In his book Direct from Dell, founder and CEO Michael Dell claimed that to become a success, “You just need a framework and a dream.” At Convene, we’re always looking for frameworks that allow us to better communicate to our customers what we do, why we do it, and how we do it better. One of the most well known frameworks referenced by managers and marketers over the last half century is Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow, a prominent American psychologist, studied our underlying motivation systems and compounded his research into the Hierarchy of Needs (often represented as hierarchical levels within a pyramid like the image below).
The pyramid depicts our five core motivational needs, with the largest, most fundamental levels of biological needs at the bottom and the more intellectual need for self-actualization at the top. In Maslow’s hierarchical model, when a need is met or satisfied it no longer motivates us and so the next higher need takes its place, and so on.
At Convene, we’ve created our own Hierarchy of Meeting Needs, a framework that we use internally and that we share with meeting planners to help them understand our company’s meeting optimization principles:
At the foundation of Convene’s Hierarchy of Meeting Needs is Fresh Air and Natural Light. Convene makes its meeting and conference room site selection based on views to the outside and, whenever possible, views to tree lines and parks (read more about how our vision affects our productivity in our past post Engage the 5 Senses to Inspire Workplace Productivity). We also invest in state-of-the-art HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems to ensure that our meeting participants are breathing clean, healthy air. We also provide individually controlled room thermostats so that attendees can regulate the room’s temperature as needed (if all else fails, soft and cozy pashminas are available upon request!). And finally, while we like to emphasize our meeting rooms’ access to natural light, we also work with the best lighting designers who strategically apply light and shadows in order to make spaces more visually appealing.
The next level we focus our attention on is what we call Alertness Boosting Nourishment. Convene’s innovative Nourish Cafés and decadent yet healthy catering menus are unanimously praised by meeting participants. From our cyclical and seasonal menus (often featuring locally sourced ingredients), to our delectable low-carb-high-protein entree selections, our in-house chefs provide an exceptional array of “brain food” that keeps attendees alert and productive. We also provide healthy snacks, vegan and gluten-free options for sensitive eaters, and premium coffee.
At the heart of Convene’s hierarchy is Physical and Psychological Comfort, essential components of a successful, memorable meeting. As most of our customers book our meeting rooms for extended periods of time, the physical comfort of our guests is of the utmost importance. Convene’s meeting rooms are always supplied with stylish, ergonomic chairs and seating options with alternative postures to ensure long-term comfort. We also firmly believe that in a Convene conference room, every seat is the best seat in the house! Attendees – no matter where they sit – will always be able to perfectly hear and see the speaker with our optimal audiovisual technology. Attendees will also be able to rest assured that the information exchanged in their meeting will remain private. We provide soundproof walls and shredding upon request. Finally, Convene prides itself on its superior service and above-and-beyond customer support. Our staff (from the receptionist to our on-call tech support) is always within reach so our guests can relax knowing that we’ll be there if they need us!
Performance Enhancement is the next level in Convene’s Hierarchy of Meeting Needs. By building and designing meeting rooms around the functions they will serve (see our post on Understanding Meeting Types), we can optimize the meeting experience and increase its ROI. Convene’s meeting rooms feature a host of performance-enhancing extras, from sophisticated audience response systems that allow attendees to interact with speakers or presenters to in-room resource trays and high-tech videoconferencing, we’ve studied hundreds of meetings so we can anticipate what attendees need. We also offer presenters the ability to “make their thinking visible” in Atoms (whiteboards) and Bits (through technology) and our tech staff is always on hand to provide support in case any unanticipated technical problems arise.
At the top of Convene’s framework for meeting success is the Optimized Experience. We’ve placed ourselves in the shoes of our stakeholders (meeting attendees, meeting planners, and our own staff) and developed spatial, service, culinary and tech solutions that understand and respect the simultaneous processes of each, allowing everyone to execute their tasks flawlessly. We work tirelessly to understand our customer’s goals and to perfect our spaces through the application of design thinking. The Convene promise is that of a genuine partnership so that we can help you plan and execute a successful meeting that is memorable and measurable.
While Convene may have been born out of the dreams of two young entrepreneurial friends, Chris Kelly and Ryan Simonetti, we believe our current success and national expansion owes much to our team’s ability to model our meeting and conference rooms on innovative frameworks like our Hierarchy for Meeting Needs.