Big room, small room, not a cardboard box
Association meetings are on the up. After a long two years of patching together conventions and educational meetings, through digital platforms and social distanced gatherings, these organisations are again reaping the benefits of face-to-face.
But, like every aspect of the meetings industry, things have changed. At The Eastside Rooms we’re having slightly different conversations with our association meeting customers, the general view is that fragmentation adds value and environment is key.
Fragmentation is interesting. One of the things that has changed after doing so much business on Zoom, is delegate attention spans. The ‘one hour target’ has changed, and there seems to be a growing appetite for shorter sessions. Equally, while digital is a linear medium, the return of face-to-face has pushed those same delegates to want more dynamic experiences; workshops, roundtables etc, where they get to contribute to content, not just consume it.
This brings in the need for more breakout rooms and more dynamic and flexible options within the venue partner. The fragmentation of the delegation allows for more personalised itineraries and these sessions have added responsibility to tell the conference’s story in an engaging way.
Equally, it used to be the case that the breakout rooms would barely cover the main plenary area, now we need to see the breakup of the opening plenary as the main value the delegate gets. Because of this, we need to make sure the environment meets the expectation.
Flexibility is a by-word for every venue and The Eastside Rooms is no different. We’re new and designed in collaboration with event organisers who predicted a change in thinking of this sort a few years back. It means that our breakout space is larger than our main room, to coin a pre-pandemic phrase – and one that The Eastside Rooms has long supported – we are ready to be festivalised.
Equally these environments are built knowing that they hold the key to the delegate experience. Light and airy, not dark and scary. They are comfortable and easy to work in, food is accessible to every room either communally or directly. It’s this multiple of options that maxes a flexible venue, the content demands the venue to work around it, not vice versa.
We believe it is for this reason that we’re seeing more and more of our association clients coming back to The Eastside Room. Because we’re not just a cardboard box, we have rooms a plenty; big rooms, small rooms.