Meetings International #13, May 2014 (English)

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No. 13 May 2014 €19 / 165 SEK

HAMSO & MUTSCHLECHNER better, ’’Design face to face meetings










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home destination! c view Stockholm is a destination management company with extensive experience in handling groups, events, meetings and incentive programs. We package experiences in a creative and innovative way and are proud to provide you with the best our country has to offer. Close and personal cooperation with clients and partners is our key to success in creating an unforgettable and unique stay in Stockholm and locations across Sweden. c view Stockholm is happy to assist you with the design of the destination!

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MCI is the world’s leading provider of strategic engagement and activation solutions and has been a k driver of innovation in the meetings, events, association and congress industries since 1987. Through creative live experiences and digitisation, globalisation, brand enhancement and content strategies, M helps multinational companies and international associations to enhance organisational performance, grow globally, energise communities and drive business results.

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No. 13  PUBLISHER Roger Kellerman

May 2014 A Question of Time


Our First BIR Atti Soenarso overviews our first international Business Intelligence Report.



Meeting Minds Christian Mutschlechner and Dr Elling Hamso in conversation.

WRITERS Tomas Dalström,

Hans Gordon, Roger Kellerman, Pravasan Pillay, Robin Sharma, Atti Soenarso.  PHOTOGRAPHER Sara Appelgren (incl. cover)  TRANSL ATION Dennis Brice  EDITOR Pravasan Pillay  ART DIRECTOR  EDITORIAL RAYS OF SUNSHINE Korean Temple Food +

IG + Asgeir + Melissa Sunjaya + Benjamin Hole + Bimo’s cello ensemble  SUBSCRIPTION Four issues: Sweden €39, Europe €73, Outside Europe €77.


Processes of Change Hans Gordon on changes big and small.


Seoul’s Meetings Master Plan “The meetings industry is one of Seoul’s future core industries.”

Buy at or Single copies are €15 + postage when ordered online.  CONTACT Meetings International Publishing,

P.O. Box 224, SE-271 25 Ystad, Sweden, Editorial Office +46 8 612 42 20, Commercial Office +46 72 551 70 97,, ­


Meeting Design is an Art Form Essential extracts and summaries from Into the Heart of Meetings.

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Decisions Made in The Hague Affect The Entire World.

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Leitura Display; Hoefler & Frere-Jones Chronicle Text, Chronicle Display, Knockout.  ISSN 1651-9663


Rules For Great Mornings Deepen this exceptionally smart habit.


Reading in Different Media

Reproduction of articles and other material, whole or in part, is forbidden without the prior consent of the publishers. Quoting, however, is encouraged as long as the source is stated.

Jana Holsanova on the interaction between language and image. 86 KELLERMAN

The Future is in Borås Roger Kellerman on an innovative initiative in West Sweden. Meetings International is a member of ICCA, MPI, SITE and The International­Federation of Audit Bureaux of C ­ irculations, IFABC.

Meetings International Publishing uses environmentally certified printing, paper and distribution.

Sometimes the grass really is greener on the other side. Are you looking for a suitable place for your next meeting or congress – a place that’s as serious about Corporate Social Responsibility, the question of sustainability and of minimising environmental impact as you are? Perhaps you should take a closer look at Stockholm – a city where a century long tradition of tackling environmental issues has laid the foundations for one of Europe’s strongest and most vibrant cleantech clusters.

Welcome to the Green Capital: Stockholm was named the first winner of the European Green Capital award in 2010. This as recognition for Stockholm’s efforts to improve the quality of urban life by taking the environment systematically into account in urban planning.

Goodbye fossils! The City of Stockholm is carrying out an ambitious initiative called ”Fossil Free 2050” to limit climate change. The overriding target is a city free of fossil fuels by the year 2050. Photo: Ola Ericson

“For me, the biggest advantage of having our HQ in Stockholm is that there is an abundance of competent people here – skilled engineers as well as business people with international experience who are good at building multinational companies.” Per Olofsson CEO of ClimateWell

All over the world, governments and local authorities are currently busy implementing environmental programs in areas like waste management, water purification and energy efficiency. But not in Stockholm. You see, in Stockholm, programs like these have been running for decades, even centuries. Stockholm’s first water purification plant was built in 1904 and environmentally superior district heating was established already in the 1950s, just to name a few examples. This first-mover advantage has been instrumental in establishing one of Europe’s most innovative cleantech clusters. Not to mention shaping a city where the air is easy to breathe and where everything that happens, does so with sustainability and the environment in mind.

World-class urban development… Stockholm’s much-publicised sustainable city concept, Hammarby Sjöstad, has become as a role model for urban development projects all around the world. From day one, the City of Stockholm imposed tough environmental requirements on buildings, infrastructural solutions and the traffic environment, resulting in a total impact on the environment by half when compared to any similar, conventionally developed new city districts. Not content to rest on its laurels, the city now forges ahead with a new and unique global showcase called “Stockholm Royal Seaport” – a part of the City’s vision of a “world-class Stockholm” by 2030. The ambitious environmental objectives for the area will see the City, developers, architects and entrepreneurs working more closely together than ever before in order to realise the vision of a world-class environmental urban district. Among many other cleantech innovations, Stockholm Royal Seaport will be the first in the world to feature full-scale smart grids, provided by the Stockholm based power and automation company ABB, in collaboration with energy company Fortum. The new district is of course open to potential foreign capital, technologies and know-how.

