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Where You Meet Matters


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Where You Meet Matters

  1. 1. Where You Meet Matters: How to Choose a Purposeful Meeting Destination Dan Berger Founder, CEO Social Tables
  2. 2. Presenter-Audience Contract Share everything! Find me on Twitter/insta: @danberger Stop me any time with questions No need to take notes. Give me a card and I’ll follow up with the full deck... ⚠ Go easy on me (first time presentation!) Your time is valuable. Please feel free to leave if you need to. ⏰
  3. 3. I’m a planner. I’m a supplier. I’m a believer. I’m a participant.
  4. 4. We connect the hospitality industry through effortless group management technology that creates successful face-to-face events. A sample of the 60+ awards Social Tables and its leadership have received.
  5. 5. 100 employees Raised $23 million Founded in 2011
  6. 6. Group Sales Planner Tools Event Services An End-to-End Group Sales & Service Platform for Hotels to Increase Revenue and Drive Loyalty
  7. 7. Lead Capture Lead Intelligence Sales Enablement Group Sales: The only collaborative event sales solution that increases qualified leads and drives direct revenue.
  8. 8. Accurate Diagramming Value-Add Planner Tools Streamlined Communication Event Services: The only collaborative event management software that drives both profits and loyalty.
  9. 9. Free Tools for Planners: Find venues, manage events, and win clients — all in an easy-to-use, cloud-based platform. Sourcing & DiscoveryDiagramming Seating & Check-In
  10. 10. 1. Why Does Destination Matter? 2. What Role Does the Location Play in Meeting Design? 3. What Makes a City “the City”? 4. Choosing the Venue With Purpose in Mind 5. A Fresh Framework for Thinking About Destinations 6. Creating the Space That Brings Objectives to Life 7. A Look Into the Crystal Ball On the Agenda...
  11. 11. Why does destination matter? Destination = location, venue, space
  12. 12. Modern Meeting Planning Means Creating Experiences 80% of meeting planners report that their job encompasses more experience creation than it did 2-5 years ago. This is why we are all here. Source: IACC 2017 Meeting Room of the Future
  13. 13. Which elements in a destination or venue do attendees care about? 1. Interactive technology (venue) 2. Flexible meeting space (space) 3. Session proximity (venue) 4. Learning local culture (destination) 5. F&B (venue) 6. Access to local experiences (destination) 7. Team building activities (destination) Elements of meeting destinations/venues ranked by their importance to meeting attendees. (IACC) Source: IACC 2017 Meeting Room of the Future Attendees Care About the Destination
  14. 14. The Destination is the Meeting’s Linchpin Meetings that think about all elements are “purposeful meetings.” The idea now defines what successful experience design looks like. The destination sets the stage for a purposeful meeting that becomes a memorable experience. Source: Purposeful Meetings White Paper
  15. 15. Purposeful meetings create deeper meaning, new thinking, and fresh insights through holistic design that goes beyond just delivering content. But purposeful meetings can’t happen without a purposeful destination, which requires a thought out selection process. A Thought-Out Selection Process
  16. 16. A destination can have a disportionate impact on the intangibles. INTANGIBLE Elements a planner can influence but not fully control. ● Attendees ● Speakers ● Content ● P2P interaction ● Energy The Intangibles and Tangibles of Meeting Design TANGIBLE Elements of the meeting that a planner can directly control. ● The location ● The venue ● Room setup ● F&B ● Audio/Visual ● Decor
  17. 17. Why does destination matter? As we try to create experiences, the destination and venue are the most important elements that are in a planner’s control. ● The city can set the stage for the meeting’s message ● Its climate can lift attendee spirits. ● A modern, airy, and bright venue can impact attendee moods. ● How the space is set up impacts networking and spontaneous interaction. ● Fresh and healthy F&B can increase an event’s energy.
  18. 18. What role does location play in experience design?
  19. 19. All Memories Start With a Place Experience design aims to create memorable experiences. Those memories start with a place... “I would never be able to do x if I weren’t... ● “at this point in my life.” ● “at this exact time.” ● “with these people.” ● “here, in this place.”
  20. 20. The City Serves as the Perfect Backdrop for the Content City Message Boston Revolution Detroit Revival Austin Authenticity Philadelphia Independence City Expertise NYC Finance DC Advocacy Las Vegas Hospitality San Francisco Innovation
  21. 21. It drives attendance, especially for non-frequent attendees. For those who never or occasionally attend, it’s an even bigger part of the decision. Source: Experience Institute Decision to Attend Study Importance of Destination / Location by attendance frequency The City Drives Attendance
  22. 22. Source: Experience Institute Decision to Attend Study Lack of destination appeal is the 5th highest barrier to attendance amongst meetings attendees. The City Can Be a Barrier to Entry
  23. 23. What Makes a City “the City”?
