Co-founder and vice chairman of Convene, Chris Kelly, believes that the evolution of corporate events and workplaces will allow hospitality to become mainstream for businesses as they attract a new generation of workers.
Convene can be described as a cross between meeting spaces and coworking, and Kelly said that the company is finding collision amongst many other things. For example, customer expectations are higher than ever, so user experiences involving design, technology and work/life balance are expected to be elevated even further.
As far as challenges goes, Kelly said that one of the things Convene has been successful at is offering a product and service that caters to specifically businesses and professionals looking for a meeting and workplace, rather than trying to cover a variety of event spaces.
Convene sets itself apart by not copying the hotel model for their workspaces. Instead, it provides built-in technology resources that way users do not have to pay for amenities such as projectors, microphones, lighting, etc.
On the workspace side, Convene does not simply take up portions of buildings. It offers a flexible workspace above its full service venue that provides hospitality one would find in a hotel. Members can order catering to their floor, have access to a stocked snack area, and other hotel-like amenities.
To further push the hospitality approach, Kelly said that Convene is collaborating with hotels so they can specialize in sleeping rooms and the Convene team can focus on the conference experience.