…supported by cutting edge cleantech companies In Stockholm, innovative cleantech products and systems have long since left the drawing boards, been commercialised, integrated into the fabric of society and then exported to the rest of the world in ever growing numbers. Today, the Stockholm cleantech sector consists of some 3000 companies and employs approximately 25 000 people. Among the more well known companies are Climatewell (efficient solar energy solutions for cooling and heating), Envac (sustainable vacuum waste collection systems for a better urban environment) and Solelia Greentech (solar powered charging stations for electric vehicles). Why Stockholm? The reasons behind the success of the Stockholm cleantech sector are often cited as: Integrated and holistic city planning, close ties between public institutions and private enterprise in combination with stringent legi slation. An example of the latter is Stockholm’s official target to make the region CO2 free by 2050, which drives a dynamic market for alternative fuels and renewable energy. Per Olofsson, CEO of the multinational cleantech

company Climatewell, adds his own thoughts on the subject: “For me, the biggest advantage of having our HQ in Stockholm is that there is an abundance of competent people here skilled engineers as well as business people with international experience who are good at building multinational companies. I also think the climate in the region has played a big part. When you have winters like ours it becomes second nature to try and use energy more efficiently, which is what cleantech is all about.” An ideal test bed for innovations Perhaps as important as a dynamic market are R&D facilities where new technologies can undergo real-world field testing. Hammarby Sjöstadsverk is a great example of just that – a platform for development and exchange of knowledge and technologies in water treatment and related environmental technology that promotes cooperation among companies, experts/researchers and municipal sewage works. Another exciting development is the industrial district of Högdalen a new centre for environmental and clean energy technology built around Fortum’s CHP plant – one of the most modern in Europe. The vision includes the establishment of a R&D centre for waste to energy/biogas, gasification technologies and recycling of textiles, treatment of organic waste, soil remediation. The aim is to attract

domestic and international businesses that are at the forefront of cleantech – and just as important: create 60000 new jobs. To support cleantech developments in the region, there is a presence of both local and international venture capitalists with frequent international syndication. And there are several incubators available for innovative cleantech startups. The result: green growth Stockholm has succeeded in cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 25 % in the last decade, combining growth and sustainability. OECD wrote the following in their study named Green Growth in Stockholm, Sweden 2013: “The City of Stockholm is a leader in reducing local greenhouse gas emissions, most notably through widespread district heating and cooling systems, and through the application of a vehicle congestion charge.“ And even more importantly, the report showed that Stockholm had managed to increase its GDP without increasing its emissions. That’s a great start on the way towards a truly green economy! Expert help – free of charge Stockholm Convention Bureau is here to make things easier for organizers. As a part of Stockholm Visitors Board, we provide a free-of-charge service offering all the support you need to plan a successful meeting.

If you want to know more about what we offer and why life science companies and organizations keep coming back to Stockholm, don’t hesitate to get in contact.

For more advice on your next meeting, send us an email or give us a call. Stockholm Visitors Board Stockholm Convention Bureau Phone: +46 8 508 28 551

Stockholm Royal Seaport, to be completed in 2030, has been selected as one of 18 urban development projects that form part of the Clinton Climate Initiative’s global Climate Positive Development Program. Image: Micasa by White Arkitekter

14 | INTRO

Time for Our First BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE REPORT For seven years we have written a well-appreciated annual trend report on the Swedish meetings industry. We have had in-depth analyses and have drawn conclusions as to how the future will look. We are now broadening our perspective and looking at the business intelligence required by the global meetings industry to enable companies and organisations to improve their information and knowledge management and become more reliable. In our first international Business Intelligence Report, to be published in the autumn, we will be looking at the growing significance of the knowledge society. How innovations, university research and development is growing within the meetings industry. We lay puzzles, highlight the various patterns and the factors that control developments. We show how meetings are developed exponentially. We look at skills development and skills provision, education and the development of international organisations and trade fairs. We also scrutinise meetings management, meeting design, ROI and meeting architecture, and review

new technology, networks and clusters. We seek the pieces of the puzzle that link the various factors in Asia, USA, Canada, Australia, Scandinavia and the rest of Europe. If we put together Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Iceland in ICCA’s statistics, these five relatively small countries, in terms of population, would suddenly take second place after the USA, and with scarcely 25 million inhabitants. Why is this? We scrutinise the Baltic States and Poland, but also younger countries in the meetings industry, such as Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, and their rapid development within the industry. Here we see rapid growth, mainly due to young people in a young industry, that does not have a history of ‘been there, done that.’ We break new ground by showing new development paths. We envisage a meetings industry that will double in size every ten years with conventions, large arenas, new hotels, large and small, throughout the world, and in the number of people employed in the companies and organisations. We also see the weaknesses like the lack of, or low,

education, poor skills development, even poorer skills provision, lack of transparency and business intelligence. We have awarded the annual Meetings Planner of the Year Award for many years. We founded Meeting Professional International (MPI) in Sweden twenty years ago and we have instigated several education courses in meeting management. On top of all this we founded The Meeting Industry Week in Sweden that we arrange for the ninth time on 19–23 January 2015 at the Malmö Exhibition and Event Centre. This is also when the Swedish edition of the magazine becomes Meetings Live. We are turning to more companies and organisations that are already at the forefront and wish to be seen in the new knowledge concept. Our Business Intelligence Report 2014 takes a bigger grip than any other meeting management magazine has done. We are taking the report with us to the ICCA convention in Turkey this autumn to discuss the next steps with the delegates. Share – The Power of Collaboration.

