The last two decades have seen an exponential amount of innovation and technological advancement from the invention of a portable music device capable of holding thousands of songs and fitting in the palm of your hand to the invention of ASIMO, the world’s most advanced humanoid robot. The general formula for these success stories is: increased innovation/creativity → increased productivity.
Three ways to increase creativity are to create a work environment conducive to more creative thinking, hire more creative employees, and find ways to build up the creative abilities of the employees you have. Sounds simple enough, right? Then why do companies still get stuck in the same ineffective uncreative cycles? What’s missing from the formula: ? → increased innovation/creativity → productivity? Laughter!
Imagine a company facing some PR nightmare and calling in its head executives and creative team to problem solve and diffuse this potentially catastrophic situation. The tension in the room is palpable, the pressure is high and expectations for your team to perform well are even higher. Several employees have light bulbs go off in their heads, but are too nervous to share for fear of sharing a bad, stupid or unhelpful idea. Now imagine someone blurts out the most ridiculous hilarious sounding idea causing the boardroom to burst into giggles. The tension and pressure in the room suddenly drops and all those withheld ideas that could promote innovation and creativity are released and a true brainstorming session can ensue.
Humor allows one to emotionally distance themselves from the problem so the stress of finding a solution does not hinder creativity. Thinking outside of the box is also made possible by humor because finding the humor in something means making a new or unexpected connection between two things. A punch line is called a punch line because it unexpectedly hits you with a connection between a chicken and why they crossed the road that you didn’t see before. Besides making the workplace a more enjoyable environment, laughter can increase creativity and innovation and give your company the competitive edge it so desires.
SoHoSoleil hosts clients from all over the world and, while they spend a majority of their time in meetings, clients leave at the end of the day to retire to their hotels. Luckily, SoHoSoleil is surrounded by trendy SoHo venues, making your commute from SoHoSoleil to the hotel so easy that you won’t even need to break out the Google Maps app.
One of our clients’ favorite locations is the Hotel on Rivington. The sleek and modern hotel is renowned for its Tempur-Pedic beds and floor to ceiling views. One of SoHoSoleil’s returning clients, Ian from the Truth Campaign, was a huge fan of his stay at the hotel. He says that, “The room was surprisingly spacious… huge bed, huge shower, huge room. I’ve stayed in numerous NYC boutique hotels, and the Hotel on Rivington provided a comforting and creative use of space… I felt more at home. Plus the complimentary water, cookies, and popcorn were DOPE!” The hotel’s restaurant, CO-OP Food and Drink, offers locally sourced food and fresh sushi, securing its place as one of the most popular Lower East Side restaurants. Added bonus: on Fridays and Saturdays, the hotel’s bar turns into an all-out party with two DJs and three rooms dedicated to making memorable weekends in New York City.
We highly recommend the Hotel on Rivington for an outstanding stay in New York City that compliments the creative and unique atmosphere of the meeting spaces at SoHoSoleil. Shoot Cristina an email at email@example.com for a great rate!
Four years ago, I began my internship at SoHoSoleil as a bright eyed, bushytailed newbie to most things South of Houston. As a native New Yorker, born and raised on the Upper West Side, I was hardly a stranger to the vast density of one of the world’s greatest cities, but would soon find myself amazed and captivated with all that SoHo had to offer— from world renowned art, to some of the best food in the city, to some of the most beautiful work environments around. Of course, SoHoSoleil manages to expertly combine all three, concocting a seamless recipe for working creatively in a peaceful, inspirational environment away from the office grind.
Throughout my four-year relationship with SoHoSoleil, I have witnessed firsthand a phenomenon of evolution, namely—the transformation of this flourishing habitat so many artists and creatives call home.
In the late 1970s, the area South of Houston was gritty and far less polished than the chic artistic neighborhood it is today. This is of course a welcomed consequence of the influx of artists searching for a new and fresh environment to call their artistic home. A component of the area that caused many artists to take interest was the architecture, which provides openly sculpted lofts with large bright windows with stimulating views of the city. SoHo became a bustling community for artists of all kinds, turning the less than sophisticated neighborhood it once was into an elegantly cultured ocean of people bubbling with inspiration.
