All the technology in the world cannot give us the emotional connections we need with other humans. For organisers of large and small gatherings, Radisson Blu Hotels & Resorts has created Experience Meetings – the most ambitious event concept yet.

How can it be that with all our hi-tech gadgets for staying informed, miscommunication and confusion are still alive and well? The simple truth is that no amount of techno-logy can convey the information and emotion of a face-to-face interaction. And we are not having enough of them.

We humans crave to see each other in real life. We need to make and feel personal connections. In short, we need meetings. But they have to be effective meetings.

To cater to this need, Radisson Blu Hotels & Resorts has used customer surveys and meeting- industry insights to design a whole new meeting concept – called Experience Meetings.

 

Professional pre-during-post

The way Radisson Blu sees it, their job as a meeting organiser is to support the client organisation in reaching the purposes and objectives of each meeting. To do that, they need to understand what those purposes and objectives are, which means working together with the client in a process they call co-creation. For example, a high-stakes boardroom meeting deserves a whole different setup than a kick-off for the sales department. Different senses need to be tickled, and in different ways.

This means getting the specifics right at an early stage. What is the meeting about? Who and how many will be attending? What does a successful outcome look like? Only with this vital input can the organisers work together with other stakeholders to design a meeting experience that leads to the fulfillment of its objective. Radisson Blu pays specific attention to training its staff in this way of thinking, in order to ensure a delivery of consistent quality across the board.

 

Six key concept components

Of course, Radisson Blu Hotels & Resorts has hosted meetings and conferences throughout its history, but in the fall of 2012 the concept was turned up a notch. A detailed overhaul of the way meetings were held led to a number of fresh insights, six of which became the keystones in the Experience Meetings platform – good food, good spaces, environmental awareness, free internet, a rewards program and 100-percent guest satisfaction.

The nutritional part is called Brain Food and rests on some simple guidelines. There is plenty of fish, lean meat and whole-grain foods, and that all-purpose panacea of fruits and vegetables is found in abundance. All produce is fresh, locally sourced and as “pure” as possible, meaning with little or no processing. Sugars are not avoided entirely, but they must be natural and may not exceed ten percent of any foodstuff.

The second keystone deals with good spaces, which in Radisson Blu’s most advanced version is the “Brain Box”. All meeting rooms are top standard, but the select Brain Box rooms take playfullnes one step further, making the most of colors, lighting, furniture, ornamentation, temperature – anything that can help a creative meeting flowing.

Environmental awareness is achieved through the Think Planet program, which includes offsetting CO2 emissions and ecolabelling hotels as well as more hands-on features such as low-energy lighting and efficient air conditioning. The awards program Club Carlson for Planners assures that organisers can rack up points to use for future events.

Finally, all efforts by any Radisson Blu employee before, during, and after a meeting or event aim at 100-percent satisfaction for the client.

 

Managing your experience

With the launch of Experience Meetings, Radisson Blu Hotels & Resorts has placed itself at the forefront of organising professional meetings and events. Even so, they see 70 percent of the concept as “standard operating procedure”, meaning things that practically all meeting organisers get right. The remaining 30 percent is where Radisson has put their creativity to the test. And arguably, passed with flying colors.

Scanorama Magazine – March 2014