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Road Warrior Workspace

ASSOCIATIONS NOW, February 2013 Meetings

By: Samantha Whitehorne

Summary: Hotels are making working remotely easier.

Ever been on the road with your colleagues and something comes up that requires a quick meeting? Good news: Hotels are making it easier by introducing smaller, tech-driven meeting rooms.

Take the Westin Hive. After conducting in-depth guest research and monitoring business-traveler trends, Westin is starting to turn its business centers into highly functional, fully equipped workspaces. Modeled to support today's mobile traveler, the interconnected workspace, which measures no more than 260 square feet, features video conferencing, wired and wireless connectivity, collaboration areas, floor-to-ceiling whiteboards, and fully stocked office supplies.

"While a hotel room or lobby is a place where you can do work, this workspace was specifically designed as a smart room that promotes productivity and reflects today's social and work trends," says Brian Povinelli, global brand leader for Westin Hotels.

And Westin isn't the only large hotel chain adapting to changing work trends. Marriott introduced Workspring at Marriott last September. The space consists of five studios of varying sizes to accommodate meetings from three to 75 attendees, as well as several common areas.

Workspring's pricing structure includes the meeting space, technology, wireless access, office supplies, and food and beverage.

"We are seizing the opportunity to offer the new generation of travelers a small meetings environment built to suit their collaborative work style," says Paul Cahill, senior vice president of brand management for Marriott Hotels and Resorts.

Samantha Whitehorne is deputy editor at Associations Now in Washington, DC. Email:swhitehorne@asaecenter.org

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