Swedish-Indonesian Atti Soenarso has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years. She has worked for Scandinavia’s largest daily newspaper, was TV4’s first travel editor, has written for many Swedish travel magazines and has had several international clients. She has travelled the length and breadth of the world and written about destinations, people and meetings.


lounge with a spectacular view of stockholm

Stockholm Waterfront Congress Centre

a strong injection to Stockholm as a convention city There are many who say that the Stockholm Waterfront Congress

the airport in 20 minutes by train. They can walk directly from Arlanda

Centre has become a strong injection to Stockholm as a convention

Express terminal to the congress centre.

destination. From here, in the city centre you have a view over the City Hall,

– When we told a U.S. customer that we have over three thousand hotel rooms within five minutes walking distance, she did not believe

with the Blue Hall, where the winners and their guests eat the Nobel

that this could be true. Of course it is also important that Stockholm is

Award dinner. You can also overlook parts of Sweden’s third largest

a safe city to walk in, says Kenth Larsson.

lake, Mälaren, and a great portion of the city’s beautiful buildings and scenery. – When we meet with clients around the world we can see that our

Collaboration is key to Stockholm Waterfront and they see themselves as a complement to the activities that are otherwise in the Stockholm meetings market and the cooperation with competitors

efforts have contributed to a renewed curiosity in Stockholm. Many

floats very well. They provide each other with guests and their part-

organizers see another reason to have Stockholm on their short list of

ners will find new business for Waterfront, because the others cannot

cities in Europe, says Kenth Larsson, Director of Sales & Marketing.

take congresses up to 3,000 guests in size, but it also means that the

Stockholm Waterfront Congress Centre have found their specialty

Waterfront provides many hotels with many guests when large meet-

and the competitors have to focus on their own niche even more

ings and events are in the house. Up to 3,000 people is not enormous,

than they did before. That means that Stockholm has become even

but perfectly adequate, as approximately 80 percent of all large meet-

stronger as a convention and event destination.

ings and conventions are somewhere between 500 to 2,000 people.

– When we make a bid to try to win an international congress, we

The combination of hotel and congress centre in the same building

normally compete with three to ten destinations – and today Stock-

is unique in Europe and with this city position – in the world. Before

holm is often on the list when it comes to cities in Europe for the major

breaking ground Sam Holmberg and Kenth Larsson went around the

conferences, says Sam Holmberg, CEO of Stockholm Waterfront Con-

world for inspiration.

gress Centre. He also believes that it is important that they are in the city centre of Stockholm, but also that their customers can get from

– Hotels are easier to compare, it’s about the same type of, as an example, procedures and logistics, but when it comes to the congress

Stockholm WaterFront congreSS centre

centre, there was no place that fully met our thoughts and ideas. We

stimulating way. There is free wifi, which Rezidor was one of the first

did find bits and pieces for our concept in different places.

hotel chains in the world to introduce.

The congress centre is flexible, with movable walls and platforms.

When John McEnroe stayed at Waterfront, he was impressed that

It offers small meeting rooms and large conference rooms, which seats

he at a first class hotel could walk directly from his room within only

up to 3,000 people and has a ceiling height of 17 meters. They also

two minutes and play tennis in the redecorated adjacent Congress

have a separate AV team and their own equipment. Some of the major

Hall. McEnroe took part in the tournament Kings of Tennis, which

conferences that have been here are FERMA 2011 (Risk Manage-

included Mats Wilander, Stefan Edberg and others. Other well-known

ment with over 1,500 participants), Escaide 2011 (European Scientific

artists who played in the main congress hall are Sting and Bob Dylan.

Conference on Applied Infectious Disease Epidemiology), SpaceOps

The Dalai Lama also held a highly acclaimed lecture here.

2012 (International Conference on Space Operations), Eurotox 2012

When Sting was here, he said at the end of the concert that he

(Congress of the European Societies of Toxicology), IFPA 2012 (World

liked the acoustics very much and it was one of the best facilities he’d

Psoriasis & Psoriatic Arthritis Conference), and ICSC 2013 (Retail Real

played in.

Estate Industry). That the brain is the goal of all communication Waterfront takes very seriously – which has resulted in the concept ‘Experience Meetings’. One example: We have all sat and nodded off after an ordinary

– Good sound is one of the key success factors we planned before building the place and that has worked very well. I am very proud of that, says Sam Holmberg. Waterfront has invested in solar energy and on a sunny day it has

– conference lunch – which resulted in the body’s satiety signals which

the power of one megawatt, which among other things is enough

restricts our ability to be nimble and absorb information.

to produce the hot water needed. In the basement there is also the

With the help of experts, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group developed

possibility to freeze up to 250 tons of ice in five large containers. This is

the concept Brainfood, which helps us stay more creative throughout

to create cooling in parts of the house that need it. At Waterfront they

the day.

redistribute the heat – from surplus to shortfall – through an advanced

Another example is the creative ‘Brain Box room’ – which all guests in the house can reserve and use. Here’s a big wall to write on, stimulating colors, more reclining seats and the ability to surprise in a

climate control system.

a1 auditorium

Both the hotel and congress centre are certified by Green Building


certification and the hotel was the first Swan eco labeled hotel on the

Location Stockholm City

same day as the opening.

Opened January 2011

Responsible Business is Carlson Rezidor’s CSR program which the

Powered by Carlson Rezidor Hotel group

hotel and congress centre belong to. The program has 3 pillars: Think

Total area 14,000 square meters that can be sec-

Planet, Think People and Think Together. Ethics is one of the guiding

tioned and combined into a large number of different

principles and the hotel group has been a 4 time winner of the World’s

solutions - for 500, 1,000 or 3,000 persons. The

Most Ethical Company Award.

venue can cater for gala dinners up to 2,000 persons,

Sam Holmberg and Kenth Larsson also note that they can have

concerts, large business meetings, exhibitions etc.

as many flexible and movable walls as you like, superior technology

Foyer Additional 3,000 sqm of possibilities.

and design – but it’s worth nothing if the service culture is not in the

Largest congress hall 3,000 people

house 24/7. The ’100 % Satisfaction Guarantee policy’ is of course

Other meeting facilities More than 20 rooms. From the

something else that’s a great tool that’s good for both the guests and

VIP room for 12 and others up to 600 people.

the employees.

Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel, first class facilities with

– My philosophy is that everything starts with employees. Often you start at the other end by primarily looking at profit, then the customer and ultimately the employees. We must give employees the opportunity to do their job in the best way by giving them strong tools, training and good working conditions. When they know what to do, what is expected and when they enjoy their work, it becomes rather obvious. The result is that the customers will be happy and when they are satisfied good results will follow, says Sam Holmberg.

direct access 414 rooms Within 300 meters 3,500 extra hotel rooms






Atti Soenarso PHOTOS

Sara Appelgren





Last year Meetings International magazine conducted a series of interviews with some of the titans of the meetings industry.

In this issue we meet Christian Mutschlechner, Director of Vienna Convention Bureau. He has won every conceivable award in the global meetings industry and was former president of the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA). Christian Mutschlechner’s interlocutor is Dr Elling Hamso, MD of the European ROI Institute and a popular international speaker throughout the meetings and events industry. What is their view of the important issues? Which issues are likely to dominate? We discuss travel and meeting management, audience surveys, the significance of music on the outcome of meetings, the art of learning, and we also get a pretty good insight into what it is that makes them tick. Elling Hamso (E H ): I recently organised a project about travel and meetings management for travel and meeting managers. More and more travel managers are being given the

responsibility for meetings planning in their companies and organisations and so have both titles on their business cards. This offers a great potential for raising ROI issues and creating new procedures and is why the ROI approach should be part and parcel of their work procedures. This is an area in which we hope to see changes that help create a more professional meetings community. Christian Mutschlechner (CM ): Absolutely, and undoubtedly a subject area that is very interesting from a meetings industry perspective. There are still many companies who feel that the issues should be kept apart, but all too often we see proof that the issues belong together because all business trips lead to meetings. If we can’t provide the basis for producing good meetings for business travellers then travel planning is of secondary importance. For us in the global meetings industry it’s about being able to offer professional communi2014 No. 13 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


“ All too often we see proof that the issues belong together because all business trips lead to meetings”

ties a chance to stretch their limits and rapidly advance in their development. I maintain that sometime in the future we will be able to deliver double the value at half the price of meetings and events. Do you agree? EH Meetings are still dominated by logistic issues and challenges. Sooner or later these issues will be handled by virtual environments that match the interests of the meetings delegates in what is becoming an increasingly mobile society. People with the same interests and ideas will be brought together to exchange knowledge in a live meeting every year. CM I actually think that people will meet live more often. This is a unique opportunity for the live meeting, but we still haven’t really begun designing live meetings with any large degree of interaction. There are far too many ‘constructed’ presentations and we leave what is probably the most important aspect to chance, that is to say to coffee breaks and lunches. There are possibilities there of meeting people who may change and improve your life, and you theirs, if real interaction were to take place. Of course that happens now but not to a sufficiently high degree, but we have begun planning for it. MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 13 2014

E H One of the greatest mistakes still is that organisers are aware of the significance of networking but don’t actually do a lot from a logistics perspective. They extend the coffee breaks, but how does that help? Networks have to be built up in a professional way, and the same goes for presenting knowledge. As an example we can take Elling Hamso, who checks the programme the week before the congress or conference to see who is coming. That’s when you make a note of the people you wish to meet. You arrive at the meeting, meet one of the people during registration and say: “Good to see you, we must talk.” But when you leave the meeting three days later you haven’t met any of the people on your list face-to-face. Why? Well, partly because the organisers do not provide the right tools to make this happen. This creates a bad impression of the meeting among the delegates. People might say that the seminars were interesting, but still feel they had missed something. C M This approach would put the organiser, association or organisation under great pressure as they risk losing delegates to other actors on the market who offer a more congenial environment in which to meet live.






