How to create the perfect break out space for your hotel or conference venue with 6 top tips
The snippets of time during meeting breaks are extremely valuable for catching up with daily tasks and building relationships. Most hotels and conference venues offer break out facilities where delegates can grab a coffee, pick up important phone calls, respond to emails and network with their peers between meetings. To encourage repeat bookings it is very important to deliver an overall guest experience which is comfortable, inviting and functional - yet the conference break out area is often overlooked in the design process. Here we explore what makes a well-designed conference break out space with some simple-to-follow tips.
Provide a mix of seating and standing areas
Providing various types of seating is important to help guests feel comfortable and to accommodate different needs. Soft seating, such as sofas and armchairs, provide a comfortable area for relaxing to check emails, whereas other guests may appreciate a more private seating area or booth to take a confidential phone call. Areas to stand and network are equally important and venues should consider providing enough space for delegates to socialise around the refreshments area.
Fresh coffee is best
Most people head straight to grab a coffee or other refreshing drink during a meeting break, so it is important to have fresh beverages available on demand. The quality of the drinks you serve at your venue will leave a lasting impression on your guests, so make sure you provide a premium selection. Where coffee is concerned, fresh is best. The danger with providing filter coffee in a flask is that if a meeting is running over time (and let’s face it, we’ve all been there!), then the coffee can quickly become stale by the time anyone gets to drink it. For peace of mind, an automatic bean-to-cup coffee machine, like TopBrewer, will provide guests with self-service fresh coffee on demand, and with integrated hot water for tea, luxury hot chocolate and still & sparkling water, you can offer a variety of beverages from the same minimal unit without taking up too much precious counter space.
Free WiFi for guests
A free WiFi connection is essential to ensure delegates can quickly connect to emails and social media to deal with important messages. It is perfectly reasonable to provide a secure password but make sure it is clearly visible for guests to find.
Designated charging areas
In the age of the internet of things it is increasingly important to provide facilities where guests can charge their own devices. It could be as simple as providing a few plug sockets located near to the seating area or, if you expect to cater for a lot of guests at the same time, a designated mobile charging unit could offer a more practical solution.
Fresh interior design
It is no secret that the key to any effective break out area is centred around the interior design. But often the majority of time is spent designing and planning the meeting rooms themselves, with less thought for the surrounding break out space.
Here are our 6 top tips for creating the perfect conference break out space
- Introduce modern decor and fixtures to keep the space looking fresh and welcoming
- Think carefully about the space layout and invest in a variety of furniture for different needs
- Provide fresh beverages and refreshments in a central island to encourage networking
- If possible, offer a mix of indoor and outdoor space, or bring the outdoor’s in with plants and flowers
- Provide free WiFi and charging areas
- Remember: the break out area is part of the overall guest experience
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