Elaborate high-profile events get all the attention these days. Planners spend little time trying to create unique meeting environments or leading edge high-tech for small trainings or sales meetings. Although the smaller everyday meetings are still our bread and butter, perhaps the limited budgets and short lead times of these meetings have produced a certain ennui among planners. We think our job is done when we simply arrange a conference room, look after coffee service, and make sure the Wi-Fi and AV are working. This is, of course, an oversimplification, but small company meetings are afforded little creative attention and are rarely memorable.
NEW BOUTIQUE VENUES
However, the off-hand traditional hotel conference room approach is being replaced by young, hip, venue entrepreneurs who have begun to design smaller boutique meeting facilities utilizing the newest high-tech equipment, sophisticated space design, and convenient city-center locations. These entrepreneurs have identified a need in the meeting marketplace for small, high-tech, on-demand meeting venues that can have an uplifting impact on even the most mundane audit review committee. They are adaptable enough to accommodate various size groups and versatile enough to hold an all-day meeting then close the proceedings with a five-course meal served by a local celebrity chef in the same meeting space.
Project Farmhouse – Manhattan’s Union Square – is a 3,500 square foot meeting space from Grow NYC that serves as a test kitchen, a conference room, and has a vertical, kinetic, hydroponic grow wall with moving trays. The venue will host events and classes on sustainability and nutrition, as well as other events for nonprofits. The space can be expanded to accommodate 240 people for a reception.
(Picture how valuable this space would be for your food service or restaurant company clients.)
Meet on Bowery – Manhattan’s Bowery – a modern twist on a small conference center. The space is divided into three meeting rooms and a 2,500 square foot penthouse loft that seats 36 theater-style. There is a glass enclosed breakout room/meditation lounge that seats 10 and a roof garden with seating capacity for 16.
(A corporate trainer we know plans to use this space for intensive executive trainings.)
Nightingale Plaza – Los Angeles – 6,500 square foot venue divided into 4 distinct environments: the main club room – an intimate porch bar – a V.I.P. back bar – a plush outdoor garden. The main room has LED walls and a kinetic ceiling covered in folding mirrored panels, which transform the venue into a digital light spectacle. Equipped with a Function-One sound system, the venue’s ceiling and walls are soundproofed and acoustic for live performances.
(An interesting option for Los Angeles planners with film and music Industry clients.)
Life Creative – Chicago – This is a 20,000 square foot space in Event Creative’s headquarters, billed as a co-working and maker space. It holds corporate events and off-site team building activities. The space can hold up to 350 at a standing reception. It also has a unique circular couch that seats 36 people for creative meetings, a media screening room that seats 40, and a loft “floating conference room” with couches, a pool table, and a foosball table.
(This facility is perfect for creative off-site meetings and team building events.)
TIME TO REVIVE THE MEETING SCENE
Unique meeting spaces like those described above are popping up across the country. Venue owners were the first to see the need and the competitive advantage of offering unique, creative, purposeful meeting spaces for corporate off-site training and team building.
Venue owners are presenting planners with an opportunity to resuscitate the moribund meeting segment of our industry. With a little research into your local market and your clients’ local markets, you can offer a wide variety of new creative environments that can help transform boring meetings into memorable events.
TAGGED INCENTIVE MEETING TIPS,