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Published on : Sunday, November 17, 2013
Pullman reinvents meetings with the “Business Playground” room created by designer Mathieu Lehanneur. This room reflects the brand’s “Work hard, Play hard” motto as well as its guests’ lifestyle. It combines performance and pleasure with a fresh take on the traditional aspects of a meeting: a meeting table designed like a poker table, a private area for informal conversations or breaks, and a cabinet of curiosities. All these features are designed to stimulate creativity and reinvent international hospitality codes. The Pullman London St Pancras will premier the “Business Playground” room from November 2013, before it is gradually rolled out across the network starting in 2014.
“Blurring” as a source of inspiration for meetings The Pullman Hotels & Resorts cater for the new lifestyles and expectations of the brand’s clientele of cosmopolitan, mobile, hyper-connected travelers. These accomplished professionals, who travel for business or with their clans on holiday, are curious about the world around them. The “blurring” of private and professional life is part and parcel of their daily routine. As a result, whether they are travelling for business or for pleasure, they want to be able to work and live intensely during their stays.
Pullman is an event organization expert, with over 30,000 events organized in its hotels. It aims to offer a unique meeting experience and remove the increasingly artificial barrier between work and relaxation. To do so, it invited designer Mathieu Lehanneur to create a new approach to workspaces and design a boardroom that reflects its “Work hard, play hard” motto.
Xavier Louyot, SVP Pullman Global Marketing explains, “Our business guests travel a lot. Hotel guestrooms and meeting rooms are part of their daily routine. Quality of service and efficient facilities are intrinsic to all upscale international hotels. So, it’s the experience that makes the difference. It takes inspiration for big ideas to make the leap forward. With “Business Playground” we aim to create unforgettable meetings for our guests, so that their
gatherings in our establishments in London, Paris, or elsewhere are unlike any others.”
The “Business Playground” room is a far cry from very formal conventional meeting rooms and disrupts the codes of business with style by focusing on defining elements and unique furniture create specially for Pullman:
The table is a key element in a small gathering like a board meeting. In the “Business Playground” room, the central table is given an additional dimension. Mathieu Lehanneur has reinterpreted it as a poker table which notably features a leather edge. This table is
designed to make people want to participate in the meeting, just as they would want to engage in a game, they want to take part, be a player and stay constantly focused.
With this table made of fiberglass, beige leather and Corian®, the meeting becomes a pleasurable experience, a game. This table is a symbol of the business meeting, but it includes ingenious features inspired by the world of games. It invites participants to lean into it and rest their elbows and hands on it.
“There are two ways to sit at a meeting table: leaning against the backrest of the chair, or leaning forward on your forearms. The difference between the two is not without meaning. It says a lot about our relation to others and about what’s happening in the meeting. By bringing comfort and a certain suppleness to the table itself, I wanted to instill in each person the desire to participate and be at the heart of the debate, to go from passive to active, from spectator to participant…. Through a simple shift from casino to meeting room, the Pullman Poker Table gives meetings a new dynamic and reconciles the concepts of work and play!” explains Mathieu Lehanneur.
So that technology is easily accessible, but remains discrete, all the connectivity options required for the meeting are incorporated in the Pullman “Poker Table”. Meeting supplies (notepads, pens, etc.) are presented in elegant Pullman “Tool Boxes” designed specifically for this boardroom.
During a meeting day, it is important to have relaxing moments and less formal exchanges between the intensive work sessions. To allow participants to escape or opt for a different meeting setting, a dedicated bubble-like space has been created. The Pullman “Canopy Break”, allows participants to relax comfortably and take an organic break or have an informal conversation.
Mathieu Lehanneur explains: “Between two meetings, the Pullman “Canopy Break” provides an escape route that is both organic and digital. Designed to offer a pause but also as an informal extension of the meeting, the Pullman “Canopy Break” is somewhere else, outside, under the trees.”
The design and architecture of this avant-garde meeting room aim to provide inspiration through the combination of work and pleasure. The world of travel and the cosmopolitanism that are part of Pullman’s identity are reflected in the “Business Playground” room’s cabinet of curiosities. These contemporary Pullman “Curiosity Boxes” display unusual objects and books that trigger ideas and transport guests to unexpected places.
For Mathieu Lehanneur, “being curious is the surest way to stay inspired! To stimulate this curiosity, light-filled boxes punctuate the meeting space and showcase books and other objects. Inspired by the living spaces of scientists, aesthetes or collectors, Pullman Curiosity Boxes are windows that open on other worlds, other preoccupations and other solutions…”
As well as iconic designer objects, “Business Playground” offers a new experience through a dedicated offer. It comprises the best of the Connectivity by Pullman concept, notably free broadband Wi-Fi, as well as other state-of-the-art technologies. Guests can control the sound and visual environment as well as the lighting from an iPad. They can also project their documents onto a 75 inch plasma screen.
A dedicated food and beverage offer has also been created to foster interaction, fluidity and wellbeing amongst the participants. Throughout the day, they can enjoy the water bar, fresh fruit, a selection of teas from around the world, and Nespresso® coffee machines.
Pullman: over 80 must-visit meeting addresses
The “Business Playground” room is specially designed for small meetings and once again demonstrates the brand’s ability to innovate as well as its expertise in business event organization. This boardroom is one of many meeting options offered by Pullman.
With the Co-Meeting concept, Pullman provides more than just a product. It offers high-level teams, spaces and technologies to ensure the success of all private and business events. This concept offers an innovative approach to organizing meetings, conventions and incentive events, with:
The Co-Meeting offer is anchored in its high-quality and committed front-line teams. The Event Manager is the organizer’s one-stop contact at every stage of the event’s preparation and execution. The IT Solutions Manager is a technology expert available throughout the event.
The meeting rooms are fitted with state-of-the-art equipment for all audio/video connection requirements. Free Wi-Fiand landline high speed Internet connection is available, as it is throughout the hotel, and includes a powerful plugand play solution for the simultaneous use of several devices without different bandwidths. High-tech audio andvideo equipment guarantee exceptional events: panoramic screens, multilingual keyboards, multi-socket panels,state-of-the-art multilingual content software for efficiency and data confidentiality and security. Participants alsohave access to the Connectivity Lounge, developed in partnership with Microsoft®. This high-tech area lets themconnect, print and work using latest-generation computers and software.
Meetings and conferences are punctuated by “innovative” breaks to give participants a relaxing time out with a fresh and original spin. The breaks last 30 minutes to an hour and a half and themes vary from one hotel to another. Depending on the location and the type of meeting, break themes range from sport and food, to culture and games and include initiations in molecular cuisine, yoga and Tai Chi classes, etc.
Food and beverage offerings for meetings and conferences are tailored to the event and the context. From a light lunch to a gala dinner, any type of meal is available, and the food is always delicious.