The creative atmosphere of SoHo makes for the perfect environment to hold creative gatherings outside of the usual office setting. The multi-dimensional neighborhood is a true asset for clients attending meetings at SoHoSoleil, and never ceases to inspire, whether it is for pleasure or for work.
Though the metamorphosis of SoHo has been evolving for more than four decades, each time I return to this sweet neighborhood I am greeted with at least one new façade, from Ladurée, a retail bakery, café, and full service restaurant, to the 3,500 square foot Greene Street flagship store of designer Etienne Aigner.
As the old adage goes, New York is the city that never sleeps, and SoHo is an exceptional example of how true that is. While it seems like new storefronts and restaurants will continue popping up, it is comforting to know that many famous landmarks and old favorites, like the historic building housing SoHoSoleil, remain standing to welcome me with open, and stylish, arms whenever I find myself South of Houston.
Cognitive psychologist Robert J. Sternberg generally defined creativity as “the process of producing something that is both original and worthwhile.” Boosting creativity is one of the main motivations behind the desire for companies and focus groups to escape the familiar office setting and stretch their mental legs, so to speak. A fresh environment allows for new inspiration to be found and for creativity to flow freely, without being stifled by the often suffocating everyday routine. Creativity is about finding innovative ways to problem solve and discover new approaches to everyday situations. To help boost your creativity, here are some useful tips for opening your mind, based on knowledge from the top psychologists of today.
1. Commit Devote yourself to developing your creative skills. Set goals and consider them seriously, no matter how out-there they may be. Creativity is all about potential and possibility.
2. Surround yourself with creative people Whether you’re a group working on the same project, or a group all working individually, it is important to surround yourself with people who will inspire you and encourage your creative freedom. Debbie Downers and idea-stiflers are not welcome!
3. Reward yourself It is a grave misconception that creativity and curiosity are indulgences akin to daydreaming. Having bold ideas is never a bad thing! Rather than reprimanding yourself, reward yourself for your curious notions and let yourself explore new topics and thoughts freely. There is no harm in dreaming big!
4. Take risks If you’re going to think inside the box, you might as well stay in the confines of your cubicle. Let your ideas be as limitless as the views from SoHoSoleil’s floor to ceiling windows. Though the dreams you have may not come true or be award-winning ideas, you will be building a skill that will serve you very well in the future. Fight your fear of failure!
5. Make the time and use it wisely It will be difficult to develop your creative talents if you don’t make time for them. Dedicate a time specifically for creative thinking, however, don’t put pressure on yourself or enforce a deadline. You may have a time limit, but creativity does not.
6. Brainstorm Brainstorming is all about the volume of ideas produced. Use brainstorming tools and techniques that boost creativity, like snowballing or creating a flow chart, a mind map, or a journal. Jot down as many ideas as you can possibly think of, without judging whether or not they’re brilliant ideas. After giving yourself a break, go back through your list and narrow down the best ideas with a clear head.
7. Remember that there can be more than one solution When narrowing down your brainstormed ideas and thinking of new solutions to problems, try not to get stuck on finding which one is the best. The truth is, there is not always one finite, be-all-end-all solution. Problems can often be solved through many different paths, sometimes all of equal worth, value, and success.
8. Constantly look for new sources of inspiration Creative ideas can come from anywhere at any time, but you shouldn’t expect creativity to always simply happen. Look for motivation and inspiration from books, museums, and music, and keep your mind open to new things. Fresh experiences create new ideas. Leave the old boring stuff at your cubicle.
9. Try the “Six Hats” technique Based on the knowledge of some of the most groundbreaking research on creative psychology, the “six hats” technique is all about looking at a problem or situation from six different perspectives. This allows you to come up with fresh solutions.
1. Red Hat: Look at the situation from an emotional perspective. Trust your emotional instincts and see what they tell you. 2. Yellow Hat: Be positive. Think of which elements of your solution are most likely to work. 3. White Hat: Look at the situation objectively. Follow the facts and use them to your benefit. Be confident in what is concrete. 4. Green Hat: Think alternatively. What are some outside ideas you haven’t thought of; let your mind wander. 5. Black Hat: Use the negative. Think of which elements will definitely not work. Try to think of them without being too harsh. This isn’t about a negative attitude, but realizing what isn’t going to be beneficial or problem solving. 6. Blue Hat: Think broadly and generally. Pinpoint what the best solution would be overall.
