Culinary tourism is a growing facet of meeting planning. Like teambuilding events and recreational activities, experiencing local fare is a way to provide attendees a unique experience at the destination they are visiting. Most likely, it is possible to enhance your event at minimal cost by leveraging vendor relationships your hotel already has in place.
Sunriver Resort, located near Bend, Oregon, provides this experience to group guests through their partnerships with local microbrewers, wineries, chocolatiers, farms and more! Among the partnerships in place are relationships with Deschutes Brewery, Bendistillery, Maragas Winery, Tumalo Cheese Farms, and Goody’s Chocolates. As part of the program, each of these food and beverage partners sends a representative to discuss their company’s history and how products are made -- and samples are also provided! Not only do guests learn a little something about the area, they also get to try something new that they may have never experienced anywhere else.
Other than the cost of the food or beverages -- which may have been an event requirement anyway -- the company generally charges little-to-nothing for their time, as they enjoy introducing people to their products.
So, the next time you are looking to mix things up in a new destination, work with your Sales or Convention Manager to brainstorm local options for Nibbles and Sips to enhance one of your receptions or meal functions.
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