Venues Add New Amenities to Adapt to Future Meeting Needs

Convention centers, hotels, and other venues already know that when meetings return, many will feature a hybrid format. To prepare for this future, many venues have added new amenities, like broadcast studios, to help meeting planners deliver those experiences.

Just because large, in-person conferences are still a long way off in many parts of the country, it doesn’t mean that venues aren’t getting ready for their eventual return. Earlier this month, I wrote about how convention centers are rolling out new technology and cleaning protocols to keep attendees safe.

But, since many of those future face-to-face events are likely to be conducted using a hybrid format, convention centers and other spaces are also adding new amenities that will allow for meeting planners to deliver those experiences seamlessly and easily.

For instance, the Javits Center in New York City added a 30,000-square-foot broadcast studio [PDF], equipped with a private green room, two studio cameras, livestreaming capabilities, and a giant video wall. An onsite production team is available to help planners ensure their virtual and hybrid events run smoothly. In addition, the studio will be able to host up to 300 attendees in a comfortable, socially distanced setting when such meeting capacity is allowed.

“From constructing a temporary COVID-19 hospital to facilitating donations for community groups in need, the Javits Center has played a critical role in supporting New Yorkers during these unprecedented times, and we look forward to supporting New York’s economy and businesses as we work to reopen this iconic venue,” said Tony Sclafani, senior vice president and chief communications officer for the Javits Center, in a Northstar Meetings Group article. “In the meantime, we have created a state-of-the-art broadcast studio to host virtual events that can be livestreamed to audiences across the planet …”

The Javits Center is not the only convention center to add a broadcast studio. The Baltimore Convention Center also partnered with audiovisual company Projection to develop the BCC Virtual Event Studio. The space, which is fully customizable, can be used to prerecord presentations, as well as to assist with live webinar and livestream production.

Events DC is adding hybrid event amenities too. The city’s Walter E. Washington Convention Center recently added a 19,000-square-foot production studio, and Events DC also launched Gather, a platform that can be used to produce and stream digital events and host on-demand experiences.

“With this new virtual platform and production studio, Events DC presents a distinct opportunity for enhancing client experiences with the ability to offer state-of-the-art technology, customization of content, and the enrichment of both in-person and virtual experiences,” said Greg O’Dell, president and CEO of Events DC, in a press release.

Venues beyond convention centers are also preparing for more hybrid events. The firm etc.venues, which manages 17 meeting spaces around the world, partnered with technology provider Glisser to provide hybrid solutions to event planners. And large hotel chains like Hilton, IHG, and Marriott have also developed resources and tools to make it easier for groups to plan and execute hybrid events.

As your association prepares for future hybrid meetings, what amenities will you be looking for venues to offer to support them? Please share in the comments.

One recent addition to NYC’s Javits Center is a 30,000-square-foot broadcast studio. (via Twitter)

Samantha Whitehorne

By Samantha Whitehorne

Samantha Whitehorne is editor-in-chief of Associations Now. MORE

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