Evolving Trends in Convention Center Design: Embracing Innovation for Enhanced Experiences

Date: 22/12/2023


Convention centers have long been the epicenters of collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and business networking. As the landscape of events and conferences continues to evolve, so does the design of convention centers. Recently, a notable shift towards non-traditional meeting spaces, collaborative environments, and innovative revenue-generating opportunities has emerged, reshaping the way we think about and experience these centers. 

One of the most significant shifts in convention center design is the move away from the traditional, sterile meeting rooms towards more dynamic and unconventional spaces. In our designs, we prioritize flexibility and adaptability to accommodate diverse event formats. We do this through adding more windows for natural light, connectivity into the main concourse, and greater airwall configurations to give meeting planners the flexibility needed.   

Moreover, the integration of outdoor meeting spaces is becoming increasingly common.  Convention centers are incorporating rooftop gardens, terraces, and open-air venues to provide attendees with refreshing alternatives to the enclosed meeting rooms. This not only enhances the overall attendee experience but also aligns with the growing emphasis on wellness and the benefits of natural light and fresh air.  It also adds to the attendee experience by allowing them to experience the city they’re in even if they don’t have the opportunity to venture out. 

Recognizing the value of collaboration in fostering innovation and engagement, convention center designs are now emphasizing collaborative meeting spaces. These areas go beyond traditional breakout rooms, offering interactive zones equipped with the latest technology to facilitate brainstorming sessions, group discussions, and collaborative work. 

Convention centers are not just spaces for hosting events; they are also valuable platforms for sponsors to showcase their products and services. Design trends now focus on creating strategic spaces dedicated to sponsorships and revenue generation. From branded lounges and concessions spaces to venue naming rights, these areas seamlessly integrate sponsors into the event experience.  This ancillary revenue is more important now than ever.  These massive venues serve as the nucleus for attracting city-wide events and are usually the first ones to be asked to cut their costs.  The injection of revenue from these services helps with annual maintenance, keeping centers operating efficiently and looking great.   

As convention centers celebrate their role as catalysts for collaboration and innovation, it’s evident that the design trends are steering towards a more dynamic and experiential future. Non-traditional meeting spaces, collaborative environments, and strategic revenue-generating opportunities are transforming these spaces into multifaceted hubs that not only accommodate the needs of today’s events but also anticipate the evolving demands of tomorrow. Embracing these trends ensures that convention centers remain at the forefront of facilitating meaningful connections and driving positive change in the world of conferences and events.  

Erik Waldman,
CVE | TVS Senior Vice President of Client Services. 

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