Ignite Convention Centre

Convention Centre Report 2018

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CONVENTION CENTRE REPORT | Ignitemag.ca | 1 The 2018 IACC Meeting Room of the Future report brings together trends and research from around the world to help create and shape the future of meeting environments. Convention centres are moving way beyond providing four walls and a menu. More venues are being asked to help with experience creation for delegates. Many properties are getting creative with meeting room set up, themed food and beverage, icebreakers and destination-based activities such as wine or city tours. As delegates often only visit a city for a couple of days for a conference, there is now a desire among partici- pants to experience the local culture, which often takes in local food and beverage specialties, special markets or cultural icons. Darrin Pollard, director of business devel- opment for the London Convention Centre in London, Ont., says its partnership with the London Arts Council provides trained guides for arts, culture and architectural tours of the city. They are developing more programming for 2019 that will include tours of comedy clubs, culinary jaunts or behind the scenes tours at the Forest City London Music Hall of Fame. Down east, the Halifax Convention Centre (HCC) connects with Argyle Street, a vibrant section of the city's core, full of cafes, pubs and restaurants. The convention centre has created a partnership with local retailers to showcase Convention Centre Report 2018 Customization is the new normal in meeting design, technology and culinary offerings BY SANDRA EAGLE artisanal food and beverage products, called "A Taste of Nova Scotia." A booth can be set up during registration or opening receptions to let dele- gates get a taste of local treats. Rita Plaskett, president of Agendum Inc., based in Toronto, was pleased by the buffet service at the HCC during a conference she ran earlier this spring. "The buffet is closely monitored, continuously replenishing. If there is leftover food and it hasn't left the kitchen then that food is delivered to those less fortunate in the city." Furniture Fix A meeting planner's love of flexible meeting space is continuing unabated, with special attention to both individual and group areas as conferences move through their creative process. The report says at least 60 per cent of venue operators believe that the flexibility of meeting space will become more important over time. Suppliers say that over the last three years, flexible non-traditional meeting room furniture is one of the biggest trends in meeting space development. Clark Grue, president and CEO of the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre (CTCC), says his venue is working on flexibility in furniture and meeting room configurations. "We've taken four of our least used spaces to create experiential space—we can always easily convert it back to regular space if we need it. The rooms are set up with funky furniture, including bean bag chairs, with lots of projectors and white boards. One of our pods contains white boards throughout the room. It works as an 'ideation lab' so that delegates can work from one corner to the other creating a project or plan." The Ideation Rooms at CTCC Greg Cashin

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