Hybrid Events Continue to Grow 

According to Forbes, “virtual events are up 1,000% since COVID-19.” Although more people are vaccinated and eager to meet in person again, it’s still probable that virtual is here to stay – but with a twist. Many events are now hybrid models that cater to both virtual and in-person audiences. New creative ideas are emerging to ensure people still get the information they need without any loss of quality. For example, an event may take place primarily online, but companies will offer upgraded packages or incentives for an in-person meetup. 

 

Trend 2

Micro Events 

More events are starting to operate in smaller capacities. Scaled back events are more feasible, safer, and pose a smaller financial risk for many event planners. Besides making it easier to manage the entire event as a whole, some of the benefits of smaller events include concentrated networking opportunities, more focus on engagement, and the ability to better customize content for participants and attendees. 

 

Trend 3

Events Will Enter a Year-Round Event Cycle

Most companies will typically hold only a single large event once a year. With smaller meetings and hybrid models becoming more common, a variety of events are happening more often. These events can range from conferences to product launches, or workshops to simple meet-and-greets. Year-round events allow the attendees to choose which events, times, and places work for them within their busy schedules, giving them ultimate flexibility and higher chances of attending multiple events. 

 

Trend 4

Continued Emphasis on Physical and Safety

No matter what industry you are in, the topic of safety will continue to be prominent throughout the next few years. Expect to see more companies partnering up or offering on-site testing and COVID PCR tests to address the need for safety. Be prepared for a continued emphasis on pre-screening requirements, socially distanced layouts, protective personal equipment, specialized sanitizing crews, advanced air-filtration systems, and more outdoor event venues in the coming years.

 

 

Discover how we can take your event to the next level!

 

 

Ideas to Inspire You to Get Outdoors This Fall

Ideas to Inspire You to Get Outdoors This Fall

 

Fall is here and all things autumnal are starting to happen. Temperatures are cooling, leaves are changing color, and pumpkin-flavored goodies are everywhere. With the change of seasons, there’s a palpable excitement in the air and people are ready for outdoor fun. Here are some fall activities to inspire you to get out and enjoy this glorious season.

Head to the orchard and pick some apples

“A is for apple”, and fall is for apple-picking! Now is the time many apple orchards are ready to be harvested. The best part about picking a bunch of apples is making delicious recipes full of fresh apple flavor afterward, like pies, crumbles, turnovers, and hot cider. Here are some of the best apple orchards in America to visit:

Terhune Orchards (Princeton, New Jersey)

•             The apples at Terhune Orchards are available to pick every day during September and October. The farm focuses on environmentally sustainable practices, meaning you only pay for what you pick by weight.

Parlee Farms (Tyngsborough, Massachusetts)

•             From late August through late October, you can pick from over 20 apple varieties. For an added treat during the fall holidays and weekends, a hayride to the orchard is included if you buy an apple bag.  

Vala’s Pumpkin Patch and Apple Orchard (Gretna, Nebraska)

•             Vala’s has 30 acres of apple orchards, 55 acres of pumpkins, and endless fun activities for all to enjoy. This is the perfect getaway for families looking to enjoy the entire day with their little ones.  

                 

Visit a local pumpkin patch

Perhaps the most memorable fall outing is to stop by a pumpkin patch and discover all things pumpkin. Pumpkin patches span the country, from New England to the Southwest, and they all have something unique to offer. Here are some of my top picks to get you started:

Pumpkin Village at the Dallas Arboretum (Dallas, Texas)

•             The Dallas Arboretum is known for its remarkable pumpkin village and pumpkin display. In addition, there are also 150,000 autumn flowers all photo-worthy.

Lowe Family Farmstead (Kuna, Idaho)

•             It doesn’t matter if you’re actually a kid or just a kid at heart, either way, this place is for you. You can pick pumpkins, take a hayride, or wander through a huge corn maze, all while taking in the cool autumn air.

Papa's Pumpkin Patch (Bismarck, North Dakota)

•             Every year, this special place grows up to 30,000 pumpkins, gourds, and more for people to admire and purchase. This is a spectacular spot for picture-taking and offers plenty of attractions for kids and families.

