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Businesswoman touts off-site meeting spaces at ParkView Lofts

Gazette-Mail file photo
The ParkView Lofts building at 1214 Smith St. in Charleston’s East End Warehouse District will have four themed conference rooms for off-site business meetings.

Laura Prisc wants to change the perception of off-site meeting space — an expense businesses sometimes make in hopes that a change of venue will produce big ideas and creativity from employees.

Prisc gave a presentation at Charleston Main Streets’ board meeting Tuesday on her upcoming business, Great Expectations Think Space, in Charleston’s East End Warehouse District.

“People have great expectations about the outcome of their meeting when they take [employees] off site,” Prisc said. “It usually is an investment, so you’re kind of risking something to do it and hope it will be creative and inspiring.”

With four themed meeting rooms, the business will be located in the ParkView Lofts building at 1214 Smith St., next to Bricks and Barrels.

Prisc said the business is set to open in September.

Every meeting room will be equipped with projectors, white boards, conference phones, refrigerators, snacks and other materials.

“Each room is kind of self-contained with everything you need,” she said.

While the think space won’t be able to accommodate large conferences or other events, Prisc said she’s discovered since moving to West Virginia six years ago that people are willing to drive two or three hours to an off-site meeting location for executive retreats, strategic planning sessions or team building events.

Prisc said she’ll also use the space to conduct her own workshops and market it to other consultants who specialize in personal and professional development.

“I just really want to serve organizations to get what they want when they go off site for a more creative space.”

Also on Tuesday, the Charleston Main Streets board of directors received annual reports from the organization’s East End and West Side program directors, who detailed the impact of various events it’s hosted in the last year.

One notable success was the inaugural Foam at the Dome, an event held in May that boasted craft beer and live music.

That event brought in nearly $108,000 in revenue, and netted the organization more than $64,000.

The board also received an update from Dave Gilmore from GAI Consultants on the updated urban renewal plans drafted for downtown Charleston, the East End and near West Side.

Gilmore said the design firm consulted with various groups, including Charleston Main Streets, for input on the plans.

The board also approved a $2,500 raise for Charleston Main Streets Executive Director Ric Cavender.

Cavender’s salary is now $70,500.

Reach Elaina Sauber at elaina.sauber@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-3051 or follow @ElainaSauber on Twitter.

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