Deliver Creative and Innovative Meetings in 2018

Borrow from festivals in Asia-Pacific and elevate your planning basics

The art of planning innovative meetings continues to evolve with new technology, a growing competitive landscape and an emerging millennial customer base that seeks connectivity, culture and collaboration.

Meeting planners are now encouraged to take a multidisciplinary approach in engaging attendees purposefully, keeping in mind that people learn in different ways, to craft personalized meeting experiences. Here are a few principles—and examples—to put into practice in the year ahead.

Taking a Cue from Nontraditional Meeting Spaces

Traditional boardrooms are making way for nontraditional venues, such as outdoor spaces, that make for productive, interactive and creative settings. Choosing a creative location opens up new opportunities for attendee experiences and interaction. But planners can keep the convenience of traditional meeting spaces while borrowing from the benefits of unconventional spaces.

Take inspiration from two annual events in the Asia-Pacific region: the Singapore Night Festival and the Busan Fireworks Festival. During the Singapore extravaganza, installations transform the local museums into interactive architectural canvases, while audiences are captivated by aerial performances and light shows. For the Busan gala, the sky along Gwangalli Beach on the southeastern coast of South Korea lights up with a breathtaking display of pyrotechnics accompanied by music.

You don’t have to have priceless fine art and literal fireworks to capture the essence of these celebrations: Meeting planners can replicate such visual and sensory experiences using local art and light shows.

Transforming the Meeting into an Extraordinary Experience

Everyone is aware that first impressions really count. The key factor here is to spark the delegates’ senses. To kick off a meeting on the right note, ensure that the event atmosphere is visually attractive, thought-provoking and interactive. Inject a burst of energy with captivating motion graphics, colorful lighting, appealing projection and styling techniques.

Unleash your attendees’ imaginations with stage designs. Try incorporating digital banners, wide screens, hexagonal panels, 2-D or 3-D scenic panels, or megacurved screens to project your message in an unforgettable way. Take it one step further and blow your attendees away by implementing a series of interactive screen backdrops that change after each break. Pair your mise-en-scène with themed activities to create an immersive experience, as at the internationally acclaimed Melbourne International Coffee Expo 2018, where participants can enter the cupping room to experience a sensory journey of the coffee bean, from grinding the beans to sampling the java.

Tantalizing Taste Buds

Food, food, food! This critical element can make or break your event, so don’t leave your delegates disappointed. Borrow from the indulgence of the annual Singapore Food Festival, which envelops participants’ senses with unique culinary experiences, local chef collaborations and workshops that showcase the city’s rich heritage and culture.

Translate that sensibility to your meetings and get creative by crafting interactive food and beverage experiences. Wine and chocolate tastings are sure to be remembered as highlights; custom drink mixers and culinary demonstrations add to the fun. Personalize the culinary experience and let the smorgasbord of food bring out the event’s brand and theme for maximum impact.

Marriott’s expert planners can tailor to your audience and prepare food trucks, juice stands, nuts, craft beverages, artisanal cocktails and other treats served in ways that highlight the destination’s surroundings, as pictured above at the Renaissance Phuket Resort & Spa. Marriott also offers fresh seasonal harvests, farm-to-table eating, tapas, build-it-yourself plates and dessert takeaways, as well as traditional small bites.

Meetings Imagined

There will always be an innovative way to host your event at a Marriott Rewards hotel, whether you are developing a small social event or a large-scale performance. With the integrated events platform, you can peruse all the unique venues available, from theater-style conference rooms to party venues to outdoor rooftops with inspiring skyline views. Marriott also offers event planning assistance to help you manage room bookings, create itineraries, organize team-building activities and source local vendors.

An exclusive offer awaits you now if you book and arrive by March 31 at participating Marriott Rewards hotels in Asia-Pacific. Earn double points with Marriott Rewards on eligible catered events, including client meetings, networking gatherings, product launches, team celebrations and more. You’ll also earn a signing bonus of 500 points.