“ S ometime in the future we will be able to deliver double the value at half the price of meetings and events”

E H It’s definitely a quality issue and in some part a logistics issue, but is also about building a meeting infrastructure because a lot of thought needs to go into it. Organisers would have to provide quite a few tables and chairs, for instance, and think outside the box organisation-wise, which could lead to a completely new meetings organisation. C M We would probably need the right infrastructure to be able to sit together at all, to know in advance that we have a congenial environment that permits a half-hour discussion, a table and a coffee machine in which I can put in my euro and get my coffee and where I can feel comfortable in the live meeting. Elling Hamsö recalls a congress he implemented in Norway in 1995 called the Oil and Gas Strategy Conference. At the rear of the large venue they had rigged up four offices. The message to the delegates was that they should participate in all the seminars and lectures to hear the presentations but if they found a business partner and needed to talk, they could use one of the smaller meeting rooms. Each room had a telephone and fax, all that was necessary back then, to help the meeting go smoothly.

EH I get irritated at organisers who fail to realise there are apps for meetings, apps that help me find interesting people on the delegate list, that make it easy for me to book lunch table No. 63 in an hour for that oh so decisive meeting. This is almost a matter of survival today. There will soon be no meetings without apps containing all the relevant information and the possibility of booking meetings with other delegates. I get furious that it still isn’t normal procedure everywhere. Everybody is aware of the importance of this, but too few care enough to take action. This has to change, and quickly. CM This means that organisers have to change the way they budget and finance their meetings because one of the most important items on a budget is still how to pay for the coffee that is drunk during the breaks. If I stay at home or in my office the principle is there is no free coffee because somebody’s paying for it. EH As a delegate I would prefer organisers to invest in a system that gives them a better understanding of my expectations. Also, I’m prepared to pay for my coffee because then I can decide whether I want an awful cup of coffee or a good one. We don’t 2014 No. 13 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


“They extend the coffee breaks, but how does that help?”

really have that choice today. We only get an awful cup of coffee. CM This is a major issue. The other thing is the ever-increasing need for space in meetings arenas and alternative types of furnishing in enticing environments. Christian Mutschlechner says that in the future we may well be able to register for a conference and specify our preferences, experience, interests and the subject areas we would like to begin with. The system would play matchmaker by generating a list of people who we don’t know but who match our interests. It will ask us if we are ready to meet. If we agree, it will book us in at say 8:30am on the first day at table three in the networking lounge, all based on our personal preferences. EH The technology already exists, it’s a shame that nobody wants to use it. Five years ago I was at a congress in Orlando where I received a list of all the seminars taking place. Naturally there was no possibility of entering my own interests, but I could still rank the seminars from ‘not at all interesting’ to ‘very interesting.’ It was enough to enable matching and I got to meet people with similar interests. I could also book a table for a MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 13 2014

meeting. There’s something here that is fundamental in the development of meetings. C M The important thing is not to mix in all with the coffee breaks where you chat with the person next to you, are relaxed and enjoying yourself. This is in no way insignificant. A professionally built system for important networking meetings has to be a seminar in the schedule like all the others. We should call it something other than networking because the sound of the word still has certain associations. Peer Learning Session, perhaps, or something like that. The art of learning is a subject that greatly interests Elling Hamso and Christian Mutschlechner. How do people learn? They say there is a lot of research in the field and that researchers have all come to the same conclusion: if we’re not emotionally involved then new knowledge will not stick. Everything we hear enters the short-term memory and soon pops out again. You have to involve emotion for it to stay put. C M Neurosociological and neurobiological research has shown which parts of the brain light up when we go into narrative mode as opposed to

the traditional bullet point mode that dominates PowerPoint presentations. EH Our business has enormous potential for increased learning and the preservation of knowledge, and we have great awareness of how people learn. We now need to take the next step by utilising it in our reality in the meetings industry. CM On the one hand I agree wholeheartedly that there are vital emotional factors that we should learn to utilise better. On the other hand we must also realise that, depending on the culture we come from, we have different perceptions of how we can and may use emotions in learning contexts. Emotional involvement differs greatly from one social and cultural context to another. An Asian man, for instance, will never show the same emotional involvement as an Italian man at a west European meeting. Meetings have to be tailored to the people who attend them if we are to get any involvement whatsoever. A few years ago Elling Hamso began to take an interest in presentations at congresses and slowly realised what was lacking. He began compiling information on the subject by taking notes about the many






“I get irritated at organisers who fail to realise there are apps for meetings”

factors that play a part in creating quality in a presentation. EH My conclusion thus far is that a good or bad presentation depends 50 percent on the organiser and not the speaker. This is where audience surveys come in. The more you know about the audience you will be lecturing, the better chance you have of creating the right content. It’s not until the right conditions are in place that you can count on the speaker delivering. CM This also entails more sophisticated preparations for people attending the meeting. Because, as you mentioned earlier, if delegates select the subjects that interest them and receive one or two questions then the speaker will have some idea of who’s sitting in the audience. EH I have a feeling that audience surveys are greatly ignored, or at least underrated. I have a few mottos. One is half the value, double the price. I also think that all meetings and events in the world should be put off for six months while the organisers conduct a proper audience survey to determine why delegates come and what they need in order to go home with new valuable knowledge and insight.

