Examining the Purpose of Meetings
By Andy Dolce Founder, Chairman & Managing Partner, Dolce International | October 28, 2008
The way in which we conduct business today has truly evolved. From e-mail and instant messenger to telecommuting, teleconferencing and virtual world meetings, these modern day tools allow executives to go a full day without a face-to-face encounter.
While on-site meetings will always be an integral part of many businesses, the focus is becoming as much about building relationships as it is about learning. And with good reason. Personal relationships will always play a vital role in many industries and for these industries, networking and relationship building will always be a top priority.
Today's meeting planners have a lot more to consider than just booking sleeping quarters, outfitting seminar rooms with multimedia equipment and ergonomic chairs and organizing group meals. Meeting groups now require the latest in technology (Wi-Fi is a must), entertainment and amenities while also demanding the latest in comfort, cuisine and last but not least, an inspirational setting where business and bonding can be conducted in every corner.
The setting plays a huge role in creating a relaxing environment for learning and networking alike. A comfortable, peaceful environment, free from distractions, needs to also offer amenities and post-meeting activities that help attendees feel relaxed and special no matter what job title they carry.
At Dolce International, we found that inspiration comes from settings that draw energy and focus from natural elements and the environment, which are all integrated into unique design features at several of our properties. At Dolce La Hulpe Brussels for example, guests look out at 1,700 acres of forest from an open-floor design with floor-to-ceiling windows. Contemporary European design, modern furnishings, smart technologies and the integration of indigenous materials stimulate interaction with the stunning natural backdrop. The use of natural light adds energy to the space and allows attendees to feel a part of the great outdoors which is a nice change from traditional gray conference rooms.
Another example can be found at Dolce's Aspen Meadows Resort which features an environmentally friendly design that incorporates natural materials and cutting-edge building technologies. Nestled into the Rocky Mountains, this innovative new property incorporates flowing water, stone floors, an outdoor fireplace and awe-inspiring mountain vistas throughout the property all of which help stimulate the brain.