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Meeting Design

by Marva Lewis on September 14, 2012
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Meeting Design

Welcome to The Event Professionals Blog! We hope you will follow us and join us as we discuss issues, solutions and resources for the meetings and events industry. With almost 20years in the events industry, I have planned hundreds of meetings and events. And, one of the most challenging tasks is always to keep meetings innovative and engaging. However, with the plethora of new technology tools, we have so many options. The problem now is keeping up with everything. So, I’m going to tackle one issue at a time. The first is meeting design.

So often, many conferences use the same room set-ups and program format year after year. Not taking into account the attendee experience and really measuring the effectiveness of your entire meeting design and environment. So, what is meeting design? Meeting design is not just logistical planning of your program, but it’s the creative use and strategy to position your attendees to communicate. As a planner, it’s my role to help strategize on how to create more human interaction for conferences. However, program managers must be open to the idea of inviting their planner into the programmatic phase of planning their programs. When I minored in Human Communications in college, I never thought I would be using this skill as a meeting planner. Or, for that matter that I would find my passion in meeting and event planning. Nevertheless, with the insurgence of social media and new technologies to communicate, it’s imperative that we slow down and examine how we design our conference programs and more importantly – ensure that we have a strategy to Engage, Educate and Connect our attendees. The end result is continuous interaction and networking 365 days of the year for your organization.

Here are 5 ways to invigorate your meeting design:

  • Work with your meeting planner and audio visual team to infuse new ideas to your program format. Audio visual plays heavily on your entire meeting/attendee experience.
  • Ensure that you have a user-friendly evaluation form. Evaluate during the event. A number of conference apps make this easy to do onsite.
  • Incorporate evaluation questions that specifically address room set designs, attendee interaction, etc.
  • Don’t be afraid to change your conference program format. It’s okay to see what works and what doesn’t.
  • Incorporate a social media component – twitter feeds, apps with networking component. The more you engage the more positive feedback and dynamic attendee experience.

Let me know how I can help you Engage, Educate and Connect your next Conference..