Fall hikes

Hiking outdoors is filled with perks such as stunning scenic views, fresh air, and the sounds and smells of nature. There is no better way to take it all in than by lacing up your hiking boots and hitting the trail with your four-legged adventure companion, your best buddy, or simply venture out for some much-needed alone time. Here are some wonderful destinations to get your fall fix:

Letchworth State Park (Castile, New York)

•             Letchworth State Park is considered by many to be the most beautiful state park in America. Surrounded by gorgeous autumn colors, with over 23 hiking trails, bird-watching opportunities, and even colorful hot air balloons floating overhead, you’ll never want to leave.

Bushkill Falls (Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania)

•             Bushkill Falls is a series of eight waterfalls that can only be reached through a 2-mile stretch of well-maintained trails, bridges, and walkways among scenic forest surroundings. Here you will get the opportunity to witness nature up-close and personal.

Castlewood State Park (Ballwin, Missouri)

•             This state park has 8 great hiking trails, running trails, and forest trails ranging from 1.7 to 20.6 miles and from 419 to 662 feet above sea level. All hikers, regardless of experience and/or physical ability, are sure to find their perfect trail.

Fall scavenger hunt

•             An autumnal nature-themed scavenger hunt is the perfect excuse to get outside and enjoy the season with your kids, or even a group of adventurous adults! Participants just need to head outside and search for the items on a list provided by you. Everyone can search on their own, or team up in groups. Turn it into a contest by giving each person or team different lists and compete to find the most items in a set time period. There could be a “special prize” for the winner, and everyone could enjoy an ice cream or other special treats after the hunt. Or if you don’t want to make it an all-out competition, create tiered prizes based on the number of items found. This is especially fun if you do the scavenger hunt together as a family. Just make sure your lists are full of items easily found in your neighborhood or designated search area.

Here are some basic supplies you will need to get started:

· Fall nature scavenger hunt list(s)

· Writing utensils to mark off found items

· Bags for individuals or teams to collect items

· Binoculars and/or a magnifying glass (optional)

· Your imagination!

No matter what you chose to do, be sure to get outdoors before the colder winter weather sets in. There’s nothing quite like autumn when the leaves are changing and the weather starts to turn crisp but is still warm, so get out there and take advantage of this amazing time of year.

Looking for more fall outdoor adventures? Reach out to learn how we can get you there.


 

 

Strategies To Improve Your Company’s Travel Policy Compliance

Corporate travel policy compliance is critical for an organization to have applicable control over employee travel expenses and their safety. Each organization has certain guidelines and expectations such as how and where to book hotels and flights, what is covered, how much can be reimbursed, and which vendors to use. Depending on the company, these expectations can be either fixed or flexible, and the management of the process falls on a dedicated staff member or employees are expected to do it on their own. Regardless of who is doing it, it can be very time-consuming and exhausting. Following the corporation’s travel policy is crucial because it ultimately affects the overall bottom line. When employees ignore travel policies, such as not booking within the specified time frame, or not booking through select approved channels, it can cost the company a loss of revenue and relationships. 

 

According to the Global Business Travel Association, “1.3 million business trips are taken in the US every day.  

 

Here are some ways to help improve compliance in your corporate travel policy. 

 

Give Employees a Voice


Often company savings are valued over traveler satisfaction. Improving the booking and travel experience for employees can limit some of the financial cost associated with travel expenses. Conducting a survey is an easy way to collect data about employees’ experiences and preferences. Learning what the majority of employees would prefer will help allocate funds to different areas of the travel budget. This way you spend less on unnecessary things that are not important to your employees and can put more focus on what matters to them the most.

 

Seek Outside Help 


Another solution is to partner with a company that specializes in a corporate travel policy program. Partnering with an experienced company to manage your employees’ travel does not always equate to higher expenses as they have established vendor relationships and can negotiate rates on your behalf, resulting in extensive savings over time. In addition, these companies usually have software and technology that will allow immediate access to travelers’ whereabouts and they work proactively to be prepared for potential travel disruptions or changes.  

 

Implement a Booking Portal

Implementing a booking portal or some form of online booking tool would ensure employees are aware of and have access to the policies. Also, these tools can provide a mechanism to alert travelers to out-of-policy bookings and can route approval for an out-of-policy booking to the traveler's manager or another designated approver.  For example, the booking portal could block any content above a certain price, such as airfare over $400 for a domestic trip, as well as certain locations for traveler safety reasons. Some companies will route all travel bookings for approval, whether they are in or out of policy for an extra level of compliance.

