Millennials aren’t the only generation glued to their screens. In today’s fast-paced, digitally minded workplace, employees across all demographics are creating content and connecting online through their laptop or smartphone. Catering to different segments of professionals can be challenging when designing your seminar space. Creating environments that facilitate engagement for each kind of thinker makes for a space that is both productive and inspirational.
At CEMA Summit 2018, CORT Events assisted in the inspiration and execution of the Corporate Event Marketing Association’s annual conference, an industry organization filled with more than 800 active senior-level event marketers and industry professionals. CEMA professionals have not only attended many conferences and networking events but oftentimes are the ones running the show. 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 means creating a connected space that encourages tech-enabled work was essential.
Instead of looking at just one format for the event, CORT Events catered the event design to multiple work preferences.
CONNECTED AND CASUAL
Connected and Casual (see 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. This space suited professionals who have their phone, laptop and smartwatch keeping them on task and on time. They want to be comfortable and they need to charge their devices. Cater 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
Styled and Structured (see above), situated in the middle of the room, offered more standard meeting space for those who like to work the old-fashioned way. This section was full of classic note-takers 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. Make them feel comfortable with beautiful wood accent tables to lean on and classic chairs for their comfort.
Collaborative Contemporary (see above), mimicking the feel of a coffee bar, offered a space where attendees could claim a seat, but share a large, powered table and collaborate for breakout sessions. You can find these attendees working at home, in a coffee shop, in a shared space or on the road. They’re flexible and appreciate the freedom to work at their own pace on a long list of projects. Set them up for success by creating a studio feel in the back where the shared tables allow for effortless collaboration.
We are seeing a huge increase in demand for breakout spaces conducive for networking. Be flexible and take time to understand your attendees. Consider 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. To learn more about CORT’s exhibit and event rental collections or its Social Tables integration, visit www.cortevents.com.