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

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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