November 01, 2017

There's almost nothing worse for a planner than to bring a group to a venue, open the door, and have them utter a collective, "Ugh." They've seen the same old setup, the same old conference room and foresee the same old stifling content. And honestly, it's easier and safer for a planner to stick with what's been done already, accepting the risk of dooming your group to boredom.

What a difference it will make to your group, and to the results they're after, to arrive at a venue and feel: Wow, what an inspiring and creative place to map out our business plan!

It's easier said than done, but here are some tips for engineering a creative environment that will make attendees feel energized, positive and productive.

* Consider the overall experience. There's a tendency to focus on the venue, but the venue is only a part of the total experience. Think about creating an original experience, and then look for the venue that is adaptable to that overall vision. Building a meeting "experience" is one of the top trends in the industry, and for good reason.

* Use all the senses. Consider a theme for your canapés, live music and mood lights. Corporate meetings are usually cut from the same cloth, which can make them ubiquitous and forgettable, so details such as lighting and food can bring a much-needed breath of freshness to the format. For example, at W Taipei, the unique Sensory Set UpTM gets ideas flowing with mood music, signature scents and more. Their Wish WorkshopSM, lets attendees uncover hidden talents and learn new skills with everything from learning how to be a chef to yoga positions. And if that isn't working for them, they can take a break with RecessSM, where they'll delight in a menu of activities that sets the tone for inspiration.


* Come up with new uses for traditional spaces. Is a kitchen just for eating? Or maybe it's for a smaller group to break down and meet over coffee. Is an art gallery for passive appreciation of art? Or maybe it's conducive for getting a group's creativity flowing. See old spaces with new eyes and it opens up countless possibilities.

* Provide flexibility. Choose spaces that allow the group to move furniture, etc., and adapt the space to their needs and energy at the moment. According to W TAIPEI General Manager Harvey Thompson, flexibility is key: "Every meeting room we have features fully adaptable conference equipment that makes business beautiful, meetings memorable and special events spectacular. Creative in approach and innovative in design, our goal is to engage and energize your attendees and participants, from conferences to soirées."

* Opt for customizable. Look for venues that offer maximum potential to design and customize your events, especially in the smaller details. When in doubt, customize as much as possible. The better you know your group, the better you can customize the space and the content.

For more ideas on how to hold an inspiring meeting at the W Taipei and their W Meetings Couture package, visit