An example of a casual but tech-friendly seminar space at CEMA 2018

Seminar Planning: How Event Technology Created Incredible Spaces at CEMA 2018

Held over three exciting days in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, CORT Events assisted in inspiring, designing, and executing the Corporate Event Marketing Association (CEMA) annual conference, CEMA Summit 2018. The conference, held by an industry organization filled with more than 800 active senior-level event marketers and industry professionals, presented an opportunity to the CORT Events team.

CEMA professionals have not only attended many conferences and networking events but oftentimes are the ones running the show. They’re also a set of professionals who are versatile, flexible and never desk-bound. They’re always on the go and on their phones, which means creating a connected space that encouraged tech-enabled work was essential for success. Here’s how they were able to leverage Social Tables event technology to create smart, stylized spaces for attendees to enjoy — no matter their work style.

CORT leverages Social Tables to design the perfect space and simplify seminar planning.

Instead of looking at just one format for the event, CORT Events tailored the event design to multiple work preferences. Using Social Tables’ Event Services Solution, the team organized and elegantly arranged three distinct listening spaces where attendees could work the way they wanted. While creating multiple, distinct spaces inside a larger space can be a tall task, CORT used the diagramming technology to map out the seminar area to-scale, implementing 2018’s hottest design trends, proving the viability of the design before the event, and adding to overall engagement throughout the weekend. 

“CORT uses Social Tables technology to plan every event. The platform allows us to design and redesign our event virtually, so we can work with our clients to maximize their event space and highlight their brand — creating custom, unique events that perfectly execute the client’s vision.” -CORT Events

Three distinct work spaces made the CEMA seminar space feel new and engaging.

Space #1: Connected and Casual

An example of a casual but tech-friendly seminar space at CEMA 2018

This space suited professionals who have their phone, laptop and smart watch keeping them on task and on time. They want to be comfortable and they need to charge their devices. Connected and Casual, situated at the very front of the seminar space, offered powered soft seating, including the Tech Tablet chair, as well as sofas and love seats for relaxed connection and listening space. CORT Events catered to this audience with branded swivel tablets, charging stations and an up-close view that was perfect for Instagram photos.

Space #2: Styled and Structured

An example of a styled and structured seminar space at CEMA 2018

This section was full of classic notetakers who have their schedule on their phones and stay connected through email all day, but still appreciate an old-fashioned pen to paper process. The Styled and Structured space, situated in the middle of the room, offered more standard meeting space for those who like to work the old-fashioned way. CORT Events made them feel comfortable with beautiful wood accent tables to lean on and classic chairs for their comfort.

Space #3: Collaborative Contemporary

An example of a contemporary and collaborative space designed during seminar planning

You can find the attendees who prefer this space working at home, in a coffee shop, in a shared space, or on the road. They’re flexible and appreciate the freedom to work at their own pace on a long list of projects. Collaborative Contemporary, mimicking the feel of a coffee bar, offered a space where attendees could claim a seat, but share a large, powered table and collaborate for breakout sessions. CORT Events set them up for success by creating a studio feel in the back where shared tables allowed for effortless collaboration.

“CORT has been a long-time partner with CEMA for our annual conference CEMA Summit. CORT understands its audiences and customizes each design to capture the essence of the conference and inspire attendees. They constantly bring new ideas to the General Session room, with innovative layouts and leading-edge seating that gives our attendees an ‘aha!’ moment.” -Kimberly Gishler, CEO, CEMA

The takeaway for planners and suppliers?

Whether for seminar planning or any other type of professional event, it’s important to make your spaces feel fresh, while providing an environment that will wow your audience and cater to the overall event objective and corresponding event concepts. When planning your next large event, consider how can you segment your audience to create experiences that will suit every attendee. CORT’s elegant furnishings, paired with Social Tables 3D diagramming software, created a tech-forward event designed to feel connected and comfortable for everyone.

Published October 1, 2018

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Kevin Dana

Drawing expertise from more than 20 years in trade show and events, Kevin Dana, executive director of marketing and product development at CORT Events, is responsible for national marketing strategy across all channels and developed CORT’s proprietary event furniture brands. To learn more about CORT’s exhibit and event rental collections or its Social Tables integration, visit www.cortevents.com.