In an excellent collaboration with Masters in Moderation, Orange Gibbons Eric de Groot quickly responded to a remarkable request. A smart and innovative organisation, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce, wants to take control of the quality of its strategic meetings. We worked 2 days with their event team, recalibrating four of their strategically important series of gatherings around the globe.
Meetings are often part of the communication mix organisations use to achieve their strategic goals. Getting to know clients, opening a market, or gathering information, meetings can make it happen. If their objectives are so important, the meetings better be good! That realisation was the core of the Chambers request. Not a complete redesign, not a strategic revaluation but simply, will these meetings do what they are supposed to do? We called it recalibration.
We, meeting designers and moderators, Jan-Jaap In der Maur (Masters in Moderation) and Eric de Groot (MindMeeting-Orange Gibbon) took a firm decision to not act as a jury/survey team, but to give them a method they can use themselves. To achieve this, we had to combine our various design and moderation instruments into a framework that was easy to use, logic and practical. The framework had to take all the main points of attention of modern strategic event planning into account, from the initial choice to actually use meetings to the choice of venue. From considerations to create interaction to the way the meetings need to be marketed. And we did. Without going into the details, these are the recalibration framework’s seven steps:
- recalibrate why meeting is the best means of communication
- recalibrate why interaction is needed
- recalibrate the behavioural objectives of the meeting
- recalibrate the preliminary program using the SICA approach
- recalibrate the meeting-process backbone
- recalibrate the venue message
- recalibrate the programs meeting formats
Doing this creates the story the meeting represents. This story is extremely helpful in shaping all communications around the meeting, from the invitation to the press release, from the openings address to the closing remarks. From here, the meeting can be designed, prepared and executed.
Interesting enough, this framework has a strong rational backbone, but the recalibration cannot be executed with only the ratio involved. Every now and then, the responsible people needed to take a step back to listen to their hearts.¹ And they did. We can safely say the client was more than happy. This methodology is ready to be applied anywhere. So, if you are in a similar position, having a concept strategic roadmap in which meetings are pivotal, do not hesitate to contact us, if you want to control the quality of your meetings. We are happy to help.
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This case was provided by Eric de Groot, the leading Meeting Designer of Orange Gibbon Ltd.
¹ To listen to your heart is of course meant metaphorically, as we are no cardiologists. It means to give way to the soft signals your whole being gives about what you are doing, observing or ignoring. You can call it intuition, gut feeling or the sixth sense, as long as you focus on taking it seriously as well as trying to give words to it. To really understand what the information is related to, only sharing that ‘something feels weird’ is not enough.