Allow me to go on a bit of a rant. I'm always baffled when organizations spend thousands of dollars (often over 100k) on general session staging and production only to subject attendees to an entire day(s) relegated to the stacker chair. Sometimes putting these poor attendees 4 per table so that one person gets the table leg in that awkward spot. What good are super acoustics and an amazing light show plus image magnification if nobody can concentrate beyond 15 minutes? What about the gala dinner where table linen, floral and rental chairs start at $300 a table...shouldn't we reconsider the priorities? It's common sense and really doesn't require me to list workplace studies and ergonomic statistics - I think you get the point. We need to find a solution. Enough about technology; apps, scanners, instant communication, attendee engagement, social media walls....and all that jazz. I think we're all pretty up to speed in that regard, and if not I'm sorry to tell you it's probably to late. Let's take a look at the hard (pun intended) truths of our outdated learning environments. Are the tables and chairs that come from your local rental company, hotel or convention center really the only choices you have?
Last week I sat through a learning session with the folks at Workspring Meeting Experiences, I was so excited to see their solution. It's one that I know will work in our industry. The reason I know it will work is that I know quite a lot about Workspring's parent company, Steelcase. The world's largest manufacturer of contract office furniture. Who better to conquer the issue? Not only do they have the product we need but they have a proven track record of massive installations. Need a skyscraper outfitted with office furniture, guess who you'd call? Setting up in a ballroom or convention center is a no brainer for these folks. They have designers who will study your objectives, attendee behavior, event space and design the best possible setting to engage the attendee..they'll manage a swift move in & load out working direct with the loading dock (they had me with those words).
I've outlined my case for rethinking learning environments...it doesn't come free but it's actually not as expensive as expected. I would urge you to rethink your meeting budgets and make this a priority, heck if the TED Conference is a believer it must be a good idea, right?! Call a seasoned CMP like me to rethink your entire event experience from online reg to gen session set ups OR contact Workspring directly by reaching out to Mary Tran, email@example.com & 774.328.5134.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and I'd love to bid on your next RFP.