The worst thing that can happen to a meeting is to be boring. And it’s usual… Organising a successful event, congress or meeting is a great challenge and, for some years now, those who seek to innovate have turned their gaze to the north. Specifically, towards the Danish art of organizing events, also known as meetovation.
How did this trend come about? What does it consist of? How can it be applied to your own event? In this article we’ll tell you everything you need to know about the famous meetovation so that you can incorporate it into your next meetings. Let’s go!
Its origin: where does the meetovation phenomenon come from?
In 2003, the Danish project “The meeting concept of the future” looked at what the meetings of the future would look like, and how they had changed in recent years. Unfortunately, they discovered that the sector was stagnant and with no innovation other than the effects of the Power Point…
The scenario was complicated, true, but they had the opportunity to reposition Denmark in the world events scene. To this end, the public and private sectors worked side by side to achieve their common goal: to find a methodology that would transform meetings into valuable experiences. They had to get the participants to stop being spectators and become an active part of the meeting.
The set of processes, methodologies and good practices that finally developed is what we know today as meetovation.
Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash.
What is meetovation?
As its name suggests, the meetovation concept groups two key concepts: “meeting” and “motivation”. According to this philosophy, if people are convinced that they have made the most of the time after an event, meeting or congress, it will have been worth holding it.
So, the goal of meetovation is to transform meetings as we know them. Turn them into something innovative, truly productive and useful for the participants.
To achieve this, the usefulness of each meeting must be questioned. Is it really necessary? Is it designed to be productive? We have to seriously analyze the time we dedicate to them within our working day… It is estimated that some workers spend between 20% and 50% of their time together, and often end these meetings without seeing any progress. So… do we have to approach them differently?
The meetovation seeks to eradicate the old dynamics, such as the long monologues of direction, for example. Everyone must participate in a meeting for the meeting to be productive! The team should be invited to comment and contribute their point of view on each project, also inviting people from other departments who can provide their own vision. Or, why not, bring in an outside expert to compare opinions.
In order to have truly efficient meetings, we must rely on five key elements. The five pillars of meetovation:
ACTIVELY INVOLVE PARTICIPANTS
A good event is one that encourages its participants to get involved, not just to listen. When we get involved, we feel part of an activity and the feeling of learning, motivation and satisfaction increases. Active involvement will help us to receive feedback from attendees and expand the network of contacts.
There are several techniques designed to involve people in an event. Here are a few examples..
This exercise, designed to break the ice, recreates a speed dating. Participants will sit in groups of two and should introduce themselves, share their experiences and comment on the theme of the event in question. After two minutes, you will have to choose another partner and repeat the exercise.
Hello, my name is…
In this exercise each participant will wear an identification tag, making it easier for them to see their respective names and introduce themselves. In small groups, they should speak for at least three minutes and discuss simple topics of the event, always with a small impulse from the organizer.
This unique exercise consists of throwing paper balls to generate positive energy from the very beginning. Each participant will receive three sheets of paper and a pen to write their questions about the event and, after a countdown, the ball war will take over the space for a minute of laughter and fuss. Then they should read the questions in pairs and reflect on them.
BE INSPIRED BY THE LOCAL ENVIRONMENT
The potential of the environment can be used to make the participants’ experience unforgettable. If they’re taken to a different place, why not take advantage of it?
Invite local speakers
Locating a local expert and inviting him to share his experiences is a very popular initiative. A good way to share experiences, ideas and contacts. The theme can be directly related to the event or it can talk about a more general theme, such as local history and curiosities.
A field activity can be organized for teams to solve tasks or puzzles as they travel through the local landscape. All you need is a GPS or a map to encourage healthy competition and cooperation.
SEARCH FOR CREATIVE SPACES
The physical space where the event is held must transmit a certain amount of energy: furniture with character, a specific layout, open areas or rooms, etc. Everything adds up to a creative environment, even the wi-fi connection!
Once again, local spaces can help in that goal.
Thinking like an interior designer
Imagine the meeting room as an empty space. What does it take to make the meeting better? Then, place all the elements in the space. Even the colours of the walls can create a concrete atmosphere.
Many studies support the use of music to increase productivity or create a concrete atmosphere: learning, concentration, inspiration, relaxation, etc. All tools within reach must be used, including the hearing!
That a company is responsible is already a requirement. Plus, it’s good for your image, your budgets, and the planet. But...how do you demonstrate during a meeting or at an event?
Recycled materials can be used, local organic food can be served, good ventilation in the space can be guaranteed, rest areas can be set up or comfortable furniture such as ergonomic chairs can be sought. It is all about thinking about the well-being of people and the environment.
Photo by Chuttersnap on Unsplash.
QUANTIFY THE RETURN ON INVESTMENT
After investing time, money and effort in an event, it is important to analyze its results. From the meetovation philosophy it is recommended to set clear and measurable objectives during the planning, execution and follow-up of the meeting. A good way to do this is to use the ROI method pyramid as a guide.