Tina Steele, finance and business manager at Scarborough Campus Conference Centre, says more venues and organisers need to embrace their surroundings and integrate them into their event.
Everyone is familiar with the fatigue that can set in towards the end of a long conference. We’ve all been there, stifling yawns, eyes glazing over as we try to focus on what’s being said from the stage.
Listening to speakers, however engaging, for long periods of time can be draining and as a result, delegates can often find they pay significantly less attention to what’s going on as the day draws on.
But it doesn’t have to be like that. With a little change of scenery and a different approach, conference organisers can give delegates an immersive experience that will help fire their imagination and raise energy levels.
All it requires is creative thinking and well-equipped venues. Social media conferences should move out of the meeting hall and into IT suites, with hands-on training and social media interaction in real-time.
And what’s to stop delegates at a conference on sport or sports science getting their kit on and testing out the theories being discussed on the sports pitch?
Interaction can make all the difference to an event. The hands-on approach can really increase productive thinking.
So, more conference venues need to embrace and make the most of their surroundings to allow this immersive approach to develop.
In the increasingly competitive conference market, how we embrace our local environment can become a distinctive sales tool and an important point of difference when it comes to securing bookings.
There are some amazing venues across the country that offer much more than a mere meeting place. They range from castles to caverns, from tree houses to classrooms floating on lakes.
My message to conference organisers is check them out. Many now offer delegates the opportunity to get outside the conference hall and have an experience that will significantly enhance their learning.
That’s certainly starting to happen here at the Scarborough Campus Conference Centre. We’ve made it our mission not just to provide a place for meetings, but to give visitors the chance to have a taste of the great outdoors on our doorstep. We’re really lucky to have the rugged and inspiring Yorkshire coast and fabulous beach just minutes away from us and we also sit on the edge of the spectacular North Yorkshire Moors.
We want our conference visitors to get out and experience and enjoy these natural assets, encouraging organisers to incorporate them into their event.
We’ve had science conferences going out onto the beach on hands-on projects, collecting species and then returning to our lab facilities to continue the session.
Other organisations stride out onto the moors – with a brisk walk in the great outdoors for delegates, or a focused field trip as part of their meeting agenda.
After all, there’s nothing like fresh air and exercise to sharpen the mind!