At this stage in the debate Elling Hamso brings up a formula for organising meetings that would probably create a number of problems, not only for scientific meetings but all other meetings as well. The formula is put into practice in The Lift Conference, a series of events with the aim of inspiring and bringing together lots of individuals to investigate the social consequences of new technology. Christian Mutschlechner explains that each Lift Conference is a threeday event with lectures, workshops, interactive art and discussions on understanding and predicting vital social changes and meeting the people behind them. BBC News has called the congress “one of the highlights of the technophile calendar” and “an opportunity to meet up with some of the most interesting people around and engage in debate about the future with those who are actually building it, instead of waiting for it to happen.” The event is arranged by an international team and is supported by organisations such as the EU Commission, the International Electrotechnical Commission, Microsoft and Mozilla. The meeting has been held eleven times: six in Genève, once in Seoul, twice on

Jeju Island (South Korea) and twice in Marseille. CM The description sounds very interesting. At Lift Conference you can evidently apply to be one of the speakers, but you have to send in everything you wish to present. The material is commented upon, evaluated and amended if necessary. If you don’t accept the amendments, you won’t get to speak. EH Also, they tell you the font size to use in your PowerPoint presentation, the parts of your subject matter that you may or may not emphasis, to delete parts that they’ve heard too many times before, or if the content is not sufficiently up to date. If you don’t adhere to their request, you don’t get to speak. CM Imagine a typical scientific, medical congress where colleagues say that to colleagues. This creates a completely new environment and whole new content, and all to allow the delegates to develop and learn new things. EH At lunch today we discussed new ideas for meeting venues. We talked about emotions, no longer being able to contaminate live meetings with irrelevant things and how to use different channels at different 2014 No. 13 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


“All meetings and events in the world should be put off for six months while the organisers conduct a proper audience survey”

times. Why should I invest time in just this particular expensive meeting? CM I think it has to do with creating engagement. But how do we get there? We should integrate normal cultural experiences with music. This would be embodied in the learning, not just something put on like an extra dessert at dinner, which is the normal way of using culture at meetings. EH It’s time to involve all the senses to create an optimum experience. Also, I believe that good networking, which we talked about earlier, is closely linked with your legitimacy for being allowed to attend the conference. These days you have to show your employer a list of the speakers in order to attend. In the future it will be legitimate to say that you are attending to cultivate relationships with other people. CM I’d like, if I may, to get back to the music and integrating music into a meeting. This is very interesting because music is used by dentists to relieve pain and fear. There are hundreds of studies into how Mozart’s music affects the well-being of a child before birth, the so-called Mozart effect. That effect doesn’t exist for the MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 13 2014

meetings industry at the moment. Using music as a stimulus at the entrance to a meeting room, perhaps, or during the break between presentations is an interesting thought. Naturally you would have to ensure that all the delegates, speakers, technicians, etcetera, are on the same level and understand that music creates another atmosphere, like using another type of lighting for a meeting. At the moment it’s either half daylight or no light at all. Today everything appears purely coincidental and lacking any underlying thought. That is not good. E H I’d like to put more time into finding and using different types of music. I once listened to a musicologist from Australia who lectured on using music to create an atmosphere at meetings and events. It was absolutely fascinating. They played different types of music for us and I could feel how it affected me. We listened to music for relaxing to, for provoking thought and to create a warm and cool atmosphere. It’s a big industry. The question is not if, but when this will come on to the meetings industry market.





© Strozier



Hans Gordon, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Authorised Psychologist, specialised in Aviation Psychology. Authorised psychotherapist, since 1987 running Gordon Consulting. Has for decades been engaged by airline companies, among them SAS and Thai Airways International.

Processes of Change

ABOUT CHANGES BIG AND SMALL In the late 16th century, during Sweden’s period as a great power, the population of Sweden–Finland was roughly 850,000. A few decades later it had risen to around the 1.8 million mark. Despite the urban growth of the 17th and 18th centuries, towns remained relatively small. Stockholm, for example, had roughly 60,000 inhabitants around the mid-18th century. Most lived and worked in small villages in the provinces where they toiled to carve out a living from farming, cattle-breeding, hunting and fishing. Writings that tell of life before give us vivid images of people sleeping in their lean-to cottages with dogs, cats, chickens, calves and pigs, often in unutterable stench. My own recollections from my childhood in Stockholm’s Södermalm district are blurry with the odd clear flashback. Would I have felt happiness, trust, joy and sorrow? And an even more interesting, albeit difficult, question: would any grown up in my vicinity have been able to predict the course my life would take? It is highly unlikely. My parents were naturally blinded by their need to see me as small and sweet and kind, and needing care and attention. I was their baby boy and was eased easily into that role with no problem whatsoever. Like a clockwork train.

