Do modern meetings demand more than four walls (tastefully painted in a muted color, of course), a table, chairs, bright fluorescent lighting and a speakerphone?
Research conducted by Marriott and the publishers of Wired Magazine indicates that they do. It found that people are working differently than in previous generations and, to be effective, meeting spaces must change to keep pace with those Gen X and Y attendees. Younger attendees respond to collaborative environments, shared space, brighter colors, natural light and control over where and how to work.
Starting next month, Marriott properties in Munich and Amsterdam will shift from traditional meeting spaces to “people inspired” boardrooms, breakout and pre-function spaces where working, meeting and socializing in a comfortable and open space with access to the latest technology will merge.
Marriott hotels in Istanbul and Krasnoyarsk, Russia, plan to offer next-generation meeting spaces next year. The spaces will feature wireless connections and include video conferencing, smart whiteboards or whiteboard walls, projection walls, docking stations and touch-screen controls. All technology will be app or web enabled and include Red Coat Direct, an app that lets planners adjust and edit meeting requests with the touch of a button. Red Coat is already available in the United States, was launched in the United Kingdom in June and will be introduced to 31 more hotels across Europe this year.