Expert in meetings, conferences and events
Building a community – on an off a canvas

Building a community – on an off a canvas

This weeks’ blog post is yet another reminiscence of an event I attended. This time read on to know more about building a community on and off a canvas to a meeting recently held at MPI Denmark.

The starting point of the meeting was the wish to showcase the Community Canvas, which the guys at Norvai have developed. Building a community is the core of the Meeting Professionals International, MPI. The network is essentially a community of people gathering offline once a month to share knowledge about our common industry.

And this time, all parts of the meeting just added up. Here goes…

Perfect venue, perfect setting

Usually, we have the MPI meetings at venues like hotels and conference centers, but this time we had the meeting at an office hotel where the guys from Norvai reside. The whole setting was rugged and ‘hand held’ from the actual building to the way we all chipped in on the practical matters (like collecting used plates, closing down the meeting room etc.).

The office hotel could not provide any catering for the meeting, so the host of the meeting (one of MPI Denmark’s board members) built on the community spirit and gathered her own networking group of foreign women trying to get into the Danish labor market to make snacks for the meeting – two birds killed with one stone as they learned how to make Danish snacks in the process.

As the Community Canvas is a very new development, the guys from Norvai had not had any chances to practice their presentation or the workshop that followed, so we all went with the flow and winged it. The ambiance at the meeting was great, and we all had a blast.

What is Community Canvas

Community Canvas is a strategy or structure to develop your community – a set of prerequisites to think about when building a community. It matches the general idea behind other canvases like Event Design Canvas and Business Model Generation.

In a network like MPI, the canvas will be of great use to involve more members in our events.

All gold doesn’t glitter

For this event, the venue, the food, the presentation…it all came together perfectly. And it just shows us that everything doesn’t have to be perfect to be great. This meeting would not have been the same if we had had it at an ‘ordinary’ hotel in a square room with all the trimmings – though I am not saying that those rooms are wrong! They are exactly right for the right meeting.

This time we accepted things as they came along, and that is part of what a great community is about: Not seeing the holes in the cheese but the cheese itself.