When Maria Prehn organizes meetings and conferences at Dagbladet Børsen, nothing is left to chance. The chairs are carefully selected, incoming light is checked and the whole setup in the room is designed to support the purpose of the meeting.
- The physical setup has an enormous impact on whether your meeting is a success or not. Often, small changes make a big difference and mean that you get exactly the mood that makes your meeting a success, says Maria Prehn.
A good example of this Maria Prehn explains, is when she had two speakers walk around the entire Danish venue Bella Sky Comwell to try all the hotel's chairs. It was important to her that the speakers were comfortable and relaxed, as it would contribute to the relaxed atmosphere that she wanted to create.
An often used argument for not using Meetovation tools in planning a meeting is that it takes too long. Maria Prehn doesn't agree with this argument.
- My experience is that it takes no more time to schedule a Meetovation meeting than an ordinary meeting. I believe that it is the power of habit more than anything, which makes many of us stick to the traditional meetings with cinema seating and long monologues, says Maria Prehn.
Maria Prehn stresses, however that it requires support from the owner of the meeting to move towards the Meetovation meetings and that it also demands more of the venue:
- The owner of the meeting must be ready to move away from the old and comfortable meeting format and try new methods. The same goes for the venue, which must be more flexible and willing to turn it all upside down.
Maria Prehn uses many different methods when it comes to creating inspiring and successful meetings. Among other things, she has experimented with illustrated summaries of the meeting, where a graphic artist continually illustrates the main points, which are subsequently sent out to the meeting participants in stead of the traditional text-heavy summaries.
She also uses pauses to create energy and networks. She does so by, among other things, giving participants the opportunity to get massages, to make their own smoothies or interact with the chefs who make healthy snacks.
- I clearly feel that the energy is quite different. I experience very rarely participants who are bored, yawn or leave early. I know that it is because I deliberately use the Meetovation tools to create the right atmosphere, concludes Maria Prehn.
• Title: Conference Manager
• Has been a trained meetovator for three years
• Arranges 30 to 50 large and small meetings and conferences a year – lasting from a few hours to several days