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here’s no shortage of attention that’s granted to big cities like Los Angeles and Las Vegas when it comes to hosting an event. But recently, more and more planners — DCi included — are seeking out locales outside of these usual suspects. A handful of under-the-radar cities are rising in popularity, boasting vibrant cultural offerings, ample natural beauty, and spectacular dining scenes.

Looking to host your event somewhere new and exciting? Here are some of the unexpected, noteworthy destinations the DCi team is eager to tap into (and why you should consider these gems for your next event).

1. Frisco, Texas

Less than an hour away from Dallas, the fast-growing suburb has been drawing sports fans with its big-time events and recently moved-in restaurants, shopping centers, and entertainment venues. Case in point: Last year, Omni PGA – a five-star resort with a host of best-in-class amenities — opened its doors to cater to an influx of visitors. It’s now considered to be the second-largest resort in the state, just steps away from the PGA of America’s headquarters.

So it’s no surprise that DCi is turning its attention to Frisco, now known as “Sports City, USA.” Our team is expected to make a touchdown in May for an annual incentive trip with the task of organizing and custom-designing a state fair. For event planners like us, the city offers lots of other exciting opportunities. Here are a few ideas on how we’d make the most of the city’s unique personality and sports-oriented persona.

Ideas for Texas Chic Par-Tees

Lean into Frisco’s golf scene and celebrate the city’s affinity for the sport by hosting golf-themed activations. Think: a “Frisco Fairway,” with tips and tricks from PGA pros, a customized mini golf experience, selfie golf balls, and a beer tap truck. 

Bring a little Texas flair to the event with saddle seats and tire swings, a Western-inspired bolo tie-making activity, live cowboy hat art, and custom boot fitting. Other ideas to consider: Texas rodeo-style event, a honkytonk dancehall, or a beer garden where guests can kick up their heels and learn popular line dances.

2. South Beach, Florida

Nestled on the southern tip of Miami Beach, this bustling neighborhood is home to sandy stretches of sand and sea, swaying palm trees, and the pastel-colored Art Deco architecture. But aside from its photo-worthy appeal, South Beach has become a staple in the area’s nightlife scene with its slew of top-notch restaurants, bars, and shopping. What’s more, the surrounding neighborhoods and cities — from the vibrant Little Havana to the historic hideaways of Coral Gables — offer an endless amount of inspiration and things to do.

Since we’ve expanded our reach into the Miami region, we’ve seen tremendous growth; just recently, our team planned a 550-attendee financial meeting for a longtime client in Key Biscayne. We orchestrated everything from transportation to a shopping shuttle that took guests around high-end retail shops. We also dreamed up an on-property welcome event complete with Cuban-inspired and tropical decor, as well as a Wynwood Walls-themed farewell party. The sky’s the limit with what we can achieve in this lively part of the state.

Ideas for Beach-Ready Bashes

You won’t run out of itinerary ideas in this stretch of the Sunshine State – which is why it makes for a great playground for any all-day or even a multi-day event. For daytime experience, it doesn’t get more breathtaking than a private yacht cruise along the turquoise waters or a glass-bottom-catamaran tour. Equally magical: a snorkeling trip that gives your guests an up-close look at Florida’s one-of-a-kind marine landscape. Cap off a unique morning experience with a lunch that offers guests a taste of the local cuisine. 

For a nighttime event, a “Havana Nights” theme offers a treasure trove of inspiration for planning. Transport guests with a fun-filled activation that brings the theme to life with a color palette of rich browns and deep greens (and lots of lush, tropical greenery). Other ideas to weave into the schedule: tequila donkeys, a rum tasting, a live oyster-shucking experience, and shoeshine station.

3. Charleston, South Carolina

With its walkable cobblestone streets, well-preserved architecture, and pleasantly mild weather, Charleston is a charming historic city that’s also a bustling hotspot for inventive cuisine and numerous cultural offerings. Think: theater, jazz, art, and so much more. The city’s blend of history and Southern hospitality makes it a picture-perfect setting — with plenty of natural beauty to boot.

DCi has been taking note, with a 25-attendee incentive trip planned for April. A welcome reception with a Charleston-themed pop-up shop will kick-off the multi-day event, followed by a tour around the city. Guests will embark on a luxury catamaran cruise along the scenic coast, connect with nature with a tree-hugging experience, and unwind with guided tea tastings. The incentive trip will conclude with dinner reception against the backdrop of a live jazz trio.

Ideas for History-Infused Experiences

Known for its superior seafood and down-home country cuisine, Charleston is the perfect destination for hosting a food-focused event. A custom-built and designed “Charleston City Market” could offer guests local favorites like Benne Wafers, steamed oysters, cornbread, and boiled peanuts. 

For the mornings or afternoons, plan a day out in the city. There’s no better way to explore the historic downtown than a horse-drawn carriage ride. These hour-long tours are usually narrated by local experts with a wealth of knowledge about the area. Alternatively, opt for a private catamaran, and let your guests sight-see while cruising along the scenic Charleston Harbor. (Bonus points if you organize a sunset tour.)

We hope that these ideas have inspired you to plan your next event with us. If so, reach out to our team to get the ball rolling.

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