Kevin Dana is executive director of marketing and product development at CORT Trade Show & Event Furnishings, a leading provider of furniture rental for the meetings and exhibitions industry.
Update Your Stale Seminar Space
Traditional seminar spaces are a thing of the past. Replacing them are engaging, tech-enabled, bespoke spaces that are beautiful, functional and sharable. Events should feel tailored to each attendee and excite from start to finish. By rethinking what each attendee needs from your seminar space, utilizing tech-enabled furniture and understanding the need for collaboration, you can create a space that feels daring, yet completely practical.
Use these tips to create a fresh and engaging space that works for your client and your attendee.
Connect to Tech: The best technology integrates what’s next into what’s known. Now, event furniture helps make that possible. Tech-enabled chairs and tables mean attendees won’t rush to the sides of the room or fight overchargers, allowing them to choose seats that won’t disrupt their workflow.
Consider Your Audience: Millennials aren’t the only generation glued to their screens. In today’s constantly changing, digitally-minded workplace, employees across all demographics are creating content and connecting online through their laptop or smartphone. Catering to different segments of professionals can be challenging when designing your seminar space. Creating environments that facilitate engagement for each kind of thinker makes for a space that is both productive and inspirational.
At the Corporate Event Marketing Association’s (CEMA) annual conference, CORT Events created distinct spaces for different thinkers. One catered to professionals who have their phone, laptop and smartwatch keeping them on task and on time and offered powered soft seating, including the Tech Tablet chair, as well as sofas and loveseats for relaxed connection and listening space. Another was a more standard meeting space for those who like to work the old-fashioned way. The last was a space where attendees could claim a seat while sharing a large, powered table to collaborate for breakout sessions.
Cater to Collaboration: We are seeing a huge increase in demand for breakout spaces conducive for networking. Encourage teamwork by offering spaces that feel relaxed. Have your seating mimic the feel of a coffee bar or create a breakout space with reclined seating so people can get comfortable before they get creative. Consider a wider variety of furniture, including sofas, armchairs, communal tables and lightweight furniture for easy mobility, such as ottomans. Allow your attendees to make the room into the space they want.
For shareable, one-of-a-kind convention spaces, you’ll have to take a new approach. What can be personalized? What can be reimagined? What can be updated? Start with a thoughtful strategy and execute with high-quality, technology-enabled furniture that adds productivity to creativity. When you want your space to feel custom and connected, think about the attendee experience at every stage of event planning.