Tips for Planning a Family-Friendly Work Conference

While the pandemic may not have changed everything, it did have a major impact in several areas, one of which was the traditional expectation of employees devoting every waking hour to the job. 

Savvy corporations are taking notice, and are trying to adjust to new thinking regarding work-life balance. One of these new post-pandemic trends in the corporate world is the family-friendly work conference or meeting.

This type of event not only solves the sitter problem for out-of-town meetings, but also allows kids to have a glimpse of the mysterious world of “work” that Mommy and Daddy go to every day.

1. Gauge interest

If you’re holding an out-of-town meeting or conference, survey your employees to find out how many are interested in including their families. And be sure to schedule your conference when kids are out of school.

2. Pick a family-friendly site

If you decide to host a family-friendly work conference, find a destination that offers myriad of activities. Consider cities with opportunities for sightseeing, outings, and other kid-friendly types of entertainment during the day. 

The local convention and visitor bureau (CVB) will happily provide plenty of ideas.

3. Appoint an adjunct concierge

Your conference planner will have their hands full trying to manage all the details of the conference itself. Appoint a second person to focus on the family side of the conference planning. Such a person can attend to things like finding licensed sitters, setting up day trips, and so on.

4. The top priority – childcare

If you want parents to focus on the conference during the day, you have to arrange for reliable childcare. The hotel may offer it, or check with the CVB.

And be sure to reserve some family suites in your block of hotel rooms.

5. Plan fun evenings

While it’s important for attendees to network, there’ll be plenty of time for that during the day, so designate dinnertime for family gathering (and be sure the caterer offers kid-friendly food at each meal).

6. End with a bang!

Schedule at least one all-inclusive gathering for the employees’ and speakers’ families, preferably with memorable entertainment, on the last night of the conference.

For the perfect family-friendly venue, consider the Historic Alfred I. duPont Building in downtown Miami. There are tons of activities families can do during the day, and the multiple ballroom areas offer convenient separation between different activities.