What can everyday meetings learn from special events – and vice versa?

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As consultants in participatory processes, we have observed that many organizations plan their special events such as conferences, workshops, forums, assemblies, etc. differently than their everyday business meetings.

We wonder, “What do these two kinds of events have in common? What are the differences between them? And “What can we learn from one to strengthen the participants’ experience in the other?”

The following chart invites reflection on the success factors for participatory processes. Put a ? to indicate the presence of these elements in your events and meetings.

Success Factor

Special Event

Every day meeting

Planned in advance

 

 

Has a budget assigned

 

 

Location is chosen with care

 

 

Organizing committee in charge

 

 

Invitation directed toward a specific public

 

 

Purpose is clear and shared with all

 

 

Program designed to stimulate interest in attending

 

 

Participants have ample opportunity to contribute to the discussion

 

 

Time is allotted for each activity and time limits are respected

 

 

Someone is responsible for preparing/leading each activity

 

 

Program is outcome-oriented

 

 

Physical needs and the well being of participants are taken into consideration

 

 

Relevant information is shared in advance

 

 

Results, commitments and next steps are promptly communicated after the event

 

 

Support roles (facilitation, welcome, translators, documentation, food, etc.) are assigned or contracted

 

 

Bosses, directors, decision-makers are involved in the planning and present at the event

 

 

Final thought: All your meetings, special or everyday, deserve both careful planning and an outcome-oriented focus.

Need help improving your everyday meeting or planning a special event? Contact us to schedule a free consultation to discuss your needs.

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