  24. 24. 93% of international event planners say a destination’s cultural highlights are an important part of choosing where they host meetings and events. Source: London & Partners Study Local Culture is Key for International Planners
  25. 25. Attendees Want to Get Out of the Building What percentage of convention/exhibition attendees are likely to get out and about in town during their stay at a destination? Driven by a millennial mindset, attendees want to get out of the venue and explore their host cities. Planners need to choose destinations with this in mind. Source: Experience Institute Decision to Attend Study
  26. 26. The Rise of the Rest Midsize cities are making more than midsize moves. Cities like Nashville, Phoenix, and Denver are investing in infrastructure and leveraging unique local assets to differentiate themselves and woo planners.
  27. 27. How makes a city, “the city”? Denver The city of Denver is building a hyperloop-inspired transport system that will move people around major destinations and Colorado cities at over 200 mph.
  28. 28. How makes a city, “the city”? Nashville Saw a 38% increase in conventions between 2011 and 2016 thanks to a series of moves including the documentary titled “For the Love of Music.” Source: Skift Rise of Midsize Cities
  29. 29. How makes a city, “the city”? Phoenix In the past decade, the city has… ● quadrupled their amount of startups. ● invested $5 billion in infrastructure. ● strategically planned venues in close proximity to cultural staples. Source: Skift Rise of Midsize Cities
  30. 30. Mid-size Cities Are More Approachable Smaller markets represent the authentic and the unexpected. Second- and third-tier cities can offer world- class meeting facilities and appealing local experiences — all at a lower cost than first-tier cities.
  31. 31. Leverage local knowledge economies to boost the content and credibility of the event. Cleveland, for example, is bringing together experts from local healthcare companies, scientific research institutions, and the startup community to reinvent the city as a desirable location for medical conferences. Knowledge Economies May be Attractive to Some Planners
  32. 32. How makes a city, “the city”? CVBs are setting themselves apart by marketing local assets, knowledge economies, cultures, and other unique elements of their cities. Planners can take advantage to close the “knowledge gap.”
  33. 33. The Right Destination Can Leave a Lasting Legacy A great choice of destination creates the opportunity to leave a legacy. At the 2017 Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, the organization worked with London & Partners to turn the 6,000 LED lights of the London Eye purple in honor of Alzheimer’s care and research.
  34. 34. Choosing the Venue with Purpose in Mind
  35. 35. Choosing the Purposeful Venue What makes a venue the right “place” for planners? Source: The Site Visit Revisited Survey
  36. 36. The key elements of choosing a space are shifting. As elements like WiFi and A/V become more standardized in quality, planners are looking to new elements and focusing on diversifying the space. Choosing the Purposeful Venue Source: IACC 2017 Meeting Room of the Future
  37. 37. EVERYTHING is a meeting space. Hotel infrastructure is becoming less important in destination selection, as non-traditional spaces (and demand for those spaces) continue to increase. Choosing the Purposeful Venue
  38. 38. Choosing the Purposeful Venue Find the hidden gem right under your nose. Growth in non-traditional spaces is making it easier for planners to differentiate meetings without exploring new cities. Demand for these spaces will continue to increase as technology makes it easier for planners to connect with these properties.
  39. 39. Venue Venues Don’t be afraid to add the “S” By using modern venue sourcing engines planners are able to find venues near the headquarter hotel and get attendees out of the four walls of the ballroom. Choosing the Purposeful Venue
  40. 40. Choosing the Purposeful Venue Look for venues that break down walls — literally and figuratively. “Spaces designed to promote engagement increase the likelihood of collisions... More collisions create positive outcomes.” -Harvard Business Review Image: C2 Montreal
  41. 41. So how do planners go about “purposefully” choosing a meeting destination?
  42. 42. It’s time to add a fourth dimension to an age-old equation. How do you choose a “purposeful” destination? Rates Dates Space PLACE
  43. 43. Place is more than just a physical destination. It’s everything that makes that destination unique. How do you choose a “purposeful” destination? Culture People Diversity Innovation Perception Aesthetic Authenticity Growth History Knowledge economy Legacy Ideals Values
  44. 44. WHY The overall purpose of having this meeting/event is… The search for place ALWAYS starts with the objective. WHEN What is the desired timeframe for this meeting? Is it flexible? WHO Who are the people who should attend? Who are the stakeholders? WHAT The desired outcome of successful meeting or event looks like… WHERE Which destination will best bring all of these W’s to life? CITY VENUE SPACE How do you choose a “purposeful” destination?
