Activate the senses through infusion with the natural world.

Event planners often schedule meetings and events in natural places near wilderness areas, at waterfront resorts, and at mountain event spaces. But there are many ways to bring nature into your events by making use of the architectural concept of biophilic design, which can be defined as seeking to engage most people’s innate desires to affiliate with nature in the modern built environment. If you think of yourself as an “event architect,” you can use nature to stimulate the senses.

SIGHT You can bring nature indoors anywhere by incorporating green walls, water, herbal centerpieces, and natural, textured materials like wood and stone. New York City-based florist Julia Testa instills natural elements like flowers, oranges, and succulents into branding events and product launches—imbuing creativity and cheerfulness in attendees.

SOUND Amplifying natural sounds of a flowing stream, breaking waves, or fluttering bird song into your event can be relaxing. All you need are some strategically placed Bluetooth speakers and a free app like myNoise, which has numerous natural white noise options, including walking in the woods, the Irish coast, and distant thunder.

SMELL Try infusing your event space with essential oils, such as lemon, which stimulates energy and improves mood, and peppermint, which supports memory and concentration. The Canadian Corporate Meetings Network, which serves corporate meeting planners, uses “scent branding” to positively influence event goers. —Todd R. Berger

SCS Global Services (SCS), a third-party environmental and sustainability certification, auditing, testing, and standards development, has launched its Zero Waste Standard, “Zero Waste for Events.”

 

The Events Industry Council’s Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) program, established in 1985, is recognized around the world as a badge of excellence in the events industry. JodieAnn Cady, an independent event project manager based in Mason, is among the professionals in the inaugural class of CMP Fellows, a program launched last year.

 

Located in Onekama and built in 1900 as the summer residence of lumber baron and Manistee Mayor Charles Canfield, Canfield House was purchased, completely renovated, and reopened as a year-round bed-and-breakfast in 2021. Featuring 200 feet of Portage Lake frontage, the property now offers a lakeside fire ring and new dock for kayaks and stand-up paddleboards. The six-room house can be rented for small retreats and groups up to 125 accommodated for meetings and receptions.