By Dawn Harker
Colorado is a beautiful destination. Groups hold meetings here because of the natural splendor. Instead of transforming meeting and event spaces into a themed experience, enhance the existing beauty.
The true art is in selecting the correct venue for an event. Make sure the venue size is appropriate for the group size. Also, select a venue that speaks to the group dynamic, providing an environment that encourages guests to relax and interact.
Let the seasons help in selecting a venue. An indigenous event not only incorporates elements of a destination, it also honors the season your group will be experiencing.
Survey the resources of the venue before creating a décor plan. Play off the existing strengths of the venue by pulling colors from artwork and architectural elements.
View the venue as a blank slate on which you can create a tailored experience. Many times, the ambiance of a space can be totally transformed with décor selections. At Elevation Hotel & Resort in Mt. Crested Butte, we turned a breakfast room into an attractive space using candles, lanterns, lounge furniture, faux fur and throw pillows.
Use every part of the venue to create an overall experience. At one venue we worked with, outdoor space by the ice rink provided a perfect opportunity to view a performance.
Just because it is winter doesn’t mean you can’t go outside! Warm up outdoor experiences with cozy blankets, fireplaces, heaters and custom gloves and hats. Colorado has many beautiful fire pits that are frequently surrounded by wrought-iron chairs that fit the atmosphere.
Brand reinforcement can be incorporated into décor elements. Napkins and glassware with logos and linen selections that play off the look and feel of an organization’s brand can be very effective.
Encourage interaction. – Enhance an event with activities that connect instead of distract guests. Bold entertainment can place attendees in the role of observer; instead, feature a cigar roller or highlight a local craft distillery, microbrewery or winery.
Utilize these fairly simple recommendations to create a setting that is perfect for your next Colorado gathering. Attendees are sure to notice the difference!
Photos: Courtesy of AlpineAccess.
Dawn Harker is the Owner/Operator of AlpineAccess, a destination management company based in the Vail Valley and serving Colorado’s resort communities. Dawn has 27 years of experience working with groups in the resort and travel industry in Colorado and brings this expertise into every facet of her work.