Benchmark Resorts & Hotels Unveils 2024 Meeting Trends

Improving mindfulness with programming that reduces stress is among the seven trends driving 2024 group business as identified by the thought leaders of Benchmark Resorts & Hotels, the independent division of hotel management company Pyramid Global Hospitality.

Eric Gavin, COO of the luxury & lifestyle division of Pyramid Global Hospitality, said: “Strategically designed meetings will be imperative next year, as businesses prioritize collaboration, well-being and an adaptive mindset for evolving marketing dynamics. We’re seeing a timely response from the independent hotels within our portfolio, with new programming and ways of working that address corporate group priorities.”

There is strong emphasis on capital improvements and property debuts for the portfolio in 2024, per Gavin. “From the opening of Black Desert Resort in Utah next fall—one of the largest new properties for the Southwest—to a slate of 2024 renovations planned for properties like The Riverhouse on the Deschutes in Oregon, Snow King Resort in Wyoming, The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center, Curio Collection by Hilton in Virginia, and Saddlebrook Resort in Florida, our portfolio is pushing forward on the investments that benefit meeting groups.”

Anticipating the year ahead, here are seven trends impacting meetings and group experiences for 2024, per Benchmark Resorts & Hotels:

  1. Stress gets the boot in a meetings wellness wave. The integration of well-being-related programming reflects a heightened awareness of the importance of holistic health on corporate culture and business growth. The Wigwam in Litchfield Park, AZ, is offering stress-reducing break activations and mindfulness activities—from guided meditation sessions and yoga classes to nature walks and wellness workshops. In Greater Houston, Margaritaville Lake Resort, Lake Conroe has integrated the science-backed Delos Wellness Certificate for Meetings and Events, supporting its managers with resources to create healthier experiences for attendees. The Chaminade Resort & Spa in Santa Cruz, CA, has launched a “Day of Wellness” package that includes mindfulness, yoga and nutrition workshops, which can be integrated into the meeting day. In Utah near Zion National Park, Black Desert Resort, which opens fall 2024, and Red Mountain Resort have woven sound baths and spiritual healing into their meeting offerings. The Abbey Resort in Fontana-On-Geneva Lake, WI, also notes a shift to “spa-originated” activities for meeting-goers, be it daily stress reduction training or nutrition discussions. From South Lake Tahoe, California’s Forest Suites Resort to MassachusettsBoston Harbor Hotel, teams are finding strong demand for wellness-focused menus.
  2. Great minds dink alike. The fastest growing sport in America, pickleball, is a great way to nurture a strong professional network—even if someone is trying to dominate with the perfect, unattackable dink shot. Demand for the sport is huge per The Equinox Golf Resort & Spa in Manchester, VT, where the game has become its number-one activity. Other hotels within the portfolio, including Margaritaville Lake Resort, Lake Conroe, have noted a surge in team-building pickleball programming, and are exploring adding to their court supply to address demand.
  3. Crafting connections, team-building takes a creative turn. There is a strong emphasis on do-it-yourself enjoyment and creativity, according to Chaminade Resort & Spa. Among their most popular team-building activities are classes led by in-house experts on everything from knitting and painting to ceramics and plant design. The value of personalization persists, it says, with a rise in the prevalence of talent shows, while Willows Lodge in Woodinville, WA, echoed the demand for personal expression in team-building programming. For a tasty take on creative, interactive cooking and mixology sessions continue to be hot at places such as Red Mountain Resort and The Equinox Golf Resort & Spa.
  4. The local foods love affair shows no signs of sizzling out, and choice is key. What’s trending with food? “Locally sourced menus,” the on-property experts of Benchmark Resorts & Hotels all replied, including the teams from Hotel Theodore and Hotel Max in Seattle. This persistent farm-to-table theme shows no signs of stopping in 2024, with new menus including local farming and ranching communities, as well as locally caught seafood in the works at places such as Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa, FL. Per Patrick Berwald, SVP, food and beverage for Pyramid Global Hospitality, “Across the portfolio we’re seeing Food Hall-style events as a perfect illustration of a custom offering, and bowl-style lunch set-ups are also resonating well, where guests can choose from a variety of bases and toppings, giving them the control and options that they desire.” A few other trends rose to the top, including the return of nostalgic flavors with comfort foods that evoke a playful time and foster connection and conversation at La Cantera Resort & Spa in San Antonio, TX. In the Pacific Northwest, Riverhouse on the Deschutes in Bend, OR, and Willows Lodge both noted strong demand for vegan and vegetarian fare, plus choices that will wow (and ease concerns by) those with food allergies.
  5. Charting a course for change, Millennials and Gen Zs are making their imprint. Millennial and Gen Z executives are pushing engagement at a human level with more team-building time and reward and recognition programming built into the agenda, according to The Abbey Resort. Younger generations’ eco-consciousness is driving an expansion of eco-friendly options, according to Chaminade Resort & Spa, which is aiming for a zero-waste designation with sustainable catering and waste reduction efforts. The Wigwam agrees, noting an increased emphasis on sustainability and corporate social responsibility, which resonates strongly with the values of younger generations. The resort has focused on incorporating eco-friendly practices, ethical sourcing and community engagement initiatives, aiming to align with the growing demand for socially conscious events and services. Per La Cantera Resort & Spa, Millennial and Gen Z attendees are placing significant emphasis on experience over material goods, and the full meeting experience needs to speak to their desire to share virtually. That’s a sentiment shared by Red Mountain Resort, which has found younger leaders looking for more out-of-the-box programming and Instagram-worthy photo opportunities.
  6. Meetings must balance purpose and productivity. Meetings must be purposeful, according to Willows Lodge, and programming that creates something of benefit beyond the group is in high demand. Among its offerings is the “Build-A-Hand” program that has teams building hands for amputees around the world who cannot afford prosthetic devices. At Sanderling Resort in Duck, NC, groups are incorporating more educational and experiential opportunities into the day, such as discovering the history of the Outer Banks with a focus on preservation. Guests of Chaminade Resort & Spa are also digging into native plant restoration projects that allow them to contribute to the preservation of the Central California region’s indigenous flora.
  7. Advanced digital touchpoints impact both planning and execution. Technology offers opportunities for engagement, and has limitless potential in creating unique, curated event spaces. At La Cantera Resort & Spa groups are looking to extend engagement through digital touchpoints throughout the meeting space and F&B experience. This may be achieved through a “choose your own adventure” meeting content hook, or a QR code that takes the attendee to the website of a local micro-distillery featured on the bar. The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center is also tapping QR codes to improve communication and service for guests. Many of the hotels in the Benchmark Resorts & Hotels portfolio, including Mountain Shadows Resort and Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale, AZ, and Manor Vail Resort in Vail, CO, are finding strong demand for geo-tracking location apps for wayfinding among groups on property. The Wigwam is leveraging advanced virtual tour technology so clients can plan events remotely without the need to physically visit the property, an innovative approach that saves time and empowers event decision makers.

For more information, visit

Related Stories

Accor Reveals Key Trends for Global Meetings and Events Sector

Event-Goers Prefer In-Person Over Virtual Gatherings: Hilton

Marriott Introduces Neuroinclusive Practices at Its Events

Marriott Study Reveals Emerging Travel Trends for 2024