Theatrics At Work

Hyatt Regency Pune juxtaposed the fun elements of a sports lounge to add a dramatic essence to EQ:IQ, its newly launched events space

By Vinita Bhatia

Hyatt Regency Pune’s newly opened EQ:IQ has a foosball and a pool table in addition to all the bells and whistles that are expected of an events space. After all, who decided that conferences and meetings ought to be formal affairs!
The hotel had a large ballroom and seven meeting rooms, before it decided to introduce EQ:IQ. The idea was to create a flexible space with a unique personality that combined both work and play under one roof, complemented by gourmet cuisine.
“We wanted to break the monotony of how events were organised, especially corporate events, as there was a big need for it in Pune. The idea of presenting EQ:IQ was to give our guests a range to choose from when hosting their events,” said Vishal Singh, GM, Hyatt Regency Pune.
EQ:IQ, short for Emotional Quotient:Intelligence Quotient, is a flexible space that can host different events for a dynamic clientele. It recently conducted sit-down dinners, corporate cook-offs, themed dinners, standup comedy acts, and car launches. To create surprises for every event, it is important that the space enhance its offerings with intrinsic charm and utility.

Large spacious food counters and displays provide spaces for unique food settings as per the requirements of the event.

Hyatt Regency Pune’s event space crosses 40,000 sq-ft with multiple options, including smaller and larger spaces to offer guests options and accommodate planned as well as short-notice events. Most hotels focus their attention on the rooms or public spaces when it comes to design elements to capture the guest’s attention. This hotel, instead, gave a directive to its design company, Studio IV, to combine fun elements with modern energy, contrasting materiality with functionality.
According to Vandana Saxena, architect, Studio IV, the concept for EQ:IQ was developed after dialogue and collaborative effort with the owners (SAMHI) and Hyatt.
“These meeting spaces, besides the event halls, have their own dedicated bar, an open kitchen, a cafe, a lounge, huddle corners, a pool table, a foosball table and other private zones, to encourage people to collaborate and relax even while attending an event. The overall vibe is relaxed and a lot of natural light illuminates the space, allowing view of the green lawns outside,” she adds. The space offers a variation in the available sub-venues, with the bar allowing drama when a launch event is hosted, while the main event space has lots of relaxed huddle corners perfect for corporate off sites, a neutral palette that allows customisation for social events, she added. This is a jigsaw that can be put together in any way a customer would want.
“The layout of large social spaces with an exclusive entrance and reception with attached dining restaurant and aesthetically designed pre-function spaces give a feeling of luxury. However, the elements have kept functionality in mind whether it is the kind of furniture used or buffet and bar set ups or collapsible partitions to flexible event spaces,” Saxena said.

EQ:IQ consists of neutral spaces as well as spaces that has the ability to surprise guests. The arrival lobby is a three-dimensional vocabulary in stone and veneer with art and installations that create a dramatic sense of arrival. Butterflies in metal form the circle of life, while vitrines showcase books and objects; seating styles range from casual to semi-formal; walls vary from monochromatic to veneered while a repeating fret work pattern casts shadows at some places and gets illuminated at others.
All these elements are a product of Hyatt’s Design Thinking where the brand took guest feedback on the kind of modern event and meeting space customers require. “Its collapsible walls, combinations of breakout zones attached to individual event spaces makes it suitable for hosting any event starting from 20 and going up to 1500 guests. The innovative furniture does away with traditional chair and table covers, chafing dishes, buffet counters. It also reduces the turnaround time between events so we are easily able to book events in two slots i.e. 9am to 6pm and then 7pm to 11pm,” said Singh.
A dedicated ‘Meeting Concierge’ is a single point of contact that can be reached out to for any assistance. The entire team has undergone several training programmes in the pre-opening stage to equip them with all the product knowledge of the space and situation handling skills.

Each room in EQ:IQ is equipped with drop down screens, in-built projectors, speakers, and automated blinds at the glazed partition. High speed internet, individual control panels for audio visual and dimmers are integrated. Writable surfaces built into sliding shutters help with corporate meetings. When not required these shutters slide to reveal eclectic art concealed behind them. Large wooden acoustic ceiling panels lend an element of sophistication to the space.
EQ:IQ has an attached private restaurant and bar called Edison with large interactive open kitchens, hot and cold stations with in built hot stones and inductions and a dessert section, complete with a cold freeze top to dish out ice cream made ‘teppanyaki’ style. When the meeting spaces open up to reveal this zone, the chefs and mixologists are can whip up their creations. On one side of the bar of the sitting lounge, a large screen projection helps guests catch up on any live sporting events and a pool table to unwind. To the other side is a dining zone, with furniture settings that vary from relaxed sofa seating’s with tables to dining table arrangements and standing cocktail tables. Large spacious food counters and displays provide spaces for unique food settings as per the requirements of the event. Predominantly the design theme revolves around flexibility, combining elements of work and play and user-friendly breakout zones.
Hyatt Regency Pune has used these contrasting fundamentals and interesting juxtapositions to create theatrics when it comes to events. With all the elements coordinated well, it has managed to design a framework that is likely to draw corporate and local guests alike.
Theatrics often end up making a property ostentatious, but EQ:IQ has managed to smartly steer clear of this. It has managed to do this by anchoring to the design components; by creating a moment of surprise and marrying with it with consistent product and programming experience, so the guests know that they are at Hyatt property and know just what to expect. It is a big bubble of expectation that it has built based on the fabric of the brand’s ethos. But Singh is confident he can unfurl it proudly.

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