How Hotels are “Warming Up” Event Spaces to Make Meetings Facilities Desirable and Effective
By Michael Kofsky Director of Sales & Marketing, Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego | August 31, 2014
Hotels are critically dependent on revenue from events such as conventions, trade shows, and exhibitions. The more successfully and efficiently hotels can execute meetings and events, the more they can garner both return and referral business, a very essential way to increase room revenue and profitability.
However, for any executive or business meeting planner, when deciding where to host an important event or other large gathering, there is a lot at stake. The decision to choose the correct venue is one that can be incredibly time consuming and potentially determine the turnout and overall success of the gathering. While the destination is always an important factor, site size, flexibility of layout, comfort of chairs, audiovisual (AV) capabilities, Wi-Fi access and strength, lighting, and even power outlet accessibility are also critical factors to consider when determining an event space.
A hotel can accomplish more effective events by creating modern, sleek, but still warm and welcoming event spaces that meet these needs yet are also comfortable and convenient, and leave hosts and the guests with outstanding experiences for the most efficient group event.
Residing in the heart of "America's Finest City," the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego defines the downtown skyline with two towers soaring high above the city as the west coast's tallest waterfront hotel. Led by the vision of owners, Host Hotels & Resorts, the property is completing a multimillion-dollar, four-year, hotel-wide renovation in order to better meet modern business meeting and conference needs. In early spring of 2014, the hotel debuted 50,000 square feet of transformed event space including the Coronado Ballroom, which features a terrace that overlooks the San Diego Bay and Coronado Bridge.
The goal of design firm, WATG, was to create a more urban environment inspired by the structure of the nearby Coronado Bridge. The hallway corridors create the idea of transferring to a destination highlighted by vibrant color accents complimented by room furnishings that reinforce straight line elements with structure and cross bracing details in a rich espresso wood tone complemented by warm taupe, bronze hues and deep navy blues. Also, the updated facilities feature new technology, a contemporary design theme and emphasize on the property's ability to host events of all sizes and needs. When the hotel decided to undergo the renovation, they felt that it was imperative to understand and listen to the needs of their customer base. With such a substantial collection of meeting venues, listening to the needs of the meeting planner was extremely important in developing the plans and layouts for the renovated spaces.
One of the things that was extremely apparent in their discussions was ensuring that venues are equipped and adaptable to the ever-changing technology trends, whether it pertains to the most advanced AV systems, quickest internet or an innovative new chair design. With video conferencing and the rise of mobile devices for Internet usage, the technology requirements for effective conference spaces have evolved. One of the biggest concerns for meeting planners is connectivity so that meeting attendees can maximize their effectiveness. Services such as high-speed broadband, digital projectors and screens, flip charts, AV systems and social media capabilities are now normal factors in choosing a venue.