Nick Hall Photography

Innovation and Technology

Seattle is the backdrop for an idea-sparking meeting

As a meeting planner, you know the atmosphere of a destination can really set the tone for a meeting or convention. Seattle is a bustling, high-tech hub where innovation is not just celebrated, it is the norm. If you walk around downtown Seattle, you’ll see first-hand what new ideas local companies are rolling out for people to test. It’s a glimpse of what’s to come for the rest of the nation.

Starbucks concept stores with an all-new design, live music, and beer and wine? So five years ago. The Nordstrom flagship store texting you when curbside pick-up of online purchases is ready? Check. We’re swinging by on the way home from the office.

Seattle companies are constantly changing the way we do everyday things. This willingness to try a different approach is woven into the fabric of what makes Seattle such a modern, thought-leading city—and the perfect setting for your next engaging meeting. Below is a sneak peek at some newer Seattle-born ideas intended to make life more efficient, and hopefully, just a little easier.

Retail for tomorrow

We all know Amazon Fresh delivers groceries the very same day. Looking to get out of the house though? Amazon is currently testing Amazon Go in Seattle—a grocery store model that is basically a high-tech automat. Amazon employees can grab anything they want from the Beta store and a beacon detects items in the basket, then deducts the funds automatically from an account as they leave. Also, Amazon just opened their first brick and mortar bookstore in Seattle, proving that there is still a time and place for an authentic shopping experience.

Amazon HQ, Downtown Seattle Nick Hawley

Amazon HQ, Downtown Seattle Nick Hawley

Pick a car, any car

Riders around the world are accustomed to the convenience of ride share programs such as Uber, Lyft and Car2Go, and Seattle is no exception. In fact, the first car share was founded in Seattle—in the year 2000(!). Known as Flexcar, it quickly took off and merged with Zipcar in 2007, which is still popular today.

Taking an upmarket approach to car sharing, BMW’s Reach Now first started testing in Seattle last year. Today, their fleet of all-electric and gas BMWs and MINIs can be seen zipping around Seattle, utilized by many drivers for multiple trips each day.

BMW Reach Now i3 electric car Courtesy BMW Reach Now

BMW Reach Now i3 electric car Courtesy BMW Reach Now

Experience the history of Seattle innovation and technology for yourself

Some of our region’s top museums pay homage to Seattle’s roots in innovation and technology. The Museum of History and Industry’s (MOHAI) Bezos Center for Innovation celebrates our city’s technological achievements with an interactive timeline wall of key milestones. Living Computers: Museums+Labs houses a time warp of retro computers as well as virtual reality simulators of the future.

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