In a recent research paper on the future of meeting venues, Maritz Research shares three main trends: increasing technology requirements, a stronger focus on sustainability, and most interestingly, the rise of non-traditional venues. These non-traditional venues reflect an increased need for ‘creative, out of the box, fun meeting locations.’ Since the study was published, this trend has only increased. Meeting planners are increasingly showing a preference for more non-traditional spaces, instead of the traditional conference center or hotel ballroom. The following are three reasons you may want to consider a non-traditional venue:
Fresh spaces can add energy to a meeting
People get energy not only from event content and great speakers, but also from their surroundings. Spaces with unique elements will surprise and delight your guests and can create great conversation pieces. For example, hosting your meeting in a venue that has a theater can inspire speakers to take different approaches to talks they may have given many times before. They may be inspired to create a kind of performance, in line with the space.
Unique venues encourage creative planning
Planning events in similar venues may encourage similar ways of setting up the venue, agenda, and guests’ experiences. New types of venues will encourage you to think outside of ways you’ve planned events before. While certain core elements will remain the same, you may want to consider shaking things up with different ways of seating your attendees, different menus, experiential activities to engage guests with your brand or product, and of course the opportunity for more informal networking to maximize connections made the day of the event.
The venue reflects your brand
The venue where you hold your event says a lot about your ideas, brand and/or product. Guests will see the venue as a reflection of your businesses goals and values and thus the selection shouldn’t be taken lightly. When you visit the venue make sure to not only check on amenities and costs but also how the venue feels to you. Does it have the ‘it factor’ you’re looking for? Does it match the thought leadership, mission and image of the company or organization you work for?
When selecting a venue, it’s always important to consider what space feels right to you as a representative of your organization or company and well best help you accomplish the goals you’ve set out to achieve. Will guests want something more traditional or will they be comfortable with a venue that is outside of their past experiences? There is no ‘right’ venue for everyone.