Today, I continue our exploration of innovative concepts that are unfamiliar to North American event planners and how they can be applied during meetings and events. Our focus is on 3 innovative concepts from Europe.
- Hygge - Denmark: The rough translation for "hygge" is "togetherness" or "coziness" in a mental sense. VisitDenmark elaborates:
"The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Friends and family — that’s hygge too. And let’s not forget the eating and drinking — preferably sitting around the table for hours on end discussing the big and small things in life."
- Gemutlichkeit - Germany: Similar to "hygge", it means a warm and cozy mood and spirit fostered in relaxed, "comfy" settings.
To incorporate Hygge or Gemutlichkeit:
- bring attendees together in cozy lounge settings with fireplaces or, in the evening, relaxed candlelit settings
- serve warm, light refreshments while breakout groups to exchange ideas in cozy settings
- Friluftsliv - Norway: Roughly translated as "free air life" it means spending time outdoors is good for the spirit and mind.
- start the meeting with warm-up exercises outdoors or in an enclosed patio with picture windows
- serve lunch outdoors or, during the winter, in an atrium or similar setting with a view of the outdoors
- take the group for a quick invigorating walk at lunch time or around 3:00 when energy tends to dip
- my company has long incorporated outdoor activities into its desert, winter and wilderness survival business team building simulations to perk participants up for the facilitated business exercises and brainstorming
- If it's too cold or rainy to go outside or the meeting is in an urban setting, use the magic of DVDs to transport attendees to outdoor environments. (Always get permission from the copyright holder.)
Bonus: Braawta - In my native Jamaica, Braawta traditionally refers to an extra surprise thank you gift a market woman might give you. Similar to a baker's dozen, if, for example, you pay for 12 grapefruits, you may find that you have 13 or perhaps something extra you didn't pay for, like a mango. So in effect, this bonus is "braawta."
In the events industry, "braawta" is a great way to add fun and the element of surprise:
- some reggae bands now refer to the extra set they do as an encore as "braawta"
- surprising guests with a couple of songs by a popular artist who was not on the line-up or a surprise celebrity guest appearance would be braawta
- an unexpected take-away gift that attendees get at the end of the evening could be "braawta"
- an extra surprise draw or door prize in addition to what was announced would be "braawta"
This video which can be played in the background during small group exercises and used to incorporate Friluftsliv or Shinrin-yoku is my braawta for you today....
Here is the full MNN feature that inspired today's blog post and last week's 4 Innovative Asian Concepts to Inspire Meeting Planners.
- 7 cultural concepts we don't have in the U.S. Perhaps one of these ideas will inspire you to think differently....
For more inspiration from other cultures, also read Denmark A Trailblazer with Meetovation, The Fresh Conference Highlights From Copenhagen, Denmark, 10 Tips for Creating Caribbean Corporate Events, Not Just Another Chicken Dinner, Part 2, and 20 Box Lunches Ideas That Beat Boredom on the Cvent Event Blog.
Photo Credits: rfunnel