A conference is primarily about learning. Meeting Design is primarily about making sure that what is covered sticks in the heads of your attendees. And that’s the reason a conference which uses Meeting Design will be a better conference.
Texturising the content through Meeting Design increases the likelihood of the content being remembered and it has one other major benefit in making your content engaging. So put simply:
“If you want a conference where the content is remembered in interesting and engaging ways you need to use some Meeting Design.”
Simple Meeting Design
This idea that content can be interesting and engaging is of course a pretty simple one and in fact when designing the content in a conference, all we really have to do is to structure and deliver it while taking into account the receptiveness of the attendees. The understanding is easy; the practical application is much harder.
However to get back to the theme that Meeting Design is pretty simple we can say that the content delivered at every conference in the world is different in only five ways:
- what it is delivered
- how it is delivered
- who delivers it
- where it is delivered and
- when it is delivered
So if you want to change some of the sessions at your conference here’s the simple first step. For each of these areas just ask: can we do it differently? And if you think you can then you have just taken the first steps into Meeting Design.
The next Meeting Design step
Like any journey it is the first step that is the hardest. So if you are able to look at your upcoming conference programme with the confidence that you really need to change to make it work better for your attendees then the next steps are easy.
There are only three principles of Meeting Design
For our simple Meeting Design process the next step is to decide how much rearranging, reordering or revolutionising your content needs. So no matter the level of work you want to undertake from the shortening of a session or two to changing your audience into participants you need to focus on the receptiveness of your attendees.
Underpinning my philosophy of Meeting Design is the belief that content should be designed to take into account three fundamentals aspects which support the attendees’ ability to learn:
1. the brain is not a tape recorder
2. there is a need for white space (where nothing happens) and light space (where the content is very light indeed)
3. the environment matters and impacts the learning
If you review your content with these three principles in mind your changes are likely to work. If may be that your next step is tackling these challenges yourself and if so here’s a very useful link: