Virtual meetings don’t have to be boring: This business will refuel, refresh and reenergize your virtual attendees from the comfort of their homes
DENVER, Colo. - Call them whatever you’d like, but virtual/hybrid/zoom meetings are here to stay. The good news is, they don’t have to be mundane or routine... The resourceful team at BreakAway Meetings, LLC in Colorado has a creative “in the box” solution for meeting organizers everywhere.
Friends and business partners, Angela Hesemann and Kim Carlson are no strangers to planning meetings. Except, they were used to planning the in-person kind, remember those? They built their careers on planning and executing events for two of the largest hotel chains in the nation. However, that all changed last year when the Covid-19 pandemic spread across the world, causing meetings to cease, hotels to close, and millions of hospitality workers to lose their jobs. Angela and Kim were among those who were furloughed.
As professional event planners, they were responsible for innovative solutions and creative themes for conference meals. Figuring out clever ways to feed conference-goers and keeping them nourished was their forte. So when a friend was telling Kim and Angela about a recent virtual training that was “awful” with no built-in breaks or relief, they knew at that moment they had an easy solution to a now very common, virtual problem.
“Angela and I, having worked in events for so long… were shocked that these virtual events aren’t providing any of the experiences that event guests would receive in hotels,” Kim shared. “F&B (food and beverage) was a passion of both of ours in our jobs – I loved building custom breaks and meals for my clients that enhanced their event and made memorable experiences for their guests. Within minutes, we had the idea of sending event boxes to virtual attendees that included snacks, caffeine, activities to rest their brain.”
BreakAway Meetings, LLC is the go-to place for meeting organizers who are in need of custom event boxes that get shipped directly to attendees of virtual events. While the company focuses on break boxes, or boxes that contain curated snack items, they have many other offerings including “employee appreciation” and “happy hour” packages.
“We keep attendees fueled, focused, and having fun during events that might otherwise be mundane and exhausting,” Kim explained. “Each box is completely customized to enhance a brand, event theme, a specific location/region, [or] health focus.”
The company business model is based on customization and giving each box a hand-crafted, tailor-made feel.
“We have always felt that customization is key, and this is something we learned in hotels,” Angela said. “Each and every lead we receive is treated uniquely, and we work hand-in-hand with the client to customize a proposal that is unique to their event and to their attendees.”
Sourcing unique products is also important to Angela and Kim. They work to build partnerships with small or local businesses in an effort to give back to their community.
“There’s not a whole lot we will say no to in these boxes, we just want to make sure that everybody has an amazing experience,” Kim shared. “We also use local and small businesses as much as we can to support those that need it most during the pandemic. We have wholesale agreements with many Colorado businesses, we are switching to a local box vendor and a local printer.”
Need your box personalized? They got you covered there too. Not only are the contents of each box customized based on the type of meeting, length of meeting, attendee likes and dislikes, and budget, but each box can be completely branded.
“Personalization is the name of our game,” Angela said. “ We can include custom branding inside and outside of the box, company swag, custom collateral, and anything else our clients envision to make this box completely their own.”
Based on their current levels of demand, the duo finds themselves in a niche market with the horizon looking bright. They strive to take any size order and recently celebrated executing an order for 320 attendees.
“We’re working with some larger companies right now to set up easy repeat business with some standard boxes they can order quickly,” Kim explained. “We’re also hoping to offer international shipping this year, and we’re looking into the option of shipping alcohol in our boxes as that’s a large request we see.”
Kim and Angela have come up with a clever solution to bring the wow-factor back to virtual meetings and the reviews have made their new business venture worthwhile.
Kim added, “The most rewarding has been hearing everybody’s feedback that we really helped make their virtual event special. People love receiving our boxes in the mail with a custom branded note from the company and a bunch of snacks that they may never have had before but they will certainly enjoy.”
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