Looking back on great things and forward to even more

January is traditionally the time to look back, reconsider your life and make new plans. And this January, we can all look back on an interesting decade of many changes, challenges and inventions.

However, I am not much of a fan of new year’s resolutions, so this blog post will not be about things I want to change about my life, nor will it be about looking back on 10 years of this or that. Nope, to me the last year or two has changed everything and I will be forever thankful to my good friend, Hans Ravnkjær Larsen, for pushing me in the right direction!

But New Year’s also prompt me to think back and look forward, and I cannot help but sum up 2019 as well as take a look at what is up for 2020.

5 special moments from 2019

EMEC

In February I took part in a fantastic conference! No less than marvelous! It was the European Meetings and Events Conference (EMEC) by MPI in The Hague, Netherlands, and it was four days of great learning, lots of networking opportunities, fantastic use of new meetings formats and an overall superb experience.

An example: The Learning Journey! The event designers took the conference out of the meeting room and sent us on learning journeys where we got to dive deep into topics like ideation, management and experience design but not in a usual learning kind of way. That really resonated with all participants.

MPI The Netherlands have won several awards for this conference, and they really deserve each and every one of them. I know a lot of people who are still talking about this event, and nothing has been able to compete with it yet.

RESPOND Festival

In June I was the Project Manager for a 3-day festival about sustainability and technology. It was a tough challenge as we had only five months to plan it, but we made it (of course we did!) and we had three educational and fun-filled days with over 130 talks, workshops, movie screenings, award shows etc.

The first day of the event was my 10-year wedding anniversary, and since I have the best husband in the World, who also works in events and who loves to lend a hand for my events, we got to spend the evening together, though it was while doing hard event work.

Ending my term as President of MPI Denmark

June 30th marked the end of my term as President of MPI Denmark. It was a busy year with lots of changes along the way, but I wouldn’t have missed it for the World! Being part of the MPI family has given me so much through the years, and it was great to be able to give back to the community.

The biggest change in my term was planning the merger of MPI Denmark and MPI Sweden, resulting in the birth of MPI Scandinavia (as Norway was included in the new chapter), which saw the light of day on July 1st.

My first appearance as a panelist

In October, I was part of a panel at an IACC event in Copenhagen – and that was a first for me. I have given many presentations about topics such as ‘Experience Design’, ‘Activating your participants’ or ‘The future of meetings’, but I had never been part of a panel before.

Together with a couple of representatives from the venue side of our business, I looked into the future of meetings and how these will change as our delegates expect even more than today.

It was a great event, and I had lots of fun being the ‘annoying meeting planner who makes lot of demands for the venues’ J

I found my place in our industry

During my many years in the meetings and events industry, I have spent a lot of time thinking about my exact place in it. I have planned meetings for more than 20 years, but for the last 3-5 years I have concentrated more on the strategic aspect of events than on the planning of them. And in 2019 I found out exactly how to use my extensive knowledge about all aspects of event design: Teaching!

I have been teaching for some years now, but I wasn’t exactly sure if that was the way for me to go. Now I know that knowledge exchange is the mere definition of EventAnne … my reason for being in this fantastic industry.

And that has helped me form my thoughts for the future. Which leads me to …

5 things I look forward to in 2020

I have yet another busy year ahead of me, and these are some of the highlights.

Teaching Event Management at International Business College

In a few days, I start teaching Event Management at International Business College in Kolding, Denmark. And I can’t wait! I love teaching, and these training courses where I get to share all the insights of the event planning process are fun and so giving.

Continuing in MPI’s European Advisory Council

In 2019 I was part of MPI’s European Advisory Council, and I have been fortunate enough to be chosen to continue on the council. I love how we get the opportunity to give our insights back to the community and to work with my extended family (MPI-family that is) on matters close to our hearts.

Working as Event Manager for Green Hat People, Denmark

If you don’t know Green Hat People yet, you should definitely check them out!

I have to admit that I am not very keen on teambuilding activities in general since I usually find them irrelevant to the purpose of the event (as I have ranted on about in several previous blog posts!). But Green Hat People is different. Their product incorporates your company’s strategy in their digital teambuilding activities which makes it very relevant to your employees. And you don’t have to be a running or kayaking or bicycling or judo champion to attend. I love it!

And I am lucky enough to be working with them as an Event Manager and making sure the clients’ events are a success. What’s not to like!

Speaking at The Special Event in Las Vegas

Come March, I will be speaking The Special Event in Las Vegas. My topic for the presentation is “Using experience design as a strategic tool”, and I’m looking forward to sharing my perspectives with an American audience.

If you are in the area, check out the event. There will be tons of presentations, a trade show, gala events etc. and Michael Cerbelli’s The Hot List, to mention a few.

A dream of writing a book

I am hoping that the year 2020 will be the year where my dream of writing a book about experience design for business events will come through. I have taken the first small step, but nothing is definite yet. Cross your fingers that this adventure will become real too!

So, this is it. I am looking back on a fantastic year and forward to 366 opportunities, and I can’t wait to see what 2020 will have in store for me. I promise to give an update on everything in a later blog post.

Happy 2020, y’all!