The New Meeting Essentials
Clipboard registration, greeting signs on easels, and college-style classroom seating. Sounds like a fun meeting, right? Yeah, we don’t think so either. Today’s events aren’t your parents’ old meetings. Here’s a look at some of the "new meeting essentials" that will launch your next program into the diverse and digital 21st century.
Get creative in greeting your attendees by hosting a "regiception," a joint registration and reception event where guests register for the meeting in a fun and comfortable environment. Regiceptions bring life into what is otherwise a tedious administrative task. Our Hello! Florida team recently designed a citrus-themed regiception to give guests an introduction to Florida and register for the event alongside food and beverage service. The regiception was in the same space as the meeting’s breakouts, which also allowed us to brand the breakout space for the next several days. Charging stations within the furniture guaranteed that guests could stay connected, while interactive elements such as adult coloring tables gave guests the chance to sip, dine, and unwind from their travel.
Don’t saddle your guests with a bunch of papers and schedules that they need to carry around with them, or shout reminders to your guests with a microphone and hope that they remember. Begin your technological integration by investing in an event app. Event apps excite and engage attendees by building a stronger and more intimate connection to your event. Let attendees view their schedules at-a-glance while you enjoy the freedom of easily making last-minute or real-time updates.
Go a step further to really personalize your experience by pushing messages through your app based on your attendees’ location. We start by placing beacons around the hotel or venue with your programmed messages. Once that beacon is pinged by your guest’s location, your desired message will automatically pop up in your event app. For example, Hello! can help you place beacons by the front door to send a message welcoming your guests to the meeting. Did you negotiate a spa discount into your hotel package? Remind guests to take advantage of that offer by placing a beacon with a relevant message near the spa entrance.
The easel is outdated! Welcome your guests with step-and-repeats or fun hedge walls to create a photo opportunity that people actually
want to post to their Instagram.
Cameron Rust, Senior National Asset Manager – Branding and Continuity, says, "The trend is moving toward targeting your internal employees like you target your customers. Rather than just putting your logo on everything, you want to represent your brand in more authentic and non-obvious way." Embody your company through pictures, colors, or add to the décor by using projected catchphrases on ballroom walls.
The movement toward a more consumer-oriented experience is going corporate. Everyone loves a good photo, but at events, they usually hate the process to get it. We’ve eased that frustration by using registration data to prepopulate and program a scannable sticker on the back of each guest’s name tag. Throughout the event, photographers would take a picture and then scan the attendee’s sticker, ensuring each photo was tracked quickly and accurately. Photos were then easily accessed through the event app or by visiting a website and typing in their barcode.
Who says General Session seating has to be stuffy? Let guests absorb your information in an environment that is most comfortable and conducive to learning for
them by offering various seating options.
"Instead of typical classroom seating with rows of long tables, at a recent event we created a General Session room with four different styles of seating: Individual seats, sofa seating, classroom-style seating, and twin-seat tables. That way guests could pick their seat based on their own favorite viewing style," said Kate Connin, Event Designer for Hello! Florida. "Movie-theater-style tiered seating also ensured everyone had a good view, rather than stretching to look over other people’s heads."