“Space Communicates a Message”
Conference Space Design has a massive effect on the outcome and results of a conference or meeting.
It affects people’s mood; how easy it is for them to meet people; their absorption of information, how well they retain information, the overall emotional experience they have had at the conference; what they walk away thinking and saying about the hotel and most of all if they will recommend the hotel or indeed the conference to their connections.
I had a very interesting conversation about Hotel design and in particular the design of conference and networking space. I was speaking with Ted Brumleve, Design Director at Dolce Conference Hotels. I am studying this concept at the moment for my book, I find it really fascinating.
There is a psychology behind well thought out space. Communications experts spend hours and days observing how people use existing space and what walk patterns they use.
I also had a cup of tea with Fiona McDonald of Design Space, Cork; she is passionate about how space design impacts and influences people. I just love this statement from her “Space Communicates a Message“. How true that is. Fiona is so interesting to meet with and talk about the “function of space”. She is also contributing to my book in this chapter about Conference and Networking Space.
So what are the top “must haves” of conference and meeting friendly hotel space– here are the top tips from the experts;
1. Natural Light. And it is “Golden” in the networking area according to Ted Brumleve.
2. Moveable furniture and plants that will influence the direction people walk in, where they congregate and influence how easy it is to strike up a spontaneous conversation.
3. Ciara Mundrow, International Communications Director of The Cardiology Society of Europe (who organise conferences of 200 to 30,000), told me they spend considerable money creating coffee shops and lounges at their events. This is essential to facilitating networking and the sharing of information; a key reason their delegates go to their conferences in the first place.
4. Effective Lighting. Invest in a lighting expert as this effects people’s mood at an event. Day lighting, soft lighting that makes everyone look good, evening lighting and night time lighting all play their individual role in the successful outcome of an event.
5. Brilliant technology behind the scenes. A conference centre and meeting place must be wired to assist the Meeting Planner run a smooth event. There is no excuse for delegates having to complain about the strength of the Wi-Fi, quality of the projection or not being able to see the presentations clear enough. It is the “backbone” of a great conference according to Ted.
6. Access to outside. Ideally patios off the networking areas.
The good news is most of these are easily fixed if a venue doesn’t have them naturally. You just have to speak to the right Design Space experts to ensure your hotel is helping Meeting and Conference Planners to run what they all want to run, a successful event. All sales pitches to Conference Organisers and Meeting Planners must include how the design of the hotel can help them achieve their goals.
Ciara Feely is a Conference Sales Coach. She makes filling a hotel with conference and meetings business easy. For info on bespoke training, webinars and ebooks on the topic, feel free to email or call. +353 86 3611428, Ciara at FindaConferenceVenue.com.