All meetings are events but not all events are meetings. But there are design principles from events that meeting planners can borrow to maximize the educational and business purpose behind their meeting. Gone are the days of a meeting held in a board room or conference room; meeting attendees are demanding the environment of a meeting be just as engaging as attending an event in order to achieve the ROI of the time spent in said meeting.
Here are 5 creative event decor tips for meeting planners to keep in mind when designing their next meeting.
Small lighting change, big impact
Taking control of the lighting situation in a meeting space is one of the quickest ways you can influence the mood and feel of a meeting. Don’t resign yourself to using fluorescent lights that came with the space: lighting can be used at every step of the meeting from the entrance to check-in to the room itself.
Colored overhead lighting or uplights can be used to point attendees in the right direction to the meeting room. Take a cue from your client’s branding colors or logos and use uplights to unify their brand colors to the spaces where the meeting will be held. This is especially helpful if you’re hosting concurrent meetings and are sharing the venue space with another group: lighting can make it easy for your attendees to identify your areas of the building.
Don’t forget the tabletop
Tabletops are often forgotten spaces when it comes to receiving the decor treatment. Meeting planners can take good direction from the meeting’s theme, topic, or the particular client type. For meetings that may be particularly stressful or intensive, this florist not only creates beautiful centerpieces, but they double as a dose of aromatherapy with echinacea and lavender to boost moods and productivity.
If you prefer to keep the tabletop clear in favor of conversation and networking, decor doesn’t need to be completely removed from the equation. Take advantage of vertical space for greenery decor, LED candles, or lanterns to elevate your attendees’ attention to all points of the room.
Down to the tables and chairs
When it comes to making an impact at your meeting, never underestimate the tables and chairs you use. And with attendee comfort predicted to be one of the biggest factors impacting how meetings and events are planned, it’s no wonder that meeting planners are taking a closer look at the tables and chairs they use.
Instead of using typical meeting furniture conference tables and office chairs, why not use furniture that supports making attendees as comfortable as possible? Using a mix of comfortable furniture like mid-century wingback chairs or textured sofas add a familiar element to the meeting that can help put attendees at ease. Furniture can also contribute to achieving the meeting’s ROI by focusing attendees’ attention. Planners can incorporate charging furniture to minimize attendees wandering off in search for an electrical outlet during the course of the meeting.
If your meeting’s furniture could use some direction, always look back to the meeting’s theme or goal and work your way from there.
Leverage the setup
The environment of meeting is more than just the physical location of the meeting you’re hosting but similarly to the furniture you use, the room set can lend itself to the meeting experience. Often we overlook the room set in favor of capacity charts but aligning the meeting’s goal to the setup might be the quickest way to create an impactful experience for your attendees.
By taking a creative approach to leveraging the meeting assets you already have in your possession, like the furniture, you can quickly change the feel of a meeting room. Instead of a hollow square for your next meeting, why not break out the tables into pods? It’s been proven that educational pod setups encourage face to face communication, idea exchanges and, encourages relationship building and networking.
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