Issue #9

High-Tech Office Space

Modern offices become incubators for high-tech collaboration and organization.

Forget worktables, open concepts and sign-out sheets. Today, office spaces have never been more collaborative or more efficient thanks, in part, to a host of high-tech integrations. In many ways, offices are transforming into mini innovation labs for events. Since it’s not just meeting planners thriving in high-tech office spaces—as attendees are, too—the expectation to deliver live event experiences that mirror work-life are that much greater today.

Among the latest innovations in workspaces is a new program between Steelcase and Microsoft announced in March, a new “creative cube of the future” for offices. The technology-enabled spaces are designed to integrate Microsoft Surface devices with Steelcase architecture and furniture to “help foster creativity and collaboration.” Among the configurations on offer: a lounge area infused with Microsoft Surface Studio and a Maker Commons for integrations with Surface Hub and Surface Book. Ideas for transforming your event lounge spaces? Check.

Another collaboration tool—Google Jamboard, expected to be released to the public this year—is a next-gen whiteboard that incorporates Google’s G Suite of cloud-based tools. Employees can access it from anywhere on the Jamboard app or an Android device to see a real-time feed of the board. Work on the board can exported, saved and shared. Users can add items, rearrange them or pull in images and drawings. It’s live-wired note taking, and in the meeting setting, it could transform breakout sessions and learning labs—paper notepads or handouts not required.

In addition to collaboration tools, other offerings are helping offices run more efficiently. Like Envoy, an elegant registration system for the front desk that tracks room schedules, sign-ins, and sends notifications (via email and text). Robin presence screens and beacons track conference room use and provide real-time analytics on who’s in a room and which rooms are used most and by how many people, among functions. Imagine Robin at a user conference, live-wiring bookable spaces for sponsors, and allowing attendees to tap and reserve a room for prospecting meetings on the spot.

More players are entering the space, too. Amazon in March announced its competitor for Google Hangouts, called Chime, a pin-free, automated video conference calling system. It’s set to shake up the live video conference space already occupied by the likes of Logitec, Slack and Skype. It could also shake up how your attendees communicate with each other—perhaps, between attendees on-site and virtual attendees.

And the lines between how we work, learn and play continue to blur.

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Explore 18 new trends from our collaboration with Event Marketer.

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