Some tourists make a point of seeing the sights. Others prefer to immerse themselves in the ambiance of a new country/culture. And some want nothing more than to switch off and relax in a place far from the trials and tribulations of work.
I’m an immerser myself. During our three-week vacation in Europe last year I especially remember:
- The manic delight and amusement of the village elder who guided our car around the trucks that blocked the exit from the tiny hill-town of Monticchiello.
- All the tiny Tuscan cafés we lazed in so we could hang out and watch Italians go by.
- The Lake Como fish-seller who took twenty minutes to successfully seduce me into buying the last of his fried calamari.
- Noticing some of the tens of thousands of little things—timings of traffic lights, scarves, houseplants, drinks, and climate—that shape and define a country’s culture.
- The young hotel receptionist, bless her, who sympathetically soothed us when we arrived exhausted after dragging our suitcases from the Zurich train station.
- A perfect day in the heart of the thousand-year old New Forest with our good friends Bruce and Elizabeth, at whose wedding my wife and I met.
Event attendees are tourists too.
Some event tourists are there for the content. They gravitate to the event’s museums and art galleries, concrete accomplishments of the far and recent past. They want to know the established order.
Other event tourists are there for the connections. They are stimulated by the ambiance, excited by the opportunities of meeting new people, open to learn important things, little or big, from their peers.
And some event tourists are there for a break from a job that may have become too much for them, that has exhausted them to the point where they need an official excuse to disappear from the office.
What kind of event tourist are you?
And what kind of event tourists do you cater to at your events?
Image attribution: Flickr user decadence