The Fresh Conference explores fresh approaches to meeting design. Content at the 2013 conference which took place earlier this week was presented through debates, a talk show format, mobile technology, panels, skits, hybrid meetings, virtual presentations, discussions in remote conference rooms and a Wiki Workshop.
Participants were kept moving with stretching, stand up presentations, and interactive exercises in pairs and small groups.
Live Workshop: Predictable Surprise
In his session called Predictable Surprise, Tor Norretranders, founder of Denmark based Klampenborgin, demonstrated that exercises don't have to be long to make the point. "Tickle yourself" he invited live and virtual participants to try. (In fact, if you're reading this, try it.) "It's impossible to tickle yourself" shared Tor. The element of surprise is the magic ingredient behind tickling. For meeting, conference and event content to be magic, the element of surprise is also key.
Virtual and Hybrid Session: Building and Growing LinkedIn Groups
My short virtual presentation about Building & Growing LinkedIn Groups provided a quick overview of how my company, Executive Oasis International, has used private LinkedIn Groups to prepare participants, foster engagement and provide follow-up for business meetings and team building retreats. This is an important tool for us as we are based in Toronto but we also serve clients in the U.S., the Middle East, Asia, the Caribbean, Africa and Europe.
I outlined the 5 Ps that have grown the Event Planning and Event Management Group, that I manage with founder Julius Solaris on LinkedIn, to a 100,000+ member on-line community. You can download the handout: Building & Growing LinkedIn Groups [PDF] with the steps that you can take to create online communities for your meetings.
Panel: Visual Premium
The Visual Premium panel stressed the importance of conveying meeting content visually instead of just verbally. Panelists included Larry Yu, Managing Director of Kite Global Advisors Board of Directors at the Brattle Film Foundation (Boston. USA), Kite Global Lotten Tegstam Wellinder, Concept Owner Meetings/Regional Manager, IKEA and Kristine Nygaard, Graphic Facilitator, KISSTHEFROG.DK.
A Harvard study reports that 83% of information we process goes through our eyes. This means that, regardless of learning style preference, it is important to throw strong visual images into the mix to reinforce core messages. (We discussed visual learning strategies on the Cvent Event Blog several months ago.)
6 Hour Live Masterclass: Transforming Conferences Through Participation
Adrian Segar from Conferences That Work guided participants through interactive techniques like human spectrograms, low/no-tech voting, fishbowls, plus/delta and affinity grouping.
Dissecting Meeting Formats
In a humorous off the wall approach, Eric De Groot, Meeting Designer with Mind Meeting in The Netherlands dissected a meeting owner and identified the 7 parameters of meeting formats.
Meetovation in Denmark
The Fresh Conference has selected Copenhagen as its destination for 2 years in a row. In their presentation, Markus Diefenbach, International Marketing Manager, Business Tourism at Visit Denmark and Steen Jakobsen, Convention Director from Wonderful Copenhagen CVB underscored the need for more participant involvement and attention to learning styles when designing meetings, something that we have also stressed in a 3 part feature here at Cvent Blog.
Photo Credits: Ruud Janssen, TNOC