Author: Amy Zipkin
Before the lights dimmed at a summer showing of “Wonder Woman” in Bridgeport, Conn., an advertisement flashed on the screen for the movie theater itself — as a venue for meetings, events and small conferences.
Many movie theaters have come a long way from the days of sticky floors and uncomfortable seats. They now provide stadium seating or reclining seats with improved visibility; more extensive food and drink offerings, including, in some cases, beer and wine; and the same technology that is used for 3-D blockbusters or the Metropolitan Opera in HD.
And then, there’s the lower cost.
“For meeting professionals, there is a balance between the meeting experience and the investment required to hold the meeting,” said Issa Jouaneh, senior vice president and general manager of American Express Meetings and Events, a joint venture part-owned by American Express. He said there was increasing interest in low-cost alternatives.
In June, the International Association of Conference Centers, with offices in Southam, England, Chicago and Melbourne, Australia, released a report, “Predicting the Future of Meetings,” that found a greater interest in the adoption of new technology and a preference for novelty and shorter meeting sessions. The 2017 global forecast issued by American Express Meetings and Events reached similar conclusions.
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