The lines between work and play continue to blur for the younger workforce, as people are always connected and can work from anywhere, such as the comfort of their own home, the local coffee shop, or trendy offices. With so much information at their fingertips all the time, people are looking for meeting and conference experiences that offer something they can’t get on their computer screen. They want an authentic experience that fosters learning and contains elements of surprise.
Blur the lines between work and play by creating a comfortable event space that encourages collaboration, creativity, and participation. Leverage design and furnishings to create a shareable experience that will engage your millennial workers with these four tips:
Generic theater-style seating just won’t wow modern young professionals. Creating a beautiful environment that delights and excites millennial workers ensures that they will be engaged throughout your presentation. Experiment with different seating arrangements, using Hexagon Ottomans or Island Sofas that encourage groups to sit informally and collaborate, to help break down barriers to communication.
Design a space that allows for productive conversation and movement. The curved edges of the CORT Endless Collection encourage a constant flow of energy and ideas. Planners should also consider incorporating nontraditional seating around cafe tables or monitors. Attendees can swivel in their Marche Ottomans to achieve campfire-style seating, while Wagner Chairs and Vibe Cubes are great ways to add texture and color to a space while still maintaining comfort and style.
Lean into millennials’ need to stay connected at all times. By providing an environment that enables their social nature, you encourage the premise that your event is trendy and shareable. The importance of being connected to mobile devices and maintaining accessibility to charging capabilities cannot be overstated in the current business environment. When attendees rush to find seating by wall outlets to charge their phones or other electronics, it’s disruptive to the overall experience. Introduce a variety of powered furniture pieces to your meeting rooms to create communal workspaces that foster a team environment and encourage collaborative strategic planning.
Creating comfortable breakout opportunities within the larger event space is crucial to fostering ingenuity and collaboration. Define large or small breakout areas with Miramar Dividers or Boxwood Hedges to allow for more intimate gatherings within a large room and provide opportunities for branding and signage. Comfortable and energetic spaces encourage interactivity that creates memorable learning experiences.
Amid a changing social landscape, planners need to rethink how they develop, design, and deliver events and experiences to leave a lasting impact on attendees.
Kevin Dana is director of marketing and product development at CORT Trade Show & Event Furnishings. To learn more about CORT’s exhibit and event rental collections or top trends for 2017, visit www.cortevents.com.