The Flipped Convention.

Multi-Modal Venue

Generation Y, otherwise known as millennials, now comprises about 42% of convention delegates. They’re seeking an interactive conference experience, born of their educational experience, grasp of technology, and social media. This changing expectation in interactive participatory processes is driving new interactive learning and technology, creating a desire to focus on one-to-one or small group-to-small group interaction. They actively seek out opportunities for human interaction and collaboration that supports critical thinking, innovation, and complex problem solving.

In this era, the single-use public building is dead. Designed to maximize experience and choice, the multi-experience venue is the new typology. In this multi-modal venue, the convention centre can morph into a venue for rallies, retail, social gatherings, art installations, theatre, concerts, labs, education, and workplace. Hybrid meeting spaces integrate technology to multiple uses the virtual delegate. Plenary and flat-floor spaces can be adapted for concerts and other entertainment.

Convention centres have an opportunity to leverage their space to bring new value and revenue to cities. Concerts are just one example. Technology has changed the economics of entertainment. Performers now make most of their money performing but many cities don’t have the venues to support a stop on major tours. The old large venue model is often too expensive for second tier performers or those who prefer a boutique experience over the mega concert. Convention centres can fill in that gap, bringing new energy to the urban experience and new opportunities to partner with local groups looking to do the same. 

Breaking with Convention: New Open Space Typologies

  • Designed for flexibility in repurposing space and rebranding. The open space event blurs with market festival typologies, enabling a design that can be adapted to host rallies, retail, social gatherings, art installations, theatre, concerts, labs, education, and workspace. 
  • Greater cost efficiencies through a lean venue model that can be adapted to a range of venue sizes.
  • Hybrid meeting spaces integrate technology to provide multiple uses and accommodate virtual delegates. 
  • Green rooms serve as swing space, enabling quick re-sizing from 320 to 3,500 seats. Pre-function spaces can double as large gallery spaces. New typologies including incubator and interactive spaces that act as a platform for people to share and generate ideas in a participatory learning experience.

Adelaide Convention Centre

The design incorporates the region’s geological forms and colours, and enables ACC to operate as a single facility or as three stand-alone venues. Flexibility is achieved through a mobile, cantilevered seating system that can be adapted to multiple plenary configurations, from 320 to 3500 seats. The 10 different modes include two 320-seat rotating theatres that can be easily incorporated into the larger spaces. Retractable walls and swing spaces enable users to scale up or down.  One day, it’s used to host a plenary session; the next, it’s broken into workshops for different groups before being reconfigured as a reception area. A multi-use banquet space that can also scale up and down into seven different modes. The blurring of function and pre-function space enables organizers to differentiate the feel and atmosphere of each setting, from classroom mode to a neighbourhood café or nightclub. 


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