Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

August 08 2016

3 Tips For Turning Your Next Meeting Into A Can’t-Miss Event

Jeanna Hofmeister

We’ve all been there. Filled with anticipation, you register for a conference, sure you’ll come back inspired, bursting with knowledge and armed with innovative ideas you can immediately execute with your teams. You’ve also probably experienced returning from such a trip, only to shelve your notes and continue down that same path you’ve been on. So what makes an event truly transformative – one that leaves you thinking and doing and communicating about your experience? 

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On the heels of C2MONTRÉAL, an innovative conference that combines commerce with creativity, we tapped in to the experts at Tourisme Montréal to discover what it takes to create this can’t-miss event and others. Integrating their expert ideas could be the game changer for your next convention.

1) Rethink Your Approach To Networking.

Because conference organizers and speakers no longer hold the monopoly on content, every attendee has the potential to become an expert for others. Since delegates hold the key to future conference success, recognizing their potential contributions is huge.  In the case of C2, coordinated linking services, or “Brain Dates”, thoughtfully matched individuals and resources to one another, creating a more powerful conference dynamic. “When you allow for electronic contacts via a website or mobile application, the physical locations of your events can become peer-to-peer learning platforms or learning hubs,” says Lucy Mungiovi, Director Convention Services and Hospitality at Tourisme Montréal. “E-180 successfully applied this formula as part of C2MONTRÉAL, causing an incredible synergy of knowledge between participants.”

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According to Alina Maizel, Senior Producer at E-180, “Attendees are looking for meaningful networking and relationship building that helps them with whatever challenge they are currently facing -  be it personal or professional.  They’re looking for something more impactful than speed networking or transactional B2B. They’re looking for more human connections.”  These in person one-on-one peer learning meetings were structured, intentional networking sessions based on knowledge sharing and collaboration. “Participants love it when they have the freedom to choose not only what content they learn from, but the context, too,” says Maizel.

2) Deliver Some Only-Found-In-This-Destination Experiences.

Attendees want to discover distinctive destination experiences, from dive bars and designer cocktails to ephemeral boutiques, or pop-up shops, featuring indigenous foods and local products. At C2, a dining area featuring some of the best food trucks from Montréal aroused a lot of interest and served to makes a strong destination impression.  “Food is a great source of enthusiasm and identity,” says Mungiovi. “Local specialties speak of a destination and a state of mind.”  Another key is to create customized itineraries that deliver authentic and memorable experiences for convention attendees and other business travelers. Yulism helps connect business travelers in meaningful and relevant ways, while other services like Utrip create personalized travel itineraries based on individual interest profiles.

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3) Focus On Fitness.

In a time where performance is king, now more than ever, people are looking for balance and well-being. With more organizations considering their employees’ needs of balance by promoting exercise, more healthy food options and mindfulness there’s a takeaway for meeting and event planners, too.“Why not offer a wellness lounge to relax, or provide fitness sessions in the program of your event?” Mungiovi asks. From morning meditations to fitness breaks and healthy snack options featuring more fruit and veggies and less chocolate and cookies, planners benefit by attendees who have increased focus and more motivation to fully participate during interactive sessions.  “We know a happy and healthy delegate learns better and retains more,” says Mungiovi.  “In a way, it is a holistic approach to business.”

Discover more conference wellness ideas in Five Tips For Onsite Wellness.

The combination of choosing a destination that delivers unforgettable experiences, as well as switching up program schedules to allow more time for mindfulness and peer-to-peer collaboration, can the stage for your next “can’t-miss” event.

To learn more about Montréal’s innovative ideas for meetings and events, contact the Tourisme Montréal meeting professionals at meet@mtl.org

This informative article was brought to you by Tourisme Montréal. The cosmopolitan, multicultural and multilingual city consistently ranks as one of the top destinations for international meetings. Explore the Tourisme Montréal meetings blog to find out why the American Bar Association, National Women’s Studies Association, World Social Forum and other organizations are choosing Montréal for their events.

Photos credits: Agnieszka S., Eva Blue and Sébastien Roy

Brought to you by Tourisme Montréal

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