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Planning a Meeting? Don’t forget the Art!

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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Planning a Meeting? Don’t forget the Art!

Expectations are changing in the world of corporate meetings. Nearly two-thirds of the meeting planners polled in Successful Meetings’ 2016 Trends Survey said the ‘need to create a compelling meeting experience for attendees’ is now key to creating effective meetings in 2016.

 

According to Mark Cooper, CEO of the International Association of Conference Centers, “a compelling media experience” might mean a teambuilding exercise or other experiential learning experience, or an opportunity to volunteer in the host community. In light of this trend, many hotels and conference centers throughout the United States are curating art experiences for meeting attendees—often in partnership with local artists or museums—that provide exposure to the city’s unique culture.

 

For example, according to an article on SuccessfulMeetings.com, the Westin Cleveland Downtown’s art collection now features pieces curated by local artists that evokes the Cuyahoga River and incorporates tree branches reclaimed from the construction of the Cleveland Innerbelt Bridge. “Our art collection enhances our guests’ overall experience by showcasing exceptional pieces that provide an intimate look and immediate understanding of the community they’re visiting,” says Karen Troyer, director of sales and marketing for Westin Cleveland.

 

Here are five other great examples:

 

  • Event planners Shackman and Associates New York organizes events for meeting attendees that challenge them to tap into their own creativity at local art studios.
  • The Hilton Anatole in Dallas offers a curated “art dine-around,” which pairs the hotel’s art pieces with food and beverage items from their country of origin, as well as an art scavenger hunt.
  • The Conrad Indianapolis offers guided tours of its art collection and often invites the artist to present his or her work to the group. At a recent Young Presidents’ Organization meeting, the hotel’s culinary team created a menu inspired by the art in the group’s meeting spaces.
  • Cleveland’s The Metropolitan at The 9 features an art studio and rotating gallery as part of its new Artist in Residency program.
  • Destination marketing company Alaska Destination Specialists Inc. recruits native Alaskan artists to offer working craft tables or booths to showcase sewing, beading, and carving skills.

 

“Absolutely, return on investment is critical,” says Carlson Wagonlit Travel Meetings & Events VP Cindy Fisher, “but so is ensuring that it’s an impactful event experience for those attendees.”

 

Have you incorporated the arts into your corporate meetings or attended a meeting that featured an art experience? We want to hear from you! Tell us about it on Twitter using #ArtsandBiz or email us at partnership@artsusa.org.

 

Photo credit: The Westin Hotel in Cleveland by LAND studio. Photo by Ricky Rhodes.

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