Art at Meetings? Yes!

Miami Beach, Nobu Eden Roc, meeting
With the help of The Great Office Escape’s Hallie Sculler (center), Prevue Summit attendees had the chance to co-create a collage in honor of National Women’s History Month.

Just as music has become synonymous with building the mood at a conference, art at meetings can play a similar role as a networking activity, a live attraction, or a way to reinforce content.

Incorporating art at meetings is an underlying mission of this week’s FRESH Conference in Turnhout, Belgium. Not only will the event include artistic and other performances, but a Conference-Art Showcase will feature artists demonstrating their unique activities for meetings and events

FRESH is—as always has been—on the creative edge of what’s happening. The conference organizers, the Meeting Design Institute, have themed this year’s event as a Conference Meets Festival, with a goal of “looking at festivalisation as a new medicine—in the right dose—for more engaged and energized participants.”

Among the featured artists at FRESH in the musical category is Song Division, which is known in the US for providing interactive musical experiences for meetings and events that empower teams and build a deeply unified corporate culture.

Performance artists can add another dimension to a networking reception or kick off a general session, while live performance drawing or graphic recording can transform the ideas from a breakout or brainstorming session into illustrations. At the opening reception during a Prevue Summit in Miami, attendees each created a patch of a patchwork “collage” in honor of Women’s History Month.

New Orleans artist John Bukaty paints an original piece of art during an opening reception or meeting, which incentive organizers can donate to a nonprofit organization or hang in the office. As the finishing touch, he can create giclee prints that the company can then send to all the attendees at the end of the program for a lasting memory.

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Barbara Scofidio is editor of Prevue and heads up the Visionary Summits, our exclusive conference series targeting senior-level meeting and incentive planners. In 25 years of covering the industry, her articles have spanned topics ranging from social media to strategic meetings management. She is currently the media liaison for FICP's Education Committee and was the first member of the media ever to be invited to sit on a committee by GBTA, where she spent three years on the Groups and Meetings Committee. She has also been an active member of Site, chairing its Crystal Awards committee and acting as a judge. A familiar face at industry events, Barbara often leads panel discussions or speaks on topics close to her heart, such as green meetings or how the industry can help combat human trafficking. She is also on the board of ECPAT USA, the human trafficking organization. Barbara is based outside Boston, in Groton, Mass.

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