Business meetings 2.0: The new places and ways to connect with clients

As businesses diversify their workforces, the places where they conduct business meetings are also evolving—and some of them may surprise you!

When it comes to entertaining clients, sales executives have traditionally leaned on some tried-and-true formulas. But today’s more diverse—and enlightened—workplaces require something other than a round of golf, box seats for that night’s game, or a steak dinner in an oak-paneled dining room. That’s why corporate event planners are increasingly thinking outside the tee box to find innovative ways to connect with new customers and retain existing ones.
What’s more, creative events can pay dividends without busting the bottom line. For instance, instead of an over-priced meal at an uptight restaurant, how about a six-pound Behemoth Burger delivered laneside as you and your clients compete in an epic bowl-off? That’s one experience offered by Bowlero, the worldwide leader in bowling entertainment with more than 300 locations. The company caters to sales executives aiming to deliver an upscale and memorable experience to their clients.
“We transcend the one-off event label and embrace the idea that we’re the go-to for every kind of corporate [function],” says Colie Edison, the company’s chief customer officer. “From client entertainment to team building to holiday parties, there’s nothing quite like the fun you experience when you’re hosting an event with bowling, arcade games, laser tag, and our amazing menus. We provide the perfect setting for socializing, having fun, and making new memories, whether you’re celebrating the holidays with the entire office or planning a monthly team happy hour.”


Serena Siu Johnston, a digital advertising sales executive for New York City-based software company Telaria, looks beyond cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all client events. Instead, she focuses on what the client wants. “It’s about how you can connect on a personal level and make that relationship work,” Johnston says.
Johnston and her colleagues take clients to spas or spin classes. Johnston has also created one-off experiences for her clients, such as organizing an event with an ice-cream truck or getting a group together for an evening of wine and painting. Recently, she took clients to a boutique cosmetic maker to create custom lipsticks. “I do think creative meetings resonate with clients, particularly if they’re memorable or unusual,” Johnston says.
Putting thought and creativity into client meetings helps to focus on them as individuals, not just as clients. And Johnston says that can make the experience stand out in their minds long after the meeting ends. That’s what she was hoping for with the lipstick event she held. “Every time they use that lipstick they are going to think of our meeting,” Johnston says.