Mike van der Vijver, Managing Partner at MindMeeting BV

 1. What is Meeting design?
Meeting Design means making the programme for a meeting by combining the specific objectives of the organiser (which I call the Meeting Owner), the expectations and objectives of the participants and the desired changes in content in the course of the meeting.

2. Who is Meeting designer?
Well, today not very many people, ha, ha! Many meeting planners could be or become meeting designers. The reason is that today most meetings are “organised” but not really “deisgned.” By this I mean that there is a separation between the logistics of meetings and what happens inside the meeting room with content.

3.What is wrong with the format of meetings we have now?
They are based on a number of wrong assumptions and are, therefore, mostly ineffective (and boring…). An example is the use of speaker presentation and PowerPoint. The tacit assumption for this format are that:
1) one person has all the relevant knowledge;
2) Classroom teaching as a didactical model;
3) participants can learn by listening passively.

All three these assumptions are wrong.

4. Why is meeting design important nowadays?
By designing programmes carefuly, they become much more effective. This is what our clients tell us. Face-to-face meetings are a significant investment for all organisations. They need to capitalise on the added value of participants’  physical presence. This is only going to become more important as organisations are increasingly under pressure to manage their resources in the most efficient way.

5. What we can expect if we attend INSIDE Conference in Rovinj?
1) Inspiration from people within and outside the meeting industry;
2) Real training: i.e. a bit of theory and then exercises to practice meeting design;
3) A series of surprising formats;
4) A lot of content and fun in a well-designed environment.

Mike van der Vijver, Managing Partner at MindMeeting BV
Mike van der Vijver, Managing Partner at MindMeeting BV

 Mike van der Vijver is a consultant, trainer and facilitator, working with people and processes. He has over 20 years’ experience in the meeting industry, initially as conference interpreter and subsequently as meeting designer through Mindmeeting, the company he co-founded. In addition, he is an executive consultant and coach on national and organisational culture with Itim International. Mike regularly provides content at international conferences. He lives both in Italy and the Netherlands.


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A long-time meetings industry addict, Gorazd is the Founder and owner of marketing and event agency Toleranca Marketing. He has many years of experience in planning, preparing and carrying out large international meetings and exhibitions. As the founder of the "Power to the Meetings" methodology, he still firmly believes in the power of live events and human to human communication. He is also the author of numerous articles and editor-in-chief of the meetings industry magazine Kongres Magazine.