August 16, 2010 – In a bid to inject some creativity into traditional and often mundane business meetings, Crowne Plaza is laying fresh green grass in conference rooms at a number of its hotels across the UK and Ireland. The new rooms, filled with living grass, aim to stimulate creative thinking among business guests by helping them step away from a traditional office environment into an unconventional space.
According to research from InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), which owns a stable of brands including Crowne Plaza, forty per cent of professionals lose focus within the first 20 minutes of a meeting, often as a result of their uninspiring surroundings.
Angela Whitlock, author of Walk on the Grass and professional speaker, said: "Research has shown that by the age of 25, as much as 98% of our creativity has vanished. Crowne Plaza's initiative is perfect because it breaks down the self-imposed rules that prevent us from achieving our full potential. The look and feel of the grass is said to remind guests of their childhood and therefore free them of societal barriers that restrict creativity. Everybody should kick off their shoes once in a while and walk barefoot on the grass to rekindle the creativity that was allowed to flow freely in childhood before too many rules got in the way."
The grass-filled meeting rooms are being trialled at Crowne Plaza London Docklands, Crowne Plaza Glasgow and Crowne Plaza Dublin Northwood. They are available from today (Monday 16 August) for one week (until Friday 20 August).
Eleanor Conroy from Crowne Plaza said: "Meetings should be productive and enjoyable but we all know from experience that some meetings can be less than inspiring. The fresh grass turfed meeting rooms are one of the things we're doing at Crowne Plaza to help our guests get the most out of their business trips. Earlier this year, we introduced the SleepAdvantage programme with quiet zones, aromatherapy oils and special sleep podcasts from sleep specialist Dr Chris Idzikowski to help our guests wake up ready to perform."