• 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. 

Last November, New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced a comprehensive $450 million “Bring Back Tourism, Bring Back Jobs” recovery package to support New York’s hard-hit tourism sector. Part of that package is a $25 million “Meet in New York” grant program that focuses on venues and events that generate and support business-related travel. “This holistic approach to visitation recognizes the spending habits of business and convention travelers for overnight stays, food, and activities,” the governor’s press office noted.

 

After having closed its doors in November 2019 for an extensive renovation, The Pridwin Hotel & Cottages on Shelter Island, New York, is accepting reservations beginning July 15. The 49-room luxury property, which dates to 1927, will be reopening under the ownership of a collaboration between Cape Resorts, a hospitality investment and management company specializing in adaptive reuse and historical preservation of resort properties, and the Petry family, who has owned and operated the resort since 1961. 

 

In 2019, Martha J. Sheridan stepped into the role of president and CEO of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau. Like any CVB head, she’s bullish on her destination. “In my mind, it’s an unparalleled city for meetings,” she says. “We have great access. We have diverse products offering first-class meeting facilities. And Boston is a world leader in many important sectors, including the medical and higher-ed communities. [It’s all] at your doorstep when you book a meeting in Boston.”