• The Great Indoors

     
    FROM THE Spring/Summer 2022 ISSUE
     
    Photo credit: Julia Testa Flowers

Event planners often schedule meetings and events in natural places near wilderness areas, at waterfront resorts, and at mountain event spaces. But there are many ways to bring nature into your events by making use of the architectural concept of biophilic design, which can be defined as seeking to engage most people’s innate desires to affiliate with nature in the modern built environment. If you think of yourself as an “event architect,” you can use nature to stimulate the senses. 

SIGHT You can bring nature indoors anywhere by incorporating green walls, water, herbal centerpieces, and natural, textured materials like wood and stone. New York City-based florist Julia Testa instills natural elements like flowers, oranges, and succulents into branding events and product launches—imbuing creativity and cheerfulness in attendees.

SOUND Amplifying natural sounds of a flowing stream, breaking waves, or fluttering bird song into your event can be relaxing. All you need are some strategically placed Bluetooth speakers and a free app like myNoise, which has numerous natural white noise options, including walking in the woods, the Irish coast, and distant thunder. 

SMELL Try infusing your event space with essential oils, such as lemon, which stimulates energy and improves mood, and peppermint, which supports memory and concentration. The Canadian Corporate Meetings Network, which serves corporate meeting planners, uses “scent branding” to positively influence event goers. 

Rhode Island’s Weekapaug Inn, a Relais & Châteaux property, has opened MeetingHouse, a 1,650-square-foot indoor-outdoor convertible space that overlooks Quonochontaug Pond and can accommodate groups of up to 75.

 

The Opus Westchester, a member of Marriott’s Autograph Collection Hotels, made its debut in late spring 2021, offering 10,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space. Anyone attending a meeting there this summer will want to try this cocktail, a sophisticated warm-weather elixir that’s served exclusively in the Lobby Lounge. 

 

Set along the Massachusetts coast on the Lower Cape of Cape Cod, Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club offers a dazzling variety of amenities and attractions for groups. For starters, the 429-acre property has two distinctive sides: The upscale Mansion, originally built in 1912, offers 121 premium guest units, ranging in size and style from a 480-square-foot guest room to multilevel two- and three-bedroom villas. Meanwhile, The Villages Villas, with 216 guest rooms, including 1,400-square-foot villas, puts guests in the heart of the sprawling property.