If you haven’t been to a conference in a while you’re in for a big surprise. The once stiff, white-collared, corporate event format is changing, and the bar has been raised on everything from food and coffee to room styling to attendee engagement.
Event planners and presenters today compete with mobile phones and tablets for participants’ attention, so unique and immersive experiences are key. In fact, an IACC survey that took the temperature of more than 150 meeting planners from five different continents found that seventy-five percent of respondents deliver more “experience creation” than they did two to five years ago.
So, a big shift in thinking in the meetings and events industry this year has been around delivering business event experiences in unique spaces that engage attendees to build knowledge in more multidisciplinary ways.
IHG’s recent client insights research found an overwhelming demand for unique, flexible and creative venues that inspire delegates and have them talking and engaging. And with Australasia’s foodie and café culture verging on obsession, who wants boring conference food? Gone are the days of daggy sangers, stale scones and filter coffee, making way for light, fresh, innovative culinary offerings that celebrate the wow factor.
This is where IHG is investing and paving the way in developing enriching, memorable and non-traditional experiences for customers. Whether clients need an unusual space, quirky dinner or surprising group activity, IHG’s hotels are rethinking the world events, and are proudly accommodating meetings and conferences of all shapes and sizes.
What does that look like?
InterContinental Sydney offer events in the elusive Supper Club and Harbour Room on top of the hotel, showing off the inimitable views of the Sydney Harbour and beyond. Their recently launched ‘Laneway’ space is a unique pop-up laneway perched between the historic sandstone walls of Macquarie Street. It’s a magical setting that’s perfect for immersive outdoor dining experiences and can easily accommodate up to 50 guests.
For those after a destination event space, InterContinental Sanctuary Cove is an immersive getaway venue offering a 'Playground of Possibilities' that transcends four walls. Situated on a huge manicured property, attendees can literally take over the resort, experiencing dinners by the vast beach lagoon with a jetpack show to entertain, pop-up luxury marquees and long lunches in the garden. In fact, the resort spaces are so flexible and diverse that the opportunity for creativity is limited only by imagination.
Both InterContinental properties offer culinary passion and creativity that puts them on par with the best restaurants in town, leaving other venues that still cling to the traditional conference food concept in their wake.
Crowne Plaza Coogee has made the shift from traditional ballroom style to embracing every available corner of their gorgeous hotel. Outdoor terraces and courtyards are most popular, especially during the warmer months, when the creative boundaries are pushed to make the most of their prime Sydney beachfront location.
The hotel works closely with local suppliers. For example, this summer they’ve teamed up with Lost Boys Brewery to not only offer their locally crafted beer, but also to provide the unique the ‘Lost Boys Backyard Pop-Up’ experience, which includes one hour beer tasting along with matched food – not to mention the chance to meet the famed Lost Boys themselves.
Moving west, and fronting onto Hay Street in the heart of Perth is Ivy & jack – an urban industrial-chic restaurant at Holiday Inn Perth City Centre that puts a modern twist on the location’s cinematic heritage. The restaurant can be transformed to suit any needs, from stand-up cocktail functions to intimate small weddings to corporate affairs, any event is possible.
Meanwhile, The Gallery Meeting Suites are due to open this month at InterContinental Perth City Centre. Five suites of differing sizes filled with natural light and flexible configurations, provide a reimagined environment for business gatherings, seminars and more intimate events. The real star of the show is the stylish central lounge area, a spacious outdoor terrace equipped with a bar area together with two open plan kitchens to extend live cooking displays and a variety of culinary options.
Of course, this is just a small glimpse into IHG’s amazing world of event experiences that go beyond the meeting room. If you are looking for an event space for summer that is unique, unconventional and unforgettable, InterContinental, Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza are where it’s at.
For further information, and to meet some of IHG’s other amazing event properties, please see here: Unique Meeting Event Experiences
Subscription successful! Thank you for subscribing.