The rails had been laid by the track layers of the time. I mean, of course, the social structure, the inner organs that are the lifeblood of a society. Back then school discipline went without saying. School was a hierarchical training ground. Any mischief and you were sent straight to the headmaster who glared at you through his horn-rimmed glasses as he laid down the moral codes. The woodwork teacher spanked inattentive and boisterous pupils with a hammer shaft and the PE teacher smacked pupils with a rapier when he considered their behaviour to have gone beyond the realms of acceptability. It was not until upper secondary (if you managed to get that far) that peer solidarity with other pupils formed a collective barricade against the oppression. We managed to lay our own rails, not unlike the originals but more like dead-end sidings into unchartered territory. The trains were small manifestations driven by youthful exuberance and love of adventure. Sexuality was an inner surge that lacked control. It lived its own life behind the smartly dressed facade. Sometimes it rose to volcanic levels, the body quaking from irrational desire and the urge to shed the social straitjacket of moral custom. From 2014 No. 13 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


this emerged the tentative rebellions, the disobedience and the breaking of curfews. The baby boy was growing up. University taught posture and critical thinking. Aimed mainly, of course, at other’s research findings, but stretching far beyond the four walls of the institution. The young student was enticed by the fiery polit-

EU membership at the same time as we were finding out the meaning of the term financial crisis and the importance of watching over our own pecuniary resources. The loud voices in the earlier political debates began to fade, among the students in particular. Everything seemed to level out and the young man tied himself down to the woman seven years his

“Society contains a number of such small and large arenas for political tussles”

ical debates of the time. Socialism and Maoism against the naked face of North American capitalism, the Vietnamese FNL against the US-led world police with their enormous weapons arsenal. The young man dilly-dallied in the myriad of corridors that opened up. Things quietened down after a decade or so. The winds of change appeared to run out of puff when the strident Maoists gave up, but it was just a momentary lull in the proceedings. The wheels never grind to a halt completely, but are always turning in a never-ending process of social change, sometimes quicker, sometimes slower as though held back by some invisible force. Their speed is often controlled by complex events taking place outside the country’s borders. When World War Two was setting Europe ablaze, it was as if the reins were tightened in Sweden. Everybody held their breath. In much the same way, the debate along the left-right divide abated when the nation began preparing itself for MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 13 2014

junior who would later give birth to the couple’s two children. Family life in middle class suburbia: house, car and a dog to take walkies. How very conventional! The young radical settled down among the Swedish middle class where he fastened. Or so it appeared. But even sitting still has its moments. You may think you are just running around in circles, but in actual fact you are influenced by the changes going on around you and by countless information channels, and before you know it your work and family life has changed. Little by little your safe frames of reference for life’s events have been adjusted. That which was natural and normal yesterday is odd and unusual today, and vice versa. So what are the forces that propel social progress? We are well-versed in our political way of life and our parliamentary democracy, but to understand just what it is that turns the wheels in a certain direction you would have to look towards the conflicts of opinion that arise between

the various interest groups that make up a society. The classic conflict is between the buyer and the seller of labour where the buyer always wants it on the cheap and the seller tries to get as much as they can. There have been many historical conflicts of opinion, one of which was the farmers against the state with its bulging bureaucratic institutions, including the state church. There is also a striking contrast between two not entirely compatible principles: the state and its authorities laying down the law and safeguarding their power and hierarchical decision-making mechanisms while appearing to respect the demands for democratic transparency and dialogue. Society thus contains a number of small and large arenas for political tussles, and it is here that the political landscape is coloured and the debates flourish. Should we pull to the left or to the right? Should we pull inwards to closed-door nationalism or outwards to open-door internationalism? Should we raise our material standard (cars, boats, houses), or lower it? Conflicts also arise at individual level where they often manifest themselves as inner conflicts. I crave more while realising that more for me means less for somebody else. I want to live my life exactly as I please while understanding that I must also play a part in the community with its common norms and values. All these conflicts go to make up a society’s pulse. They act as guides and force through ideas and decisions, often in a state of emergency, and keep the wheels of change turning. Making a choice can be very difficult. If I do not wish to follow the tide then I have to deviate from it, but then run the risk of being stamped an outcast, somebody who cares nothing about order or the common good. Such people

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are easily stigmatised and fall into disfavour in one way or the other. Some find small holes to creep into. They are quite often seen among the people who take early retirement or sick leave (not to say that everybody with a long-term illness have inner conflicts that are to blame), or in the criminal underworld, but seldom as a recluse living in the woods.

stand still. If you really want to get your employees on board, the following advice might help: 1. Sweeping change requires diligence so must be given time. Countless meetings are required. 2. The reasons for, and the measures involved, must be communicated in clear, easily comprehen-

“We are seldom aware of being on a constant rollercoaster wave of change”

The majority of citizens, like you and I, just follow along regardless of which side we support. We find ourselves on a giant rollercoaster that not only spins on its own axis, but also runs on wheels and veers both to the left and to the right, giving us an ever-changing horizon and field of vision, and therein also a change of attitude and direction that inevitably leads to a change in our behavioural patterns. We are seldom aware of being on a rollercoaster wave of change where the price of the ticket is perpetual change, on the inside as well as the outside. When companies and organisations try to introduce change, they usually fail to get all their employees on board the train and group conflicts flare up. It is said that people are afraid of change. There is probably some truth in that. Forced changes over and above what we are normally used to could lead us to one too many crossroads to choose between. We then slowly put our foot on the brake. Some want to stop abruptly and just

sible terms and pictures if need be. The simpler and clearer the better. 3. Current and proposed organisational structures must be explained as clearly as possible. What does the hierarchy look like? Who makes the decisions about what? What interests are there for open dialogue and democratic discussions? 4. To what extent will the current management team lead the way when changes are implemented? How much insight will the employees be given into the changes implemented at management level? It is imperative that these issues are first discussed within the management team(s) and then presented to the employees. In this way, employees can proceed from the initial announcement via knowledge that leads to greater insight and be able to engage in the changes with greater awareness and confidence. 2014 No. 13 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


This is as much Scandinavia as you can get for your money.«

lonely planet ’ s best in travel gothenburg the no .

