Innovation That Matters

Meeting rooms, upgraded

Work & Lifestyle

Conference and meeting rooms around the globe are typically bland and uninspiring affairs, contributing little to participants’ creativity or the quality of the results. A new series of meeting facilities gearing up for launch, however, aims to redefine the concept with a creative and upgraded approach to conference spaces. New York-based Meet at the Apartment is a two-story, 2,500-square-foot, open loft that has been outfitted with idea-generating amenities not found in typical hotel meeting spaces: a library stocked with art, design and photography reference books; a kitchen pantry filled with snacks; and lavishly furnished breakout rooms. An upstairs area spans 1,300 square feet with windows on three sides and curtains to divide the space into four sections. Breakout rooms feature lounge furniture, phone chargers, iMacs and high-definition presentation screens; the open loft kitchen includes a “kitchen table” large enough to accommodate 10 people. Overall, the space can accommodate 35 for sit-down presentations or 100 for product launches and premiere events. Downstairs, meanwhile, is a 1,000-square-foot conference room featuring a Vitra conference table accommodating 18 in Vitra Worknest chairs, a mobile presentation screen, whiteboard walls and a computer, TV and telephone. There’s also a Green Room offering added space for privacy. Mornings at Meet typically begin with fresh fruit smoothie shots; at mid-day, fresh fruit and fresh-baked cookies keep the creative juices flowing, followed by wine and cheese at day’s end. Eschewing the a-la-carte pricing used by most hotel meeting spaces, Meet at the Apartment employs a flat-rate scheme that ranges from USD 5,000 to USD 10,000 per day including staffing (concierge, server and on-call A/V tech), audio-visual components, meeting facilitation supplies and unlimited beverages and snacks. Sara Schiller, Meet cofounder, explains: “If ever there was an industry in need of a ground-breaking idea, it is meetings. Most meeting spaces are mind-numbingly boring. They’re the ugly stepsister of event planning. With Meet at the Apartment, we entirely reinvented the concept of meetings and infused it with energy and creativity that currently doesn’t exist anywhere in the world.” Meet will officially launch next month in New York; after that, work will begin on similar facilities in London and Dubai, Schiller says. One to launch in other cities? And how about a chic & cheap version, for style-loving brainstormers on a budget?



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