As 2015 draws to a close, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants' New York properties are looking ahead at 2016: On behalf of the hotels -- Eventi (pictured), Ink48, 70 Park Avenue, and The Muse -- Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants City Director of Catering Dino Bavaro has released his predictions for the top five meeting trends of next year.
1. Virtual Reality
Said Bavaro: "As we look ahead to 2016, our in-house Technology Concierge Team at Eventi Hotel is researching the newest tech products that could be implemented at each of the four Kimpton Hotels in New York City. At the moment, we are exploring how new applications and concepts like virtual reality headsets and 3D printers could be used effectively throughout our meeting spaces and hotel suites. That includes searching for useful ways to enhance meetings by connecting the outdoor Big Screen at Eventi to a virtual reality helmet."
2. Locally-Based Breakout Sessions
Said Bavaro: "The Kimpton Hotels of New York City are leading this trend by looking to local companies and shops for partnership. Ink48 recently launched a partnership with local artist Amon Focus to curate a display of NYC-themed photographs and art pieces for the hotel. This partnership evolved into a locally-inspired breakout session for meetings."
Local to Hell's Kitchen, Focus will curate a special tour of his neighborhood to discover local hot spots and hidden gems, with tips on taking the most Instagram-worthy images.
3. Customizable Meeting Spaces
Said Bavaro: "Meeting spaces are no longer a standard conference room with a podium and dry-erase board. Next year will bring more requests for customizable spaces and packages to make meetings more collaborate and reflective of the group's business and culture. Kimpton Hotels of New York City provide ample space throughout our four properties that act as blank slates for customization by groups and meetings."
4. Locally Grown Produce
Said Bavaro: "The biggest trend for the food and beverage industry in 2016 will be one that has already been gaining great momentum: locally-grown and sourced produce. Rooftop gardens have been opening all over the city that cater to nearby restaurants and farmer's markets. This trend will be reflected in the catering menus chosen by meetings and events groups at most venues across New York City."
5. Multiple Venues
Said Bavaro: "New York City offers a wide range of locations for meetings and events. In 2016, planners will take advantage of these robust options and encourage booking more than one venue per group, which could mean accommodations at one hotel, a cocktail reception at another, and a group meeting at a third. We've consolidated our sales/operations efforts to make this type of 'movable meeting' a seamless process."
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