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The changing meeting space – get creative!

Meeting spaces are going in a new direction with more thought going into designs to encourage creativity and engagement. Whether it is the layout of the room, furniture or objects and tools, multi-functionality is being pushed to the fore.

A creative space is adaptable and versatile, fitting the needs of those using it, whether it’s a strategy meeting for a few or a conference and networking event for many. This kind of space is pushing collaborative learning, where exchange of ideas and information can flow more freely.

So what are some of the ways four walls can be adapted to become more than just a room?

Multiple layout options

The layout of a room can play a big part in the environment of a meeting.

In a creative environment, people want spaces that are unique and offer delegates a change through less rigid layouts and seating arrangements. Zen areas to unwind and de-stress are becoming more common as they provide places to refresh and take time to reflect.

In a bigger conference or meeting space you can create different areas within the room – this rising technique of ‘zoning’ is all about having a balance of spaces for working, networking, group activities and also the option for privacy and those independent chats which are sometimes necessary. Don’t think it’s about having walls to create these zones because it’s not; it’s the use of furniture as makeshift boundaries to clearly differentiate the types of zones you want to achieve, but still keeping that openness feeling.

Why not take this idea and run with it further by making the most of the outdoor space available, such as terraces? Or get delegates to participate in some outdoor activity to recharge the energy in the room.

Furniture inspiration

The iconic boardroom table and chair set up can now be seen by some as restrictive and lacking inspiration, which is why Thwaites Hotels has invested in a range of options of furniture – which even include beanbags or picnic benches.

Playful designs and colour are increasing in the look and feel of modern meeting rooms, with more effort being made to create meeting spaces that are more than just four walls. People want pleasant working environments that make people feel comfortable and relaxed – yellows, greens, blues and oranges are known to improve mood and alleviate stress, so it can strengthen the inner enthusiasm in a team.

Making surroundings work

The surrounding space look, is just as important to create the most successful working space.

Injecting flip charts, giant post-it notes and write-on-wall space can encourage interaction and a great way of capturing and sharing information and ideas from the conference clearly and simply.

But more than that, more people now expect an experience rather than a conference – the rise of social media, selfies, Instagrammable spaces have all raised expectations of younger audiences who share their lives online. So whether it’s the slide on the screen, the break-out discussion, decorations in a room or lunch, people are capturing moments on camera and sharing them with friends and associates.

Being savvy and understanding your space and how to optimise it to the fullest can help create meetings that are memorable for all the right reasons. This all leads to events that succeed in reaching aims, establishing even stronger working relationships and getting people to enjoy the space they’re in.