Meet Sabrina Meier, The Conduit’s new Director of Experience
October 12, 2021/Uncategorized
Conversational in five languages, Sabrina is bringing her international experience spanning the luxury, hospitality, and wellness industries to The Conduit as our new Director of Experience. David, our Head of Editorial, caught up with her to hear her vision for how members and their guests experience the club.
A conversation between:
Sabrina Meier & David Osei
Hi Sabrina, and welcome to The Conduit. I can’t help but notice that your pen matches your bangles! Ought I deduce that you’re a details person?
Indeed, this is my lucky pen. It was a gift on my first day at The Conduit. I guess I got lucky with the matching bangles…
That said, my father always said that it’s the little things in life that make a big difference; it’s what you remember most. That eye for detail is something I’ve carried with me in life and at work.
So alongside having an eye for detail, what else will help you enhance the experience members have at The Conduit?
An eye for detail combined with a heart for people. I’m here to genuinely try to understand what our community feels and needs, and to stay laser-focused on enhancing the experience of anyone who comes to The Conduit.
We want members and their guests to come in and feel both surprised and delighted to have experienced something special. To do that, I believe in a personal and warm approach to how we go about things here.
It all stems from us being willing to get to know our members and making an effort to go the extra mile for them in a way that’s not obtrusive but that still leaves them feeling valued. I want The Conduit to create a positive impression that lasts, and for members to leave feeling more fulfilled and inspired than when they came in.
In a way, joining a few weeks after we reopened means you’re in a good position to form your own first impressions…
I’m blown away by the building, the staff, the food, and the events I’ve been to so far. But it’s my job to ensure we’re always aspiring for better. So I think meticulously about every aspect of what it feels like to be a member, or partner, or guest in this space.
When someone enters a floor, where do their eyes go? When they walk through the space, what do they touch? How do these things make them feel? What are they eating or drinking, and are they moved by what they’re tasting? What vibe does a particular genre of music at particular time of day in a particular space create? What atmosphere is the lighting creating, and how is it influencing people’s behaviour? It’s the whole 360 sensory experience that I’m interested in.
That makes a whole lot of… sense!
Let’s pretend it never happened. Please, do proceed…
…Gladly. Beyond the senses, having access to an incredible community and expert speakers means that you’ll always be mentally stimulated at The Conduit. We stand for social impact, intellectual curiosity, and we’re a force for good, and that’s what sets this community apart. But I also think about how can this environment be stimulating emotionally and physically.
We have an enviable programme of intellectually-stimulating events at The Conduit. So what other experiences might be added to the mix?
We really are on the road to becoming the home of exceptionally inspiring content, engaging talks, fantastic fireside chats, world-class workshops, and magnificent masterclasses.
But I also envision that, at The Conduit, you’ll also be able to rub shoulders and mingle with people in a fun and social way.
It may feel at odds with the weightiness and seriousness of the issues our members care about like climate change and social justice, but there should be space to have fun, socialise, make genuine friends, and have a few drinks if that’s your thing too. When you think about it, it’s often the case that it’s the people you meet in more informal settings or frivolous moments who have the biggest impacts on the course of our lives, so I’ll be looking at how The Conduit can still be a place where minds meet whilst also being a place where spirits and hearts truly connect too.
We’ll be hosting a big Halloween-themed Welcome Home party for members and their friends on the 29th October, and so it would be great so see as many new faces there (though I’ll probably struggle to recognise people, given there’ll be face-painting!)
We’re proud of the diversity amongst our membership, but how do you then create a space that feels like home to so eclectic a group?
Each member is different, and that’s part of the point of a place like this. We’re bringing people together who are different. This is something we should embrace, encourage, and embody.
Making people feel like they belong starts with first impressions when you walk through the door. From how a member is greeted at reception, tended to by staff in the bar, to how something Paolo cooked up in the members’ restaurant has delighted their tastebuds, all this matters to me because it matters to members.
Once we start opening on the weekends, that will also present new opportunities for us to show that The Conduit is also a space for members who might value family activities, for groups of friends who love a weekend brunch, for members who are into wellness and fitness, for those who like late-night drinks, for singletons wanting to mix, and for members who want the occasional big party night, or film screening, live music, and so much more. The possibilities are endless!
You’ve had quite an international background, being of Swiss and Filipino heritage and having lived in Singapore until recently. How might you channel your background and experiences into a place like The Conduit?
I attended an international school in Singapore with 59 different nationalities. It truly was a melting pot of cultures. Later on in life, through my work and travels, I’ve learned that culture plays a huge part in shaping how we experience our environment, and also sets different levels of expectation especially where hospitality is concerned. I’ll be bringing years of experience working in the luxury, hospitality, and wellness industry with me, and – like everyone in the team – I’m aware we’ll need to be open to unlearning and relearning because change is a constant.
We have a significant number of members who live in different countries, and so might only visit The Conduit on travels or if passing through London. Their experience of The Conduit might differ from a local member who has more frequent and regular access to the space…
We’re here to connect people or facilitate connections, using whatever tools we have at our disposal, be it space, food and drinks, events, technology, and ourselves. For out-of-town members, we can recalibrate these tools to fit their needs. For instance, if an out-of-town member were to be visiting we might, at their request, connect them to a few members who have links to their home country or who are working in the same field as them. We have a fascinating group of Impact Champions and a mentor/mentee programme that we can activate. At The Conduit, community is our biggest asset. I’ve never been to a club that was friendlier than The Conduit.
It’s important out-of-town members feel like they have access to a community wherever they are, but especially whilst here in London. Another great thing about The Conduit is that no matter where you’re from, somewhere in the building you’re guaranteed to either find a member, spot some decor, hear music, see a piece of art, or taste a flavour that will instantly connect you with a place in the world that you’re familiar with.
Speaking of places you’re familiar with, where is your favourite spot in The Conduit?
That’s a tough one! There are so many. But I think my surprise and delight spot is the member’s rooftop restaurant. The light that pours into the restaurant is stunning. I love a good terrace and cannot wait until the roof terrace extension opens next spring. But even now, when the early evening sun is shining and you’re up on the terrace with a cocktail looking into the busy restaurant… it’s just magical. So, that’s where you’ll most likely find me. Not always with a cocktail to hand, I might add!
I don’t judge; I join! But now everyone knows where to look for you, what are you interested in hearing about from our members?
I plan to be present and visible around the club, so if people have feedback about what they love about their Conduit experience, and also how we might enhance it, I’m all ears. People can also drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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