I have just returned from Queretaro, Mexico and the annual Site Chicago Retreat and Educational Event. We spent 5 days learning about the destination and all it has to offer meeting, event and incentive planners. We also had a session from the amazing Christine Corelli, but that is for after the holiday.
Queretaro is an amazing place with amazing people located just a couple of hours outside of Mexico City and within easy reach of two, count-em two, international airports that serve the United States.
Queretaro is a destination to watch because they want to become a global player in meetings, events and incentives. To make this happen, they are working overtime to improve their product and this is very good for them, very good for you and really bad for other destinations that will start to lose programs to Queretaro because they are not learning the same lessons.
Here are some of the reasons why Queretaro will be on your radar in the coming months and years:
- They have a clear sense of self and what they want to accomplish.
- They have buy-in from everyone from the government and hotels to restaurants and transportation companies. They are all working together for the greater good.
- They have been working on their events and meetings infrastructure and are succeeding at creating a great product.
- They understand that they need to improve their skills and are listening and reacting to meeting and incentive planner feedback.
- They understand the power of the internet and social media.
- They have all of the above plus natural beauty, amazing architecture, good internet connectivity and multiple UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
One night, A few of us were sitting with Antonio Arelle, one half of the awesome ownership at La Casa del Atrio, talking about what was great about Queretaro and what needs improvement. We all were a little shy about criticizing and he said “tell us please, we need to know“. It was said with such passion and such conviction that right then and there I knew that they were taking their mission seriously and not just telling us what we wanted to hear.
Over the next couple of weeks I will share images and experiences about the destination, what to see and what to do. In this post, I just wanted to tell your “right brain” why you need to look at this destination that your attendees will love. Once you see the practical side, the left brain will will seal the deal.
You should look at Queretaro because they want to do a great job, you should look because they will listen to your needs and you should look because they learn from their mistakes. Add affordability to the mix and you have a meetings and incentives cocktail that is hard to beat.
Before anyone says anything about safety, just shut up.
The crime rate in Queretaro is lower than many American cities so just give it a rest. I would much rather stagger drunk through the streets of Queretaro at 2 am than walk down many American streets sober at 2 pm.
Queretaro is for meeting and incentive planners that are serious about giving their attendees an experience that they will never forget. Those that want the bland and the ordinary need not apply.
Download a PDF Presentation about Meetings and Events in Queretaro. The PDF contains a ton of great information and amazing images.
For some more information about Mexico, here are a couple of PlannerWire posts that may come in handy: