Oftentimes, event attendees find themselves with nothing to do at the end of the day when they travel to conferences or meetings. Attendees are generally not local and may not have colleagues or customers to entertain them.
This void can be particularly noticeable for events held in cities that can’t rely on their tourist attractions to entertain guests. Guests often don't feel like going to a bar or restaurant, but it may be too early to head back to the hotel for the night.
Local, seasonal after-hours activities can be a great way to see a city and meet new colleagues.
Round up a group and plan to hit the local activities. It is a great bonding experience for all involved, and leads to lasting network connections.
The fall season, for example, lends itself to many activities to partake in after your meetings adjourn. These offer the perfect opportunity to take customers out or meet other attendees after hours without going to a bar or club. Instead, you will create memories that everyone will keep talking about long after they return home.
Fall is full of festive after hours conference activities to explore!
The Best Conference After-Hours Activities for Fall:
If you are headed to one of the many professional conferences in New England this fall here are a few of the local favorites:
1. Frightening, Unforgettable Memories at Haunted Houses:
Create lasting memories (or nightmares) by being terrified together. “Haunts,” or haunted houses, are abundant in the fall leading up to Halloween. There is no better way to bond with your colleagues than by screaming and jumping in terror together. One of CN's favorites is Haunted Graveyard. This activity will definitely leave an impression!
2. Hay Is Not Just For Horses:
Hay rides make for a unique meeting after-hours activity that everyone can get on board for. They are perfect for a small group and promote engagement and participation through their close quarters. Sitting side-by-side with your customers and colleagues for the duration of the ride can be great for business. Nobody will want to fall off of this wagon!
Photo Credit: Connecticut Weekender
3. Hit the Wine Trail:
There are many vineyards in New England that offer wine tasting and wine pairing menus with fine dining cuisine. Grab your fellow attendees and head to one of Connecticut’s many vineyards for wine tasting, or have a chef-inspired dinner that features local ingredients. This is a unique, intimate dining experience with a local touch.
4. Lose Your After-Hours Group in a Corn Maze:
Bring flashlights, form teams, and see who can find their way through the corn maze the fastest. Just be sure everyone makes it back to the bus at the end of the night! A CN favorite is at Sonny’s Place because you can cover more than one activity if you like. You and your friends can move onto a hay ride or mini-golf after conquering the corn maze.
5. State Fairs and food Festivals
As the weather starts to cool and the seasons change, fall is also a common time for food festivals and state fairs. These events encompass a collection of food, concerts, and a lot of local flair. They are a great way to experience the host city after a conference day ends. We heard fried Jell-O and cookie fries (OMG!) are state fair highlights not to be missed this fall.
The bonding and memories that local, seasonal activities produce just can’t be achieved in traditional bars and restaurants. Go the extra mile to experience cities in an entirely new way, and get a memorable experience from your business travel!
What are your favorite seasonal activities? Tell the Convention Nation what the best after-conference activities are in your city!