Should Your Meeting Rooms Offer Brain Food?

Brain food
Brain food

Last week, we took a look at what business centers can learn from Marriott’s new European meeting room model. But Marriott isn’t the only hotelier shaking things up in the meeting room space. Radisson Blu has its own schemes.

Radisson Blu recently rolled out something it calls Experience Meetings. The hotelier describes the program as “an exceptional meetings and events program.” Experience Meetings is set to debut all over the world starting in January 2014. So what do you need to know and what can your business center learn?

First, the goal: to improve the effectiveness of meetings. With that goal in mind, the program will place a strong emphasis on innovations in food and beverage, changes to the spatial environment, and advancements in meeting technology.

“With Experience Meetings, guests around the globe can rely on a consistent product wherever their meeting needs may take them,” says Rose Kutzli, vice president Branding, Radisson Blu. “With this program, professionals can tailor their meeting experience from a creative surrounding that benefits their respective learning styles to culinary offerings that stimulate the mind.”

Experience Meetings has one component that most business centers don’t – and it could be a competitive differentiator worth imitating at some level. Radisson Blu calls it Brain Food, a collaboration between chefs and nutritionists from around the world tasked with creating a catering program that increases concentration and reduces fatigue through food.

As its name suggests, Brain Food incorporates the Six Brain Food Principles, including use of locally sourced ingredients such as fish, whole grains, fruit and vegetables with minimal processing and natural sweeteners. The experts produced menus that are specific to each location and that work to stabilize and maintain participants’ blood sugar levels, resulting in a higher cognitive function.

You may not be able to hire chefs and nutritionists, but you can probably do a better job finding a caterer that meets the nutritional needs of your client base. The Brain Food concept is strategic, playing off both health and productivity concerns. After all, everyone is familiar with the post-lunch fatigue in long meetings. Could your business center play off this trend? Absolutely.

Radisson Blu is also betting on Brain Box, a think tank designed to boost creativity and inspire active engagement based on the four different learning styles: visual, kinesthetic, tactile and auditory. Brain Box creates an environment that stimulates teamwork and brain storming using bright colors, flexible furniture, and the latest in audio and visual technology. All conducive to a highly effective and tailored meeting. Again, this is a concept your business center can employ. The investment is small but the payoff could be big as modern office settings continue to evolve.

Experience Meetings also offers a smart phones app that allows meeting planners exclusive access to information, the ability to post conference highlights and provide push changes and messages to participants and have direct contact with staff and much more.

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So what can your business center learn? One of the first keys pointed out was consistency. If you have more than one business center, consistency should be a key part of your business center branding strategy. Beyond that, food is more important than ever as are environments that drive creativity and the technology to power the events before, during and after the meeting. Will Radisson Blu’s new program impact how you set up your meeting rooms?

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