November 01, 2019

Creating the Environment for a Successful Meeting

Getting back to nature isn't just a nice idea. There have been many studies showing that being in a natural environment has calming effect on body and mind. 

It follows then, that holding a meeting or event - and in particular any event that requires creativity, creative problem solving or brainstorming, or even simple retention of the content - in a natural environment would greatly benefit the attendees and their subsequent productivity.

The science of nature

In a 2014 experiment conducted in Japan, participants walked either in a forest or in an urban center while having their heart rate and blood pressure measured. They filled out questionnaires about their moods, stress levels, and other psychological factors. The results indicated that those who walked in the forest had significantly lower heart rates and higher heart rate variability (indicating more relaxation and less stress) than those in the urban settings. The forest group also reported better moods and less anxiety.

In another study, researchers in Finland found that urban dwellers who strolled for as little as 20 minutes through a park or wooded area reported significantly less stress than those who strolled in a city center.

These studies are just a small sampling of the research done, but the conclusions confirm that being in nature has a beneficial effect on stress reduction. These studies provide evidence that being in natural spaces- or even just looking out a window onto a natural vista - relieves stress.

Brain health

The research goes even further. Nature doesn't just calm us, it's beneficial for our memories and our creativity. A study from the University of Michigan found that students' memories improved once they spent time in nature. The students who walked in nature scored 20 percent better on tests, while the students who walked through the city, didn't show any consistent improvement.

Another study, this one by Stanford University, found spending time in nature can not only help you reduce stress, and slow down but can actually help you find that inspiration and creative spark you're looking for. So, the evidence is overwhelming.

A study cited in Science Direct states: "An increasing number of studies have confirmed a positive relationship between natural environments and physical and psychological well-being." The Huffington Post cited a study and reached this conclusion: "The more you get away from the stresses of daily life and the more time you spend outdoors, the greater your level of creativity." 

That's why more and more planners are setting their events in natural environments. 

Coastal paradise

One natural environment that's ideal as a meeting venue is the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. And while Myrtle Beach is known for its spectacular beaches, challenging golf courses and fresh local seafood, meeting planners are learning that these features and many others have helped to evolve this popular vacation destination into a premier location for meetings, conventions, conferences and sports groups.

The Myrtle Beach Convention Center boasts 250,000 square feet of flexible meeting and exhibit space and is one of the largest on the East Coast.
A closer look shows that the Myrtle Beach Convention Center boasts 250,000 square feet of flexible meeting and exhibit space (one of the largest on the East Coast) and 3,000 rooms within one mile. The 30,000 square-foot Events Plaza is a unique space for receptions, oyster roasts, barbecues and other outdoor activities. Its natural setting creates an ideal environment for productivity and innovation.

"We recognize that the natural environment is conducive to a more productive meeting and more relaxed attendees," says Brian Monroe, General Manager of the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. "We encourage our groups to enjoy the sun, sand and great weather when not in the convention center. When they come back in, they're recharged."

The facility's attention to the natural world is visible in a masterpiece of marine life artwork on the exterior of the convention center. The renowned environmental artist, Wyland, was commissioned to paint one of his internationally famous "Whaling Wall" murals (pictured top) on the north wall of Exhibit Hall C. The Whaling Wall mural is 50 by 240 feet and features bottlenose dolphins, loggerhead turtles and the Right Whale, an endangered species.

To find out more about setting your meeting or event in the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, visit or call 800-537-1690.