6 Quick Tips to Innovate Meeting Design

When working out details for a meeting, planners have plenty of logistics to deal with, including finding sufficient spaces, providing efficient registration procedures and accommodating attendees’ special needs. Planners also try to design spaces that best accommodate their groups, but sometimes don’t realize how important this is to the overall success of meetings.

Simply put, design can make or break a meeting. If attendees are going to fly great distances to meetings, the most comfortable, convenient options need to be available to them. Innovative, thoughtful meeting design can significantly enhance attendee engagement and productivity.

Experience Grand Rapids in Michigan took a close look at this issue, focusing mainly on the efforts of design firms T. Condon LLC and Steelcase. Several compelling points can be drawn from the story.

Planners need to begin by creating well-defined objectives, including the goals of the meeting and space-design needs. Well-designed spaces can drive action.

Attendees often feel grateful for a unique, well-designed space because they feel that they’re being given special treatment, which makes them more likely to focus intently of the content and give their best in return.

It’s often best to give attendees a variety of seating options, including lounge stack chairs, lounge chairs and stools so that they can choose what best fits their comfort level. Some attendees switch their preferences during the day—by choosing a lounge chair in the morning and a stack chair in the afternoon, for example.

Spaces need to offer attendees the best ways to use their technological tools. Convenient, easily accessible spaces should be created for attendees to write quick emails and make phone calls, for example.

Most attendees don’t want to simply listen to presentations. Convenient spaces should be available for them to socialize with others and make meaningful random connections.

Activity helps to boost energy, so attendees should have opportunities to get up and moving, whether it be simply rearranging tables into smaller groups or writing on a white board.


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