by Kevin Dana
Break Out of the Boring with Tech-Enabled Furniture & Custom Seating
Effective event design is engaging. As you plan your seminar space, ask yourself what would wow you as an attendee. Digitally-minded meeting attendees expect more than a PowerPoint presentation and some stadium seating. Meetings and conferences provide attendees the opportunity to learn, connect, network and share with their colleagues. Providing spaces that facilitate engagement help create environments that are productive and inspirational.
At CORT Events, we challenged our team to get further out-of-the-box this year when we worked with the Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA) on the inspiration and execution of their annual Summit. CEMA professionals have not only been to many conferences and networking events, but are often tasked with running them. They are also a set of professionals who are versatile, flexible and never desk-bound. These professionals are always on the go, and on their phones, which meant creating a connected space that encouraged a tech-enabled work style was essential.
Our team focused on creating separate spaces that served each kind of professional. By breaking down traditional thinking and prioritizing collaboration, we delivered a connected space where attendees could collaborate and communicate, on and offline, in an environment that matched their work style.
For CEMA Summit 2018, the conference hall was separated into three zones: Connected and Casual, Styled and Structured, and Collaborative Contemporary.
Connected and Casual (pictured above), situated at the very front of the seminar space, offered powered soft seating, including the Tech Tablet Chair, as well as sofas and loveseats for relaxed connection and listening space. These are your multitaskers who have their phone, laptop and smart watch keeping them on task and on time. They want to be comfortable and they need to charge their devices. We catered to this audience with branded swivel tablets, charging stations and an up-close view for the photo they will take for Instagram.
Styled and Structured (pictured left), situated in the middle of the room, offered a more standard meeting space for those who like to work the old-fashioned way. These are your classic notetakers who have their schedule on their phones and stay connected through email all day, but still appreciate an old-fashioned notebook and pen to jot down notes of inspiration. We provided beautiful wood accent tables for their belongings and comfortable, classic chairs for their comfort.
Collaborative Contemporary (pictured right), mimicking the feel of a coffee bar, offered a space where attendees could claim a seat, but share a large, tech-enabled table and collaborate for breakout sessions. You can find these attendees working at home, in a coffeeshop, in a shared space or on the road. They’re flexible and appreciate the freedom to work at their own pace and multitask. We set them up for success by creating a studio feel in the back where the shared tables allowed for effortless collaboration.
At Cort Events, we have seen the growing trend of flexible spaces become more important to event planners over the last few years and we know this will continue to become more important over time. We are seeing a huge increase in demand for breakout space conducive for networking and for a wider variety of furniture, including sofas, armchairs, communal tables and lightweight furniture for easy mobility, such as ottomans. When you want your space to feel custom and connected, think about the attendee experience at every stage of event planning.
Kevin Dana is executive director of marketing and product development at CORT Trade Show & Event Furnishings. For more info about CORT’s exhibit and event rental collections or its Social Tables integration, visit www.cortevents.com.
This story originally appeared in the January/February issue of Exhibit City News, p. 42-43 For original layout, visit https://issuu.com/exhibitcitynews/docs/ecn_flipbook_janfeb2019web?e=16962537/66750078