Netflix ‘Perfect’

Andrew White outlines the elements a ‘too-good-to-be-true’ venue would boast about.

Interior of an expensive houseNetflix’s Tinder Swindler and Inventing Anna have highlighted an absurd, yet harsh reality, of being sucked into online scams. The programmes suggest that travelling by private planes, arriving on a chartered boat, and living a 5* lifestyle makes us better human beings. It got me thinking; what would the definitive ‘con’ference space look like if it was to feature on Netflix in the blurred lines between real-time and online – what would this aspirational, must-book space have?

For sure we’d see a big focus on sustainability; what the space was made of, how it was constructed, the furnishings and décor, even down to the service teams uniforms. We’d also see how nature is ingrained into the spaces with elements such as natural lighting and ventilation and green walls which are all proven to help reduce stress, improve general wellbeing and reduce carbon footprint.

A deeper delve into sustainability is ‘localism’ and the use of hyper-local suppliers, artisans and growers. Our space will see the workforce drawn from the neighbouring communities and the involvement of local community projects to support the spaces. Neighbourhood grown ingredients, food projects that give employment to the less privileged, a conscience around reduction and environmental impact, and managing food waste and repurposing items are all big components of localism and sustainability.

The board room is now the ‘bored room’. Ditch any notion of formal seating in favour of agile working spaces backed by boutique hospitality service levels. In the last 24 months we’ve all proven we can make decisions around the kitchen table; we now want our business environment to mirror our home life. Any new design would benefit from turning to airport lounges and private members’ clubs who have nailed business informality.

Tech will have the biggest impact across the space. As the hospitality industry struggles to find staff, automation and robots will increasingly fill a gap. We’re getting used to checking into our hotel room via our phone, we’ve enjoyed looking at and realising the benefits of robot vacuums in lobby spaces, now get set for robot luggage delivery and even robots in food and beverage service. This isn’t science fiction, it’s out of a need to provide higher service levels with a diminishing workforce. Tech will also be ingrained in any event space as we’ve proven that hybrid events are as effective as the former all company face-to-face meeting.

Food and drink are now a national obsession and we’re all hooked on provenance and local producers and the arena has stepped up to the mark post-pandemic as we’ve all learned how to cook and how to shop locally. Better quality food is a requisite and consideration also needs to be given to our new ask for foods that can have an impact on our stamina, strength and immunity to fight off viruses and other health deficiencies. We are also tracking and monitoring our activity through wearable apps which means that dishes must be labelled and dietary and nutritional values easy to decipher.

None of these considerations are too far removed from where we are or where we’re heading. We’re now in the business of creating events where up to 50% of the attendees are digital natives. They expect an outstanding online experience and if they need to be face-to-face, it needs to be exceptional; a hybrid experience as good online as it is in the conference room.

If you think vacuum robots are a fad and fictitious nonsense, have a look at the metaverse and what this could mean for events and conferences. You may want to consider what your metaverse conference venue will look like!


About the author

Andrew White is MD of Triggerfish Communications, a specialist in helping heritage venues and leisure attractions build awareness and market share in the business of events.

About Open Air Business 1272 Articles
The voice of outdoor hospitality - in print and online. If you liked this article, subscribe to the printed magazine here. We produce industry e-news between issues - please sign up here