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Conference planning: Almost a science in itself

Have you ever heard of 'meeting architecture'? This 'scientific' approach has been established by Maarten Vanneste who wants to help planners make their MICE events even more successful.

The Belgian author published 'Meeting Architecture, a Manifesto' in May 2008. In it, he puts the case for new approaches to training event managers, including:

"Meeting architecture is the art of designing the content and format of a meeting so that participants behave in the desired manner. The meeting architect cannot start his work until the behavioural objectives have been clearly marked out. Consequently, one of his most important tasks is to help customers formulate specific goals for their event. He uses a broad range of skills and tools before, during and after the meeting to provide the participants with information. (…)

Meeting architects must also be experts in measuring results, such as the extent to which participants have processed and retained the message, the effort they have put into networking to establish relationships and the degree to which the desired motivational goal has been achieved. Meeting architects must also be able to measure the degree to which these activities result in participants behaving as intended."

For this purpose, Vanneste established the Meeting Support Institute (MSI), a non-profit platform where suppliers and others can promote their products and services for helping organisers to plan events.