New Business Trends Inspire Major Remodel at The Homestead
May 9, 2017
New meeting rooms at the resort’s Welcome Center offer today’s business planners exactly what they’re looking for—a scenically spectacular, recreation-rich destination with all the latest in technology, comfort and convenience you’d expect to find in larger venues.
GLEN ARBOR, MI – Hate going to business meetings? Maybe you’re doing it wrong. According to market research, smaller “experiential” meeting venues are the new in-thing in business circles. The Homestead has seen growing demand from these new “group guests,” says Jamie Jewell, and it’s this trend that led to major changes in the resort’s meeting room technology and furnishings.
“It’s a growing area of business here at The Homestead. Major companies used to think nothing of spending millions on lavish business trips, for corporate retreats and strategic planning sessions. But today it’s the experience both in and out of the boardroom that’s important to business event planners. It means finding a beautiful, recreational-rich destination that won’t break the bank and is still unique enough to get meeting-goers excited about leaving home on a business retreat.”
Meeting Mobile Demands
Located in the heart of the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore—“America’s Most Beautiful Place”—The Homestead is also the only four-season, coastal resort in Northwest Lower Michigan that’s actually located on the shores of Lake Michigan. As Midwest recreation destinations go, it doesn’t get better.
“Smaller is better,” says Jewell. “But here’s where it gets interesting: When business event planners choose a venue to host their next strategic planning session or corporate retreat, they still demand meeting rooms with the latest tech tools and cyber security. Business leaders—and especially their Millennial-age staff—want LED screens, intuitive computer connections and modern, comfortable furnishings that can be moved around and customized anyway the group wants.”
For the ambitious remodel that began last fall, The Homestead contracted Grand Rapids-based Custer, Inc.—a creative, full-service technology and office furnishing firm recognized by Inc. magazine in 2015 as one of America’s “5000 Fastest Growing Companies.” There are four new meeting rooms in all—each with a “bay” motif that highlights The Homestead’s beautiful natural setting and Great Lake’s maritime history.
“The Homestead is unique in the small meetings market because of our location,” says Jewell. “We decided to capitalize on that by decorating each room with artwork depicting specific areas in the region: Suttons Bay, Good Harbor Bay, Platte Bay and Sleeping Bear Bay. Each room is modern but not too formal. Each has museum quality plaques that explain the location and will be featured on a map so that when group guests have some free time—or extend their stay/return with family—they have a list of places to go visit and experience.”
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