The meeting rooms industry offers a fairly standardized experience. But many European hotels are working to revolutionize the model. What can your business center learn from Europe’s take on meeting rooms?
Let’s take a closer look at a household name in hospitality – Marriott.
Marriott Amsterdam has been doing their homework and is changing up their old approach to meeting rooms to create, as their brochure states, “some of the most inspiring, un-meeting-like meeting spaces in Amsterdam”.
So what are they doing differently?
For starters, these European meeting rooms more closely resemble popular restaurants than traditional boardrooms. For example, the meeting rooms offer open floor plans peppered with different gathering spaces to facilitate networking, interactive classes, business meetings and, yes, even the old-fashioned presentations of yesteryear.
Marriott adds to this fresh approach, state-of-the-art technology, modern lighting, ample window space that lets in natural daylight, and contemporary color palettes. The goal is for meeting rooms to reflect the people that use them rather than designing the space based on out-of-date considerations like how many chairs can fit into a ballroom.
We are well aware that, according to research, people are increasingly working in non-traditional ways, preferring different settings for different tasks. Meeting rooms reflect this diversity, each responding with customized setups and productive features like video conferencing, smart whiteboards, projection walls, docking stations and touch-screen controls. Not only is this technology in keeping with the demands of modern work habits, the company said, but it is also app- or web-enabled to accommodate the gadgets of tomorrow as easily as those in place today.
So what can you learn from the European meeting rooms model? Take a look at your meeting room in comparison with this concept. Then ask yourself: Is it time to redesign your meeting rooms? Who are you targeting? Does your meeting room reflect the true needs and style of your target audience? Does the technology in your meeting room keep up with the demands of modern work habits?
With hotels upping the ante on meeting room competition, it’s time to pay closer attention to what Marriott and others are doing in your space.
Thanks to Marriott Amsterdam for the image