  45. 45. PurposeIdentification Source: Marriott’s Meeting Imagined EachoccasionhasitsownsetofW’s
  46. 46. CITY How do you choose a “purposeful” destination? Celebrate VENUE ● local leisure activities that allow for bonding ● a warm, sunny climate that encourages good vibes ● feels like a reward and allows attendees to get away ● an affordable destination for SOs ● lots of natural light ● doesn’t feel too professional or like a workspace ● represents a direct relationship to what’s being celebrated (e.g. innovation awards at a high-tech theatre)
  47. 47. ● known for decisions that have shaped major outcomes ● represents innovation or progress from forward thinkers ● is the home of a major intellectual hub for the industry-at-hand ● a city with an attitude/confidence ● remote and distraction-free ● inspires focus on the task at hand and minimizes distraction ● has spaces that can create intimate and inclusive environments CITY How do you choose a “purposeful” destination? Decide VENUE
  48. 48. ● provides flexibility of setup to create a unique educational experience ● provides breakout rooms for further discussion ● has enough space for mental breaks ● allows easy access to industry-specific speakers and knowledge (“knowledge hub”) ● is at the forefront of the industry or topic at hand ● has a legacy of educational excellence CITY How do you choose a “purposeful” destination? Educate VENUE
  49. 49. ● will likely be a small space but shouldn’t feel stifling ● is innovative enough to inspire ideation ● is unique enough to encourage out-of-the-box thinking ● is at the forefront of the industry or topic at hand ● shows beginnings of major innovation but still early ● is emblematic of new beginnings and ways of thinking ● connects to what you’re trying to create CITY How do you choose a “purposeful” destination? Ideate VENUE
  50. 50. ● includes plenty of common space for co-mingling and collision ● is a conversation-starter ● allows opportunity to personalize elements/spaces where similar personas can connect based on preference ● is appealing enough to promote travel to the city ● includes opportunity for a variety of authentic experiences that can be enjoyed in groups ● encourages people to stay out of their rooms where they will be isolated CITY How do you choose a “purposeful” destination? Network VENUE
  51. 51. ● feels closed off from distraction or judgement ● inspires focus on the task at hand and minimizes distraction ● lots of natural light; colorful interiors; modern ● adaptable to the desired workshop ● ties back to the organization or purpose at hand ● gives the working team the opportunity to bond/relax in off hours ● encourages people to stay out of their rooms where they will be isolated CITY How do you choose a “purposeful” destination? Produce VENUE
  52. 52. ● includes space for exhibition and/or demonstration ● large screens + state-of-the-art AV ● modern or newly renovated ● promotes sharing on social media ● draws in/incentivizes sponsors ● has a media presence that will extend reach ● feels as new and exciting as the product or release that is being promoted ● directly benefits from the product or release CITY How do you choose a “purposeful” destination? Promote VENUE
  53. 53. Creating the Space That Brings Objectives to Life
  54. 54. Creating a Purposeful Space The Old Way: Classroom The New Way: Learning Pods Ditch traditional seating layouts for objective-based design.
  55. 55. Creating a Purposeful Space Turn expectations upside-down to create new outcomes. The Old Way: High Boys (Standing) The New Way: Parisian Cafe Style (Sitting)
  56. 56. Creating a Purposeful Space Make one space feel like many.
  57. 57. Creating a Purposeful Space Rethink the idea of a “seat.” At TEDxSommerville attendees were given large pillow chairs from Yogibo. The event was held at an indoor rock climbing facility.
  58. 58. Pop-up offices let attendees create their own environment, making for a very user-driven experience. Creating a Purposeful Space Let attendees create their own space.
  59. 59. Map it all out with event technology. ● Help vendors and exhibitors visualize the space pre-event ● Share diagrams before the event so attendees can plan their experiences ● Collaborative diagramming tools allow properties and planners to work through the layout together Creating a Purposeful Space
  60. 60. What does the future of strategic destination selection look like?
  61. 61. Control over event scheduling could move away from the organizer... Would attendees decide a meeting’s destination? Or perhaps an algorithm? The Future of Destination Selection
  62. 62. The Future of Destination Selection Technology will match people to places more effectively. Surveying will integrate with venue sourcing platforms, creating algorithms that predict the success of a given event in a given venue-based on search criteria.
  63. 63. The Future of Destination Selection Convenience will create more opportunity for creativity. Home sharing and self-driving cars will open up mid-size cities to more and more events by making convenience and room blocks less of a factor.
  64. 64. A marketplace for event spaces that meets the unique needs of today’s planner.
  65. 65. Q&A socialtables.com Dan Berger Founder, CEO Social Tables dan@socialtables.com
  66. 66. Please take this time to rate the session on the WEC mobile application.