Team meetings, strategy sessions, and seminars – a familiar procession of events that all too often fail to engage or inspire… but why? Generally speaking, this is because they are planned without any thought to the setting in which they will take place. Our physical environment is seen as just about delivering comfort, whereas, in fact, it can underpin the success of any human gathering.
Studies show that between 60% and 88% of employees lack passion for their work and 26% are complainers who are toxic to the mood within the company. Any get-together must be organized with a view to motivating staff as well as conveying information. That is where the importance of the environment comes in, as this can be harnessed to create a positive, memorable experience of coming together; think of it as a seasoning that gives meaning to an occasion and engages employees to help build the future for their business.
“The location of a meeting needs to serve as a change of scene,” explains Dolores Lionetti, Event Director at Capgemini University, who regularly works with a team of set designers and decorators to design and personalize the venue for training programs lasting from one day to one week. “You have to immerse employees in a different ambiance if you expect them to change.” That is the reason why very specific sets are chosen for many of the seminars at the Les Fontaines campus. They are managed like a theatre set: the decor, furniture, sounds, visuals and more are all used to create a fresh ambiance that is different each time, triggering new ideas and incentives. “Decor is not trivial; it is a subtle way of signaling the expectations and objectives of an event.”
As such, the environment in which meetings and seminars are held is not just about a beautiful venue, plush settings or comfortable seats; it is above all a comment on the reality that is being created and on setting the stage for the values that you wish to convey or construct. Everything is geared towards the event: the design of the furniture, the content on the internal TV channel, the posters, the graphics of the wall stripes that echo the messages shared in plenary sessions, right down to the musical playlist accompanying breaks.
As such, the Capgemini Campus Les Fontaines regularly gives itself a makeover for a seminar, in order to create a narrative and to immerse the employees in an “elsewhere” that acts like a mirror or like the near future that one wants to achieve, translating here at the Capgemini Campus into the transition from “now” to “next”.