Diversity in meetings and events is somewhat of a buzzword. We talk a lot about inclusion – about inviting those in who might eat, pray or love differently from ourselves.
To be honest, I usually don’t think much about diversity. I believe in being a decent person and don’t care what color you are, which God you worship or what you do or don’t eat. Be nice to me, and I’ll be nice to you. It’s as simple as that (yeah, I know it’s easy for me to say since I’m living in Denmark)!
However, this past week I got to thinking about diversity … but in a rather different meaning: The diversity of my job.
Event planner = Jack of all trades
Being an event planner is a diverse job. We need to know a bit about a lot of things – AV/technical equipment, communication, psychology, economy, group dynamics, allergies, well-being, presentation techniques … and the list goes on and on.
And this week I got to present to two different groups about two different aspects of meetings and events.
First, I had a workshop with 25 very engaged young designers from HAU – Netværksforeningen for Designstudierne. They were eager to learn about the fundamentals of event planning and very active and interested during the workshop, and it was a great day in Kolding with these future event planners.
I teach experience design on several levels, but this elementary training course is aimed at those who wish to work in events but has little to none experience in planning events. At this course they learn the basics of planning events, but since I strongly believe in experience design, I do of course base my teaching on this – even from the ‘101 level’.
My ‘Experience Design Model’ is the basis for all my teaching, and on the elementary level you learn about the five experience elements and how to use them.
Feedback from the participants was that they liked the hands-on approach and getting tools that they can use immediately. They were happy, though you don’t become a full-blown event planner in half a day – it’s taken me 20 years to know what I know now!
Tarot cards, crystal ball or tea leaves?
Later in the week, I was on a panel together with Hindsgavl Slot and IDA Conference at a Danske Konferencecentre + IACC event about the future of meetings. I represented the meeting planner side of operations, and we had a great discussion in the panel.
We panelists had prepared our top two changes we expect to see in the future of meetings and events, and the attendees could vote for the ones they believed the most in.
My two input were:
- We will become extensively more aware of learning in a meeting situation. We will understand more how the brain and the body works and will include this in the planning of our events and conferences. This has an impact on room setup, speaker training, F&B, meeting formats etc.
- Personalization, customization, festivalization … there are many different names for the fact that in the future everybody would want to customize an event experience to their own needs. This has an impact on the agenda (content), on the food, on the schedule (eat, relax, participate?), on the seating arrangements (sit, stand, sofas, high tops?) and on whether or not the attendee wants to be active or passive, be involved through gamification or sit back and listen to a presentation.
This event was aimed at the more experienced meeting planner, and we had left the basics back home in order to discuss how we can follow change into the future.
Besides the topics above, we also discussed sustainability, F&B at meetings, and the need for education in our industry.
So, two very different events in one week. And I loved them both!
The new EventAnne
At both events I got the added bonus of being able to present my new logo. I’m really happy about it as I believe it really represents who I am and what I do.
How do you like the new EventAnne logo?