As a convention center located in Bellevue, home to many of the Seattle area’s tech giants, Meydenbauer Center gets a fascinating glimpse into the latest ways companies, meeting attendees, and their planners are looking at creating collaborative work spaces. During a conference we see Microsoft, Expedia and Boeing employees pulling their chairs together to create impromptu circles in the center hall lobby, or students gathered comfortably leaning against the hallway railings preparing for their DECA competitions. Tech office trends, socially-minded millennials and the challenge to make ideas stick in an increasingly data-cluttered world are driving planners to design their programs differently.
Here are some of the ways Meydenbauer Center can help you create the dynamic, connected environment that today’s meeting attendees are looking for.
1. Flexible Breakout Spaces: No one wants to stay seated in same place in the same position all day. Give attendees ample opportunities to stretch their legs, get comfortable, and interact with their peers. The lobbies adjacent to both Meydenbauer’s Center Hall and primary meeting rooms are equipped with seats that serve both as stylish lounge furniture and swiveling office chairs. “We noticed lounge seating has become part of the meeting. Sometimes, people don’t want to just sit at tables,” says Workspring marketing coordinator Lisa Wright in a BizBash article.
The flexible seating and abundance of natural light that fill each of these common spaces make them natural hubs of activity around the building. These areas lend themselves perfectly to an intimate workshop, breakout session, or informal networking space. Bring in a couple of whiteboards or even bean bag chairs and watch the ideas abound!
2. Internet Powered Connections: The rise of the Internet and social media has given organizations a powerful way to connect with attendees before, during and after an event. You can build excitement pre-event, respond to and amplify attendees’ own posts during an event, and continue the conversation post-event. Using Meydenbauer Center’s robust wireless network, up to 1,000 users may tweet, share content and exchange information on site. That means you can have 1,000 of your own event ambassadors sharing their experience with their own hundreds of thousands of followers!
Curate attendee posts by introducing a hashtag for your event and remind people to use it! This could be as simple as making an announcement and posting your social media account handles and event hashtags around the convention center on banners, elevator signage, and window clings.
Don’t forget to continue the learning experience via social media, mobile friendly event websites and other online applications after an event has passed. Michelle Russell, Editor in Chief at Convene said in a recent article that, “The one-and-done model has serious shortcomings when it comes to making what we learn at a conference stick when we’re back at our jobs. We need reminders and a way to continue the insightful conversations we had at the event in order to make positive changes in our work.”
3. Proximity to the City: Meetings are more and more closely-tied to the destinations in which they are held, and convention centers are looked to as a representation and an extension of the surrounding city. Meydenbauer Center does just that, ideally situated in the heart of the thriving Bellevue downtown. In a matter of minutes, meeting attendees can walk over to the neighboring Shops at the Bravern on the same block for some of the best shopping and fine dining on the West Coast, hop across the street for coffee, or head to Bellevue Square for hundreds of shopping options, unique restaurants and local nightlife. Meydenbauer Center’s destination marketing organization, Visit Bellevue Washington, can steer you toward museum and restaurant discounts, custom recommendations and visitor materials to make your attendees’ trip a memorable one.
These are just the few of the ways that we help our clients foster connections at their meetings whether it be face-to-face, via online channels, or in our urban backyard. To learn more about our services, contact the Meydenbauer Center sales team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-450-3723.