While New York has regularly been a leader in creating exciting new meeting experiences, 2019 will be the year when great events will become truly experiential ones in very unexpected ways.
Karen Shackman, founder of Shackman Associates, a New York-based destination management and special events services company, shares five meeting trends she’s witnessing that will give attendees more control in the coming year.
Less Waiting at Tables With Experiential F&B
As food and beverage becomes more experiential, that means attendees are spending less time waiting at tables for their food to be served. Diverse, customized menus are being enhanced to include experiences like fishing for your food and pouring your own craft beer.
Bluetooth LED Lighting Puts Event Lighting in Your Attendees’ Hands
If your attendees enjoy LED lighting as a decor enhancement, they can now use Bluetooth to help control changes in lighting throughout the event, which can include attendee entertainment team building.
Charter Yacht Arrivals Deliver Major First Impressions
If attendees are arriving at JFK Airport around the same time, meeting planners can easily transport them in style via Rockaway Beach, past the Statue of Liberty, and to Manhattan or Brooklyn hotels via a luxury charter yacht. This also helps planners move up an opening networking event if the meeting has been shortened overall due to time constraints.
Single, Multipurpose Event Venues Increase Engagement
Venues such as the new Pier 17 (South Street Seaport) have incorporated multiple experiences and event components into one super-venue, making it an ideal choice for several aspects of a meeting or event. Plus, less time in transit between multiple activities leads to more interaction among attendees and intangible ROI such as improving overall company culture.
Replace the Early Morning Coffee with Yoga
Attendee wellness at meetings has become more than the new CSR; it is a required amenity at New York City hotels and a time-friendly, healthy way to get attendees ready for the rest of the day’s activities. And we’re not simply talking about traditional yoga. New York’s providers of yoga and similar team-building ideas (such as Thai Chi) have created tech- and wearable-driven options, yoga with goats and dramatic venue changes like moving the entire event to Central Park.