Educate and Communicate 

Educate employees about “duty of care”, which is a company’s obligation to protect employees from harm while traveling. Employees need to be aware of the importance of the travel policy and your obligation to ensure they are safe while traveling on company time. If an employee books their own hotel outside the corporate guidelines, this may mean that the company or travel manager will be unaware of where the traveler is located and therefore unable to provide proper assistance if it is needed. Some best practices include conducting a risk assessment prior to an employee’s trip and informing the traveler of potential risks, available resources, and contingency planning. Having the ability to track your travelers’ whereabouts at all times is also beneficial to both the company and the travelers. Again, all of this can be overwhelming for one person to manage, so I highly recommend partnering with an experienced company for these reasons. 

 

Regardless of the size of the company or the company culture, a focus on compliance will remain vital for businesses to save money and keep their travelers safe.

 

 Reach out and learn more about Galactic’s Corporate Travel Management program.

 

 

 

Things To Do In Mexico

Things To Do In Mexico

 

Mexican Independence Day is celebrated on September 16 by Mexicans and people of Mexican ancestry around the world. The day is commemorated with nationwide festivities including fireworks, parades, live music, and home-cooked feasts enjoyed by family and friends. In honor of this day, take a vacaciones to Mexico and experience a variety of fun actividades.

 

Mexico City, a vast and lively metropolis where ancient meets modern, is a great place to start your trip. In the nation's capital, visit one of the city’s most famed museums, the National Museum of Anthropology in Chapultepec Park, which contains the most important collection of Mesoamerican artifacts in the world. Another must-see is the Basilica de Guadalupe, located on the hill where the Virgin of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico, appeared to Juan Diego. Be sure to take a walking tour to learn more about Mexico’s heritage and attend a  Ballet Folklorico Performance, which features dances in traditional dress from various regions of Mexico.

 

Mexico's colonial period during the 1700s was a unique blend of two very different cultures as the former Aztec way of life succumbed to the incoming Spanish rule. This period witnessed great destruction, but also gave birth to an outpouring of art and architecture. Many cities in Mexico still retain their colonial history with cobblestone streets and iconic architecture. In most towns, you can step into the past by staying at a stunningly restored historic hotel, or by visiting a beautiful church or plaza. 

 

Mexico has several amazing and fascinating colonial cities to explore, many of which have been recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites of outstanding value to humanity. Some of the best places to visit include: Some of the best places to visit include:

  • Guadalajara, Jalisco – the birthplace of mariachi and tequila, this is Mexico's second-biggest city and has plenty of museums and historical sites to keep travelers busy
  • Merida, Yucatan – known as the "white city," it has a vibrant cultural scene and is a great spot from which to explore the archaeological sites and natural attractions of the Yucatan Peninsula
  • Morelia, Michoacan – experience colonial architecture and local culture as you stroll among awe-inspiring plazas, gardens, and elegant buildings made out of pink quarry stone
  • Puebla, Puebla – home of the chile en nogada, Mexico's national dish, Puebla is renowned for its Talavera pottery and its historical city center chock-full of beautiful colonial buildings
  • Oaxaca, Oaxaca – a destination that combines attractive colonial architecture with colorful traditions, stunning handicrafts, and delicious asthenic cuisines
  • Taxco, Guerrero – Mexico's silver capital, a charming colonial town set in the mountains south of Mexico City 

Learn more about the world's greatest ancient civilizations like the Olmecs, Zapotecs, Mayas, and Aztecs by visiting the Mayan archaeological sites of the Yucatan Peninsula, chosen as one of the New 7 World Wonders. Thrill-seekers looking for an adrenaline rush won’t be disappointed either with options from zip-lining through the jungle to exploring an underground river, or snorkeling and scuba diving at the world’s second-largest coral reef just off the Riviera Maya. Endless fun awaits the adventurer all across Mexico, and for those looking to relax under the sun, places like the Yucatan Peninsula or Cabo San Lucas, known for beautiful sunsets, sport fishing, and golf resorts along with amenity-filled all-inclusive resorts on white-sand beaches are vibrant yet relaxing, and ready to welcome you. ¡Viva México!

