The Meeting Design Institute (MDI) is a member-based organization that revolves around meeting design, offering services and tools such as its Meeting Design Toolbox. In this Shakedown, Prevue speaks with Dominika Fudala, the organization’s events operations manager, about how the MDI works with meeting planners and what meeting design trends to expect in 2017.
How does the MDI work with meeting planners?
The MDI is on the mission to provide meeting planners learning opportunities while also connecting them with suppliers of meeting design tools. We are a platform connecting all #eventprofs that see meetings way beyond the logistics and hospitality, and are interested in employing new tools, solutions and techniques so make meetings more effective.
Our key education programs for planners consist of a one-day training on Meeting Design, three-day training on Meeting Technology and five-day training Certificate in Meeting Architecture. We also host the FRESH Conference as well as provide education and networking opportunities at meeting industry trade shows such as IMEX Frankfurt, IMEX America, the Meetings Show, IBTM and more.
What are your three favorite meeting design trends or “tools” for 2017?
Meeting design tools enters the meeting industry via several doors. In the past few years, the most visible has been new event tech, but let’s remember that’s not all that’s happening around our industry. We are quite keen on seeing the rise of standardized processes for meeting design such as Meeting Architecture Process, EventModel Canvas, Event StoryBoard Canvas as well as gaming such as Meeting Design Game and Event Cards. It’s really cool to see [the industry] getting more professional about the way we approach meeting design.
I think we as an industry are also becoming more professionalized with our approach to networking at an event, finally realizing that we cannot just let it be at an event. In 2016, we were amazed by several cool networking solutions that allow better attendee matching than ever before, and actively involving them in co-creating and contributing to the event.
With regard to the new meeting formats, 2017 will be a year of multicity meetings with less travel and out-of-the-office time as well as more participants and opportunities. Our next edition of the FRESH Conference in January 2017 will be held in the multicity meeting format (in five cities at the same time), and we invite all #eventprofs to come over to one of these hubs to experience the disruptive experience.
What are key considerations for meeting planners looking to enhance their meeting design next year?
Meeting planners need to focus on how to do more meetings with less travel and out-of-the-office time. I think we’re all facing the struggle of having a huge work overload and getting people out of their offices and homes for a few days. With so much content available online, it’s going to get harder and harder. So, it’ll continue to be about the ability to convince people that real face-to-face meetings still matter the most.