According to latest industry trend reports, meeting planners are continuing to look for creative ways to plan dynamic meetings while cutting costs. Another trend we’ve noticed? Mixing a bit of fun and more activities into the business agenda. So we’re not surprised that a meeting at sea is no longer a novel idea – it’s smart business.

The Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail recently featured an article about cruise meetings. Sarah Staples interviewed our CEO Joyce Landry for the story, “Hold your business meetings on the lido deck”.

Landry, chief executive of Landry & Kling, which specializes in cruise event planning and production, says cruise ships have everything a conference planner needs: ballrooms that can be converted to trade-show space, flexible itineraries to suit corporate meeting budgets, large theatres for audio-visual and awards presentations, fine-dining restaurants and nightclubs that can be rented out for functions, plus that unbeatable sea air.

Joyce shared several first-hand stories of successful cruise ship programs – from “serious meetings” on a Disney ship with Microsoft, to the high-security “floating conference center” dockside charter for last year’s Summit of the America’s in Trinidad. Joyce also mentioned  a recent 7-night corporate meeting on Norwegian Epic – a successful event that incorporated plenty of social activities for attendees while keeping a lid on expenses.

The Globe and Mail readers are reminded that along with built-in activities and entertainment, cruise ships offer other benefits including greater group security, delicious meals, and more relationship-building opportunities in a self-contained environment. Another intangible benefit: the lasting inspiration that comes from traveling to exotic destinations.

Joyce sums it up beautifully:

“You’re going from place to historic, beautiful place; everything is prearranged, safe; no one has to put their hand in their pocket to pay for anything, so there’s a sense of letting go and being free,” she says. “It beats the hotel convention centre’s rubber-chicken dinner every time.”

Read the entire Globe and Mail article: Hold your business meetings on the lido deck.