Make Metropolitan Meetings Memorable

Six cities with unique activities easy to plan around.

Chances are that most of the meetings you plan are in a city, and with good reason—urban hubs have good transportation, plus plenty of activities and dining options to keep everyone happy. Elevate your next meeting in a metropolitan destination by exploring a unique attribute of the city before or after your event, making the entire experience even more memorable for attendees. Below are six stellar places for helping you make a lasting impression.

Boston: With more than 60 universities and colleges located in and around Boston, this destination is known for its world-class research and academics. Use this to your advantage by booking an expert in your field to lead a session or an extracurricular talk related to your meeting. For example, if your meeting is about robotics, seek out a professor from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or if you’re planning a dental convention, invite a doctor from Boston University’s School of Dental Medicine to deliver a speech or serve as a panelist.

Seattle: Coffee and meetings go hand in hand. In Seattle, there’s more than just Starbucks to fuel your attendees—although the original is located here at 1912 Pike Place and it could be used for off-site networking sessions. Seize the opportunity to sip several of the Emerald City’s brews by hosting a coffee crawl, or bring in a few local javas to perk up participation during an icebreaker.

Amsterdam: With 165 canals, Amsterdam is often referred to as “the Venice of the North.” And when in town, getting on the water is a must. Surprise your guests with a day of sessions on the water where, in a boat like this, you can cruise around town without forgoing equipment like microphones and presentation screens. With sunlight beaming in through the skylight and plenty of fresh air at the bow and stern, your attendees will be energized and excited to be a part of the event.

São Paulo: When you’re in a city as busy and large as Brazil’s financial capital, you may not expect a ton of green space, but São Paulo has several gems hidden beneath its skyscrapers. Treat your guests to an off-site meeting (and a little vitamin D!) at one of the city’s many nature areas and parks, such as Parque Ibirapuera, one of the largest parks in Latin America, which features a lake, a plant nursery, and several museums, monuments, and galleries. Or venture to Parque Villa-Lobos, which boasts species from the Mata Atlântica rainforest, sports facilities, an orchidarium, and food outlets around the park.

Washington, D.C.: Designed by Pierre Charles L’Enfant in the 18th century, the U.S. capital was planned with an egalitarian mindset. In addition to the National Mall, L’Enfant mapped out wide boulevards featuring views of important city buildings, as well as public squares for everyone to enjoy. While it’s easy to spot neoclassical and Brutalist architecture around the landmarks, throughout D.C. you’ll find a wide range of styles, including art deco, Victorian, beaux-arts, Tudor, contemporary, and modern. Plan an excursion to a modern D.C. icon, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, or schedule a DC Design neighborhood walking tour near your meeting site.

Hong Kong: In this city you’ll find a little bit of everything from the East and the West; it’s one of the reasons Hong Kong is a truly unique and approachable place. Entice attendees with any number of multicultural activities, including festivals—there are multiple celebrations almost every month of the year. In June, plan your event directly before or after the 2,000-year-old Dragon Boat Festival, and your guests can enjoy cheering on their favorite boat and indulging in meat and rice dumplings. Or, in November, encourage your attendees to catch a number or two at Clockenflap—a music and arts festival featuring local, regional, and international talent—before or after your meetings.