We participated in a Meetovation master class in Denmark during the annual MINDevent meeting planner fam a few months back, hosted by Bo Krüger of Moving Minds and Ann Hansen from ann hansen concept + competence.
Both Krüger and Hansen are available to facilitate group sessions and assist with meeting design strategy for planners organizing meetings in Copenhagen.
The class started off with our group of 16 people entering a room with a big pile of furniture, candles, whiteboards and various office accoutrements stacked in the middle of the room. The goal here was for all of the group participants to create our own space designed for our personal needs and desires. Customizing the room like this is a great way to start building relationships and a sense of collaboration among members in the group.
We spent the rest of the day participating in various meeting design exercises that each had a specific name and purpose. Some of them were designed to energize the body, such as “Ping Pong,” where two people face each other and imitate playing the game without paddles or a ball.
With exercises like these, you quickly learn who are the more outgoing and playful members of the group. Not everyone was a fan of this, and the value of such an exercise really depends on the group.
“I recommend you use participatory methods at your next meeting,” says Krüger. “I know it’s really easy to sit down, but moving around will energize you and give you the chance to explore a topic from many different perspectives.”
During another simple activity, Hansen asked us to share our experiences about the best meeting we had ever attended. After we each discussed those favorite experiences, Hansen then deconstructed each one and explained why they worked, while she effortlessly drove the conversation around the room.
Hansen is incredibly sharp, and she works with a lot of groups as a third party consultant to deliver added value through advanced meeting design strategy.
The best meeting design sessions during our Meetovation class all involved knowledge sharing and rotating conversations among the group, such a “Pick A Brain.”
First, Krüger asked the group to show how much we felt we knew about meeting design. He asked everyone to stand somewhere in the room to physically depict our level of confidence, where one side of the space meant very little knowledge and the opposite side represented a lot of insight. This “human voting” trend is becoming popular and people generally like to participate.
Krüger then separated the three people who were closest to the end of the scale representing the most knowledgable. None of us at this point knew where any of this was leading.
Then Krüger broke up the rest of the group into teams of three or four, and each of those teams were asked to come up with a specific question relating to meeting design challenges that any or all of them were incurring at their jobs.
Once each team had a question ready, then the three people who professed to be savvy about meeting design walked around to each team to try and answer their questions.
This is brilliant on a few levels. One, the group experience, content and business outcome are now being designed and led by the attendees. That really engages everyone, especially because the questions are based in real world situations with real world meetings.
Two, it’s fun and active without feeling too contrived or juvenile, which a lot of sessions like these devolve into. Everyone enjoyed themselves, and at the same time, there was a very evident business takeaway.
Three, it’s so easy and doesn’t cost a dime extra than a traditional meeting.
If you’re going to Copenhagen, definitely give Krüger or Hansen a call.