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  • "Bleisure" Travel Yields Big Returns

Leaders and planners come to Bloomington for effective business, and find a leisure destination that draws them back time and time again.

Nothing in life exists in a vacuum, independent from the quality of its surroundings and how they influence us. Savvy event planners are well aware of this fact, and know that maximizing the potential for an off-site event has to include careful articulation of expectations and vision for the meeting, a reasonable and achievable plan for how to pull it off, and room for left-field bursts of creativity—and that all of these factors should be enhanced and balanced by the place where the meeting happens.

Leaders at the Bloomington Convention and Visitors Bureau know that the destination’s wide range of community attractions work together with world-class meetings and event spaces to provide a win-win for managers, planners and attendees alike. This knowledge hardly makes them complacent—the challenge is to meet expectations that planners might not have even anticipated, because a great off-site happens in and out of the meeting room.

Statistics bear this out. In one recent survey, 71 percent of all off-site meeting attendees (of all ages) cite the destination as a crucial factor in their decision to enthusiastically attend (with 20 to 30 percent naming it as the deal clincher). And about 80 percent of those attendees say they’ll return to the destination for leisure in the future if they liked what they saw and experienced.

An off-site meeting affords opportunities for managers and teams to break out of their everyday roles and routines, and hopefully build up new ones as they work to move their organizations forward. Work success is often wrapped up into personal happiness and satisfaction, which is why making sure the meeting event is also a pleasant and memorable travel experience is so important.

That pleasant experience can start with a choice of hotel. Bloomington’s world-class events and lodging offerings set the stage for an experience where work, leisure and travel come together to relax and invigorate. Bloomington hotels such as JW Marriott Minneapolis Mall of America offer easy access to Minnesota's signature Mall of America® - a giddy eye opener for both guests and longtime residents. Visitors at the JW stay within an easy walk of the stunning SEA LIFE® at Mall of America and the sensory-immersive FlyOver America at the Mall, where the latest technology will make you feel as though you’re gently soaring over mountains and cities while a cool breeze caresses your face.

FlyOver bleisure article FlyOver America at Mall of America. As always, it's the little touches that keep us wanting more. Sheraton Bloomington Hotel, with luxury rooms and a perfect location, is also pet-friendly for travelers who don't want to leave their furry loved one at home. Staff at properties such as the Sheraton are eager to suggest a romantic restaurant or family-friendly eatery.

There’s a particular quality of life that makes visitors come back to Bloomington: the shops and restaurants, culture such as at the Bloomington Center for the Arts, golf and outdoor options including Hyland Lake Park Reserve and Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, and the more contemporary textures of GameWorks® and Nickelodeon Universe® at Mall of America.

A perfect home base in the middle of the Twin Cities, minutes from an award-winning airport and packed with amenities, it’s the staging ground for both meetings that refocus a team or organization and a return trip to follow up on what you might have missed the first time. In both cases, Bloomington has you covered—hopefully more than once.