Business Events Denmark: How would you sum up the USPs of the by now internationally renowned Danish meeting design concept 'Meetovation' in just 5 bullet points?
Steen Møller: To keep it very short, Meetovation is all about getting a higher return on your meeting investment by using some or all of the below elements:
• Actively involving your delegates
• Thinking responsibly
• Using more creative setups
• Emphasizing the unique environment/local characteristics at the chosen destination
If I may add to this, then the aim of Meetovation is to increase the outcome of the time and money spent when bringing people together. Meetovation is about mastering the art of developing different and beneficial meeting design concepts that are tailor-made to any given event and to the story that needs telling. Our Danish concept makes conferences and meetings more efficient and responsible by engaging participants actively and by offering a wide range of new and innovative approaches and tools that create a more flexible usage of meeting and conference facilities.
Business Events Denmark: Meetovation was launched abroad a few years ago, how has the journey been so far?
Steen Møller: Since we initiated the project in 2003, we have come a long way developing the Danish Meetovation meeting design concept. Our point of departure was simply that 'change is good' and thus, we basically cut the ties to the more conventional ways of conducting meetings and conferences and decided to develop new ways of thinking innovative meeting design.
In 2009-2010 the Danish 'Meetovation' meeting design concept and the 'Meetovation Training programme' was ready for an international launch and today, the ever-evolving concept goes from strength to strength by guiding meeting professionals at home and abroad on how to create higher return of a meeting investment by doing things differently – and hence, the international 'MINDblowing Meetings' campaign abroad, which constantly keeps evolving too. This year we focus on 'MINDtalks', for example.
Business Events Denmark: How many Meetovators are there in Denmark these days and what do they offer?
Steen Møller: Since the very start, Business Events Denmark has been actively involved in developing and promoting the Danish Meetovation concept, and we are thrilled about our position as frontrunners within this field and for the praise we continue to receive for the innovative concept from the global meetings industry. These days there are more than 300 certified Meetovators within the Danish Meetings Industry - all ready to help 'Meetovate' events staged by international meeting planners in Denmark and the number is still on the rise.
In December 2013, the first-ever class of certified Meetovators from abroad also attended a 2-day training course in the Danish capital focusing on how to energize their clients' meetings and increase their Return on Meeting Investment. This again was a huge success and the positive feedback from the 16 experienced international meeting planners and key MICE media attending was the best kind of endorsement of the Meetovation concept that we could ask for. As a result, we'll run another international Meetovation training course again in December 2014.
Business Events Denmark: What are the strenghts and weaknesses of Meetovation?
Steen Møller: Together with our partners, Wonderful Copenhagen amongst them, we've had great success marketing the meeting design concept abroad and have received loads of great publicity abroad. We've definitely been first-movers in terms of developing, packaging and marketing innovative meeting design concepts abroad and this in a highly competitive market.
In addition, our evaluations show that every time we've based our own activities/business events at home and abroad on the Meetovation concept (such as the MINDchallenges, MINDfamtrips, the MINDevents and this year's MINDtalks), we've received extremely positive feedback. We've managed to change our clients perception of what our destination can offer quite significantly and in a very positive direction and we've been part of uniting the Danish Meetings Industry simultaneously. The challenge, or the long-haul, is getting even more local partners involved and as many employees within the Danish Meetings Industry as possible trained in the Meetovation concept and thus, not to rest on our laurels. We're not done yet, we're on our way, and there always more work to be done!
Business Events Denmark: What does the next stage of Meetovation encompass?
Steen Møller:With its fifth birthday on the horizon, VisitDenmark and a range of key players in the Danish meetings industry - VisitAarhus, Inspiring Denmark, Midtjysk Turisme, Wonderful Copenhagen, Radisson Blu Hotels, Comwell A/S, Bella Center and Scandic Hotels - have initiated a refinement of the concept's core principles - a 'Meetovation 3.0' so to speak, which will be of benefit to the Danish Meetings Industry as a whole and attract even more meetings and conferences to Denmark.
Over the next two years Danish companies and organisations are to invest four million DKK in an enhancement of the Meetovation concept and we've got loads of new ideas and concepts in the pipeline; the development of more new Meetovation tools and products offered by the Danish Meeting Industry, guidelines on 'how to use' the existing and new elements/tools, training of more Meetovators and facilitators, further integration of social media, etc.
We keep adding new angles to the elements outlined in the beginning of this interview and from the hugely positive feedback we receive from international meeting planners and our strong position as frontrunner within this field we can see that the concept does generate more profitable meetings, which in essence is what this is all about. Meetovation is a holistic concept by nature, very flexible and inclusive - just like the Danes - and is therefore always developing!
Watch this space for more MINDblowing ideas coming out of Denmark..