10. Keep your environment in mind Last, but certainly not least, it is of the utmost importance to find a space that promotes creativity. Dark and dingy is not the way to go. Instead, find somewhere open, welcoming, and calming to get those creative wheels churning. If you’re unsure of where to go, look no further than SoHoSoleil Locations. Sit back, enjoy the view, and get creative!
There’s no doubt about it, organizing a meeting can be stressful. Coordinating multiple schedules, equipment, and topics is enough to give even the most experienced planner a headache. To make your life easier, we have created a list of the seven essentials you need in order to have a successful meeting. Stick to this list and you can be free to worry about other matters, like whether your meeting attendees will remember to use the clever meeting hash tag at the end of their tweets!
1. Flip Charts and Markers Flip charts are a necessity for every meeting. Writing out key points on the large pieces of paper helps to focus attendees. In addition, the flip charts make a great visual of your progress throughout the meeting. Bonus: Make sure to have flip charts with a sticky back. That way you can post the papers around your meeting site, allowing attendees to visualize their work.
2. Projector A projector is key for meetings. Whether it is used to show a classic PowerPoint presentation, display a live feed of tweets, or play funny cat videos, a projector helps attendees engage with content and stay attentive.
3. Speakers Be sure to bring speakers that can connect to your computer. No one, I repeat, no one likes the crackly sound of built in computer speakers. Even if you are not planning on showing a video, I recommend bringing speakers. A current trend in corporate meetings is to play music as attendees are arriving and leaving the space or over lunch breaks. These music breaks help attendees feel at ease to mingle with one another.
4. Adaptor Perhaps the most frequently forgotten piece of equipment, the little adaptor is absolutely essential. There is nothing worse than arriving at a meeting, after preparing slide upon slide, and embarrassingly struggle to display your presentation. Bring an adaptor; save yourself from embarrassment.
5. A Great Space The meeting space can make all the difference. A unique and creative space will cultivate inspiration and innovative ideas. SoHoSoleil, for instance, is designed with lots of natural light and open spaces in an effort to help meeting attendees feel open to express their ideas. An average, lackluster conference room will produce mediocre ideas.
6. Catering It can be extremely complicated to organize a group outing for lunch in the middle of the meeting and to navigate transportation, costs, etc. Although off site meals allow for valuable bonding time, save the opportunity for after the meeting is over. A catered lunch allows time for a break, but also simplifies the meeting agenda and coordination efforts.
7. WiFi Honestly, there is no excuse not to have WiFi. Meetings today need WiFi in order to fully engage attendees in multi media dimensions. Additionally, lack of WiFi will lead to some pretty upset employees that will just be waiting for a chance to escape the meeting and check their email.
To make it easier (and cheaper!) for our clients, SoHoSoleil has brought all these meeting items together, offering them in one simple Flat Rate Package. The package helps you save more than 30% on your meeting budget. The package provides you with a kitchen, breakout areas, projector, speakers, WiFi, adaptors, 2 easels, 2 flip charts, and markers. For catering, SoHoSoleil‘s clients work directly with Don from Zaro’s. This direct approach to catering saves middlemen costs, lets guests enjoy a greater food selection, and allows for attention to individual dietary needs such as gluten-free, Kosher, vegetarian, cold or hot plates, etc.
Additional equipment and furniture available upon request
The chic, open loft, SereneSite, is an ideal event space for galvanizing staff and clientele. The opportunity to move between the boardroom table and the couches and folding chairs provides a welcome change of pace during group discussions. Clients have the option of rearranging the furniture to best suit their needs. They can also take advantage of the large, white walls to post collateral and project presentations. Corporate executives seeking a private event space frequently book SereneSite. The space stimulates thought processes in a non-traditional setting, one that is sure to be remembered by everyone long after their visit.
Additional equipment and furniture available upon request
Searching meeting rooms nyc for your next offsite? MeetingSite is an upscale property that will add a luxurious feel to any business event, focus group, or photo/video shoot. A professional chef’s kitchen and a grand piano help to set the property apart from other meeting venues. The open, central area is outfitted with comfortable couches and colorful pieces. With a separate breakout room in the back, one can conveniently host celebrity interviews, focus groups, or a video village. MeetingSite is perfect for an upscale meeting without sacrificing the comfortable and creative vibe.