This article was originally posted on INSPIRED. The Vancouver Convention Centre Blog.
As event planners and conference organizers generally focus their efforts on creating events that offer jam-packed networking opportunities for attendees, and sometimes the need for the opposite is neglected. Attendees often require quiet spaces to mentally recharge, get personal work done, make private phone calls, and engage in quieter interactions.
Insights gathered by Steelcase Workspace Futures research group, a team of strategists and researchers focused on the future of the workplace, revealed that supporting well-being and quiet work space needs at conferences and events requires environmental diversity. In addition to offering attendees a private workspace, similar spaces can enable people coming together with a shared purpose in a place that supports their physical, cognitive and emotional needs in a way that fuels engagement and interaction. This requires that common “space” be reimagined to cater to those needs by offering your attendees an experiential and much needed element to their event or conference.
In what is a typical pre-function area at the Vancouver Convention Centre, delegates will now find creative spaces for networking or conducting business while onsite attending an event. Fully-connected work stations, causal café-style booths and a private boardroom are all set in areas with permeating natural light and outside views. In addition to the creative work spaces, area dividers are prominent to create distinct areas, they are also ideal for sponsorship and branding opportunities that meeting planners can utilize for securing financial support.
Here are some ideas for versatile spaces that can be incorporated into your next event or conference:
1. Focus or Quiet Areas
Private quiet areas allow people to comfortably get work done within the Convention Centre. Ensure these spaces are free from distractions, even prohibiting the use of phone conversations. This allows for a quiet workspace where attendees can escape to get work done, send out a quick email, or just take some time to recharge.
2. Phone Booths or Conference Call Areas
Allows people to hold private phone conversations away from high traffic and busy event areas enriching the overall experience both for those needing to use their phones and those at the event.
3. Small Meeting Space
By utilizing typical pre-function space you transform can establish creative spaces for networking or conducting business while onsite attending an event. Fully-connected work stations, causal café-style booths and private boardrooms are all great ways to transform unused space into a thriving hub for more personal networking.
4. More Variety is Better
Providing a variety of open and private spaces to accommodate both planned and impromptu meetings shows your attendees that you value their experience and their time. Flexible, purposeful and well-designed spaces can save attendees a step by not having to reserve a room at your venue in advance. Providing these diverse spaces also facilitates meaningful networking between your attendees.