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The Cascades Atrium inside Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. The property is known for making extensive use of natural elements throughout its indoor gathering and dining spaces.

In Event Spaces, Use Nature to Nurture

A new report from IMEX Group details how natural elements can relax attendees while heightening their senses, resulting in a more impactful meeting experience.

Released on Earth Day, April 28, the Nature of Space report is the latest installment from IMEX Group’s #natureworks research series that looks at how nature intersects with meetings and events. Complementing IMEX Group’s earlier research on sustainable events, titled The Regenerative Revolution, this new report provides specific nature-based measures that event planners can use to relax attendees and heighten their senses. The result: better learning and interaction throughout an event.

Written by Janet Sperstad, CMP, director of the meeting and event management program for Madison College in Wisconsin, and Amanda Cecil, CMP, director of the tourism, events, and sports management graduate program at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Nature of Space addresses not only how to use outdoor gathering spaces to bring attendees the benefits of nature. It also instructs on how to bring natural elements indoors so that attendees have longer exposure to beneficial stimuli.

Tips and tactics in the report touch on event elements such as décor, lighting, sounds, and scents that can enhance the experience as attendees are learning, interacting, or simply moving through a space. One interesting takeaway from the report: Creating effective nature-oriented indoor environments does not even require the use of live greenery when scents and sounds accompany décor and lighting that mimic nature.

The report also includes interviews with experts from the WELL Building Institute who assist event venues and hotels in creating indoor environments that promote human well-being and performance.

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