 

If you are ready to explore the wonders of Mexico or any other spectacular destination, reach out to our team members. Galactic can help!

 

 

 

 

Non-Beach Summer Vacations Packed With Endless Fun for Everyone

Non-Beach Summer Vacations Packed With Endless Fun for Everyone


When people think of “summer vacation”, they often conjure images of warm sunbathing, cool ocean waves, and making sandcastles on a beach. However, summertime fun doesn’t have to be exclusively in the sun. There are so many places to go and things to see and do – from high in the mountains to lowland country plains or from quiet woodland cabins to bustling city landmarks – that will leave your summer unforgettable even if it’s not beachside. Here are some destinations worth venturing to before summer is officially over.

 

Bozeman, MT

Tucked away in the heart of the beautiful Rocky Mountains with endless memorable activities, Bozeman has plenty for the entire family to enjoy. Escape the summer heat with activities like whitewater rafting down the Gallatin River or tubing down the Madison River. After working up an appetite, head downtown and dine at one of the city’s best-reviewed restaurants such as South 9th Bistro and take part in Bozeman’s annual Music on the Main festival. 

 

Vail, CO

Skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts are all too familiar with Vail in the winter, but the summer attracts a mesmerizing mountainous view that will leave you breathless. Come enjoy the Summer Nights concert series that features free music, local craft beer, and yard games. If you are looking for even more things to do, be sure to head out on a guided fly-fishing trip or take in the scenic and thrilling river rafting adventure with family and friends. 

 

San Diego, CA

San Diego has so much more to offer than just gorgeous beaches and perfect weather. The opportunities here are truly endless. Go on an electric bike tour of La Jolla and Mount Soledad to soak in the incredible views of the ocean and hills, visit the iconic San Diego Zoo to discover a wide array of animals and interactive exhibits guaranteed to create lasting memories, or explore the Embarcadero to learn about the region's colorful maritime history via museums and harbor tours, historic ships, a working fishing harbor, and a plethora of restaurants and shops.

 

Portland, ME

Portland is a summer haven known for its waterfront beauty, fresh seafood, and rich history. Be sure to view the seaside in style on a Casco Bay Custom Charter boat tour, where you’ll pass several awe-inspiring lighthouses as you take in Maine's lovely landscapes. If you’re an art enthusiast, be sure to check out the Portland Museum of Art or tour the grand interiors of the Victoria Mansion for artistic gratification and inspiration.

 

Jackson, WY

Escape to the genuine wild west in more ways than one. This little town is as authentic as they get, where moose and mule deer roam the streets and ranchers rub shoulders with the locals. The valley is home to the Grand Teton National Park and Bridger-Teton National Forest, which have some of the most incredible alpine scenery in the world, as well as an impressive array of wildlife from marmots and mountain lions to elk, bison, and grizzly bears. For the brave and daring, check out the Grand Teton Wildlife Safari which brings you in an open-air vehicle through rugged terrain where you can get up close and personal with various wildlife. Did I mention you will be surrounded with sublime and breathtaking views of the majestic mountains during the excursion?

 

Williamsburg, VA

A history-lovers paradise, Williamsburg has several sites worth a visit including Historic Jamestown and the Colonial Williamsburg village. Learn more about the city’s haunted past with the Williamsburg Ghosts and Witches Tour that strolls past old homes, taverns, and cemeteries, embellished with spooky and chilling ghost stories along the way. If you have kids in tow, explore popular kid-friendly attractions such as Busch Gardens and Water Country USA.

 

Boise, ID

Get the best of both worlds in Boise. Featuring a unique mix of urban life and natural attractions, Boise has everything from art museums, concerts, and festivals to scenic hiking and biking trails, impressive golf courses, and picturesque parks. For a memorable experience, book a Boise Hot Air Balloon Ride and enjoy breathtaking views for miles in all directions as you float across the sky. If you prefer to stay at ground level, visit Barber Park to rent a tube and spend a relaxing afternoon floating down the Boise River. Be sure to take advantage of some of Boise’s best local cuisine with a Culinary and Cultural Tour to six or more chef-picked restaurants where you will get to taste and learn about the city’s history and culinary culture.

 

Happy and safe travels!

Learn how Galactic can take you to these exciting destinations and many others.

 

 

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