Meeting outside the box: choosing a creative meeting venue

If you want to host a productive meeting, team building or conference that will inspire, motivate and engage your audience, you better book a room outside of your office.
 
Sure, you might have a very handy and functional suite of meeting rooms available in your building, but it’s all too easy for your attendees to migrate back to their desk, take that call or feel uninspired by their surroundings.
 
To make the most of the situation you need to choose a location that provides the perfect environment to encourage your guests to think outside the box too. And, that does not mean booking another meeting room with four walls and a coffee station a few minutes down the road.
 
To truly make the most of meeting outside the box, you need to choose a venue that offers the unique combination of; functional facilities, an inspiring setting and rewarding experiences.
 
To dig a little deeper into this theory, we caught up with the events team at Taronga Centre, one of the Sydney’s most unique and inspiring meeting venues. They share with us the five key things you need to look for when choosing a creative meeting venue.
 

1. Choose an enticing location

A change of scenery can be really important for team morale and productivity. The more unique and enjoyable the meeting experience, the more the guests will benefit. 
 
By going to a unique location such as Taronga Centre, event planners are giving guests a good reason to be excited and motivated to attend. Once at the venue, an interesting location gives guests easy talking points to encourage networking and prompt fresh ideas.
 

2. The importance of a room with a view

To encourage blue sky thinking you need to ensure your guests can actually see the sky. This might sound silly, but when you ask your delegates a question that they need to ponder, or ask them to come up with new ideas, being able to stare into space will allow them to think more clearly and broadly. 

Hosting a meeting within a venue that offers little to no views of outside space, does not provide the perfect environment to think creatively. Being able to see space or a wonderful view will enlighten your guests to think of bigger ideas.
 
At Taronga Centre, the views from our meeting spaces include famous Sydney Harbour icons such as the Opera House, Fort Denison, Sydney Tower and the Harbour Bridge. In addition, the venue’s elevated position gives guests a clear view of the wide-open sky, together this provides the perfect vantage point for generating fresh ideas. 
  

3. Providing catering that nourishes the mind

For meetings, conferences and team building events it’s important to design a menu that nourishes the mind. This means ensuring there are plenty of healthy options and that they are served in a way that suits the purpose of the event. While serving lunch within the meeting space can be done, it’s also a great opportunity to take guests away from the meeting room and offer them a unique space to network, mingle and refresh.
 
At Taronga Centre, we pride ourselves on creating tailored, bespoke menus that fulfil the needs of our clients. Whether they prefer cocktails and canapés, a three-course meal or an extravagant degustation – we will work with them to make the perfect menu come to life.
 
In addition to serving catering within our meeting rooms, we can also offer the following unique catering options:
  • Lunch packs – containing a sandwich and drink, these are good for teambuilding and family days.
  • BBQ lunch on the Concert Lawns – served as a casual buffet, this is particularly good for family days and team building events and can cater for up to and over 1000 people.
  • Buffet– available for breakfast, lunch or dinner service, and is available in all our venue spaces from the Concert Lawns to our restaurant, The View located within the Zoo grounds.
  • Cocktail packages – roaming canapés and drinks served in locations around the Zoo, including overlooking the elephants, alongside the giraffes or looking out on the city lights.
  • Food and experience stations – a themed table display tailored to the event. Popular choices include dessert or antipasti stations.

Taronga Centre Event Catering
 

4. Add-on experiences to excite and reward

Often clients are looking for a meeting space that doesn’t feel like another day in the office. Rewarding your guests with an engaging experience is a great way to ensure their full commitment to the purpose of the event.
 
At Taronga Centre, we have designed a range of experiences that event planners can add-on to their overall experience at the venue. 
 
From simply giving your guests access to the Zoo to explore at their leisure on the day to having all your delegates take part in a more active experience like the High Ropes Course or our newly created, Scavenger Hunt, there is an activity to suit all manner of events. 
 
One of our most popular experiences is an animal encounter. This allows guests to get up close and personal with the animals and their Keepers. It’s perfect for small to medium functions and ensures guests get an experience that is unique to the zoo environment. 

Taronga Centre Unique Experiences
 

5. Functional facilities to ensure your meeting is a success

While Taronga Centre has many unique experiences, we still have all the essentials. Each of our meeting and conference spaces has access to WiFi and an in-house audio visual system. In 2016 a state of the art system was installed in the Function Centre offering hideaway screens and touch panel controls.
 
We also provide pen and paper for conferences, which are a classic staple, and can provide whiteboards and large format paper as required. 
 
 
****

Conclusion

Meeting outside the box is more than leaving the confines of your office. Choosing a venue that offers an enticing location, room to think and inspirational experiences will not only reward your guests, but also ensure that the purpose of your meeting is deemed a success. 
 
For a full list of Taronga Centre’s unique meeting and event experiences check out their downloadable guide or find more information on Taronga Centre’s website.