When designing experiential elements for micro-events, looks matter. By choosing a visually distinct venue, planners can enhance their micro-event content, theme, and overall experience.
Most event professionals have heard of micro-events, and some have even hosted a few. Because of their smaller size, with between 10 to 100 participants, these events emphasize hyper-focused experience design that facilitates connection while enhancing the content and overarching event theme.
While experience design has many facets, factoring in visual components is a top priority. For example, event planners must consider how they can use visual cues to invoke an emotional response or enhance the event narrative. How is that done? Using color? Textures? Lines and shapes? Visual content? A unique setting?
One way to incorporate all of the above and more into a micro-event’s experience design is by choosing a visually distinct venue adapted to host smaller gatherings. Here, we take a snapshot of four micro-event spaces that fit these criteria, demonstrating what visuals can do for a micro-event.
Snapshot: Visually Distinct Micro-Event Venues
People are visual creatures. Studies show that, in general, people remember up to 80 percent of what they see, which is no wonder because a large portion of the brain is hard-wired for visual processing — almost 50 percent. And while we make use of other senses to engage with and make sense of the world, 90 percent of that communication happens visually.
At times, the assumption is that delivering visually-effective experience design requires using large-scale conference centers or venues, which is not always the case. Because of our dominant optical component, creating visually-stimulating micro-event spaces is relatively easy to achieve if planners utilize an event venue that is already distinct and unique in its visual make-up and geared to host smaller gatherings.
While many settings exist around the world that are breathtaking to behold, we explore four that are easily adapted to suit event themes: Each provides stimulating visual experiences that planners can incorporate into the experience design of micro-events with intentionality.
Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal
Photo Credits: Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal
For planners looking to incorporate unparalleled oceanic scenery into their micro-event, Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal ticks all the boxes. Set against the backdrop of rugged mountains and the Pacific Ocean, the hotel allows attendees to enter through Mexico’s only private tunnel leading onto unobstructed sea views. This shoreline scenery is coupled with an architectural design that seemingly blends in with the natural environment.
From a visual experience design perspective, the venue speaks to “taking a break from the rush of the outside world,” allowing attendees to go at their own pace and enjoy the setting for what it is — a breathtaking space that is culturally rich and immersive.
While Waldorf Astoria Los Cabos Pedregal is not strictly a micro-event venue, the hotel does, however, offer a variety of spectacular venues for micro-events such as:
- Rooftop, an intimate space overlooking the ocean
- La Palapa, a thatched palm roof pergola with direct access to a private beach
- A culinary experience in the Presidential Suite
And for planners wanting to stick with a more traditional setting, micro-event meeting rooms are also available, alongside packages for board meetings and incentive travel.
The Blue Train
On this railroad journey, attendees see South Africa from a different perspective. Launched in 1946, distinct in its setting and experience, The Blue Train is a truly unique South African space to host a micro-event.
The Blue Train has a fully equipped conference car accommodating 22 attendees or combining with other observation car features and amenities. Currently, the train travels two routes, each offering its own luxury visual experience of the country:
Pretoria to Cape Town
A 1,600 kilometer (994 mile) passage from the South African capital to Cape Town, approximately 31-hours in length. With this route, attendees experience some of the most beautiful and diverse African scenery with stop-overs in historically significant places, like the Lord Milner Hotel.
Pretoria to Kruger National Park
A 19-hour one-way train ride, this route offers attendees the opportunity to travel to one of the most well-known game parks globally, Kruger National Park. Planners can also include a “rail safari” package for attendees on their trip, including accommodation at safari lodges — another layer to add to visual experience design.
Châteauform’, Château de Guermantes
Photo Credits: Châteauform, Château de Guermantes
Châteauform’ is a group of over 60 venues around Europe specializing in smaller meetings and events. However, this isn’t your usual collection of conference venues.
The conceptual foundation of Châteauform’ is to be a “home away from” with each venue run by “host couples.” Individual settings are visually and historically unique, offering fun and engaging activities with all-inclusive packages, including beverages and homemade meals crafted from local, seasonal produce. This atmosphere, combined with beautiful settings, creates the perfect environment to foster connection and deliver memorable experiences. Further, venues are equipped to support small hybrid events.
One venue that stands out in the group’s collection is Château de Guermantes, located 30 minutes from Paris in the French countryside. This spectacular space carries 17th-century charm, following a similar interior look and feel to the Palace of Versailles. Château de Guermantes provides a rich and timeless visual experience, transporting micro-event attendees back in time.
The venue’s capacity for individual micro-events is up to 80 attendees, with 66 onsite rooms and gardens designed by the famous landscape architect Le Nôtre, further adding to the visual appeal of the venue.
When one thinks of hosting an event in Singapore, the first images that may come to mind are high-rise buildings and rooftop gatherings. However, the Royal Albatross offers a visual experience of a different kind.
The Royal Albatross is a luxury yacht that resembles an old-world sailing ship and has numerous spaces to host a micro-event: the upper art deck, the grand salon, and the upper foredeck. Micro-events attendees can board at Adventure Cove Waterpark, Resorts World, Sentosa, setting sail and partaking in numerous onboard activities such as mast climbing, guided tours, and a “take the helm” experience while enjoying impressive views of the Singapore skyline.
Asia’s only tall ship caters for up to 50 micro-event attendees, providing different packages to suit budgetary needs, inclusive of 5-star meals from the onboard restaurant, audio-visual equipment, and other amenities.
Enhanced experience design is a vital element to consider when planning a micro-event. By choosing a venue that visually tells a story, evokes an emotional response in attendees, and drives engagement, event planners can enhance the overall experience and facilitate more authentic connections.