2013 votes 2 best value destination .

Photo: Dick Gillberg, Gothia Towers/Svenska Mässan, Shutterstock, Kim Svensson, Beatrice Törnros

Photo: Seoul Convention Bureau

WORLD-CLASS MEETINGS Lonely Planet picked Gothenburg as one of the best value destinations in the world 2013. With the beautiful archipelago around the corner, we guarantee a whole new meeting experience.

Our bustling city often arranges major international meetings, sporting events and concerts. Metropolitan benefits are combined with a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Hotels, restaurants, shops and entertainment are within convenient walking distance. We’re building for the future and several facilities are currently expanding or renovating. In December 2014, the Swedish Exhibition Centre and Gothia Towers will be the largest fully integrated hotel, exhibition and conference facility in Europe.

Welcome to Gothenburg.

Göteborg & Co. Convention Bureau | T: +46 (0)31-368 4000 | E: |


“Voyager, in case it’s ever encountered by extraterrestrials, is carrying photos of life on Earth, greetings in 55 languages, and a collection of music from Gregorian chants to Chuck Berry. Including Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground by ’20s bluesman Blind Willie Johnson, whose stepmother blinded him at seven by throwing lye in his eyes after his father beat her for being with another man. He died, penniless, of pneumonia … after sleeping bundled in wet newspapers in the ruins of his house that burned down. But his music just left the solar system.”


Aaron Sorkin The West Wing [s05e13: The Warfare of Genghis Khan]


Photo: Henning Stein


RADAR | 41

The MEETOVATION 3.0 Initiative In the next two years a number of Danish companies and organisations will be investing a further half a million Euro to further develop the meetings concept, Meetovation. The aim is to entice even more meetings, conferences and congresses to the country. Parallel around the world, several billion Euro will be invested to create, develop and organise several meetings and congresses. The international meetings industry must therefore focus on securing good Return on Meeting Investment. Through developing Meetovation, Denmark has managed to attain a global leading position in the area. The meetings concept has been developed during the past ten years and has given Visit Denmark a marketing tool with the title Mindblowing Meetings in Denmark. To secure the future of the meetings concept it will be further developed to retain its strong position and to maintain and increase its market share on the international conference and congress market. Visit Denmark is doing this in partnership with Visit Aarhus,

Midtjysk Turisme, Wonderful Copenhagen, Inspiring Denmark, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Comwell, Bella Centre and Scandic Hotels. Steen Møller is international project coordinator and manager of Visit Denmark’s Department of Business Tourism, and Chair of the new steering group formed to develop Meetovation. He says that their innovation and ability to think outside the box has borne fruit. “We’ve shown that the industry can collaborate despite tough foreign competition, and that there are many others working to secure a high return on investment from their meetings.” He argues that further development of Meetovation will have a large impact on the competitive edge of the Danish meetings industry even in the future. “The concept has proven to be one of our trump cards in getting the attention of the international meetings industry. We’re also seeking to contribute even further in ensuring that Denmark retains its current international status as a country in the forefront of the


42 | RADAR

innovative development of the meetings industry.” According to Steen Møller, the steering group are expecting to invest a total of half a million Euro in the coming two-year period, and they calculate with a projected return on investment of €13.5 million in further revenues from international guests and visitors. He says that the

Designing meetings from five basic principles gives a much improved return on investment as participants get more knowledge to take home with them than when attending a conventional meeting based on one-way communication from the podium to the floor. The principles for maximising the return from the meeting are based

“The concept has proven to be one of our trump cards in getting the attention of the international meetings industry” Meetovation 3.0 initiative will benefit the whole of the Danish meetings industry. Ole Sorang, Nordic marketing director for the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group and a director of Visit Denmark, explains that to a large extent the initiative is about refining the Danish meetings product, with skills development being a crucial factor. “But also further development of the sustainable meetings concept and digital platforms in meetings design must be challenged and put to better use. The aim is to strengthen our position as a country at the forefront of these issues,” he says.

Facts about Meetovation 3.0

Meetovation was first launched in 2003 when Visit Denmark invited several leading actors in the Danish meetings industry to help to develop a meeting design concept with a new and exciting way of creating new meeting formats.


on new approaches to learning and awareness of the significance of the physical environment, active participation, inspiring surroundings and sustainable solutions. A Meetovator puts the question of content and expectations to a meetings organiser prior to an event, provides input and suggestions designed to generate a better return from the meeting and sees a golden thread that meanders through the entire process. Meetovator programmes are implemented by Ann Hansen, Concept + Competence. Today there are 300 well-trained Meetovators in the country. Since 2010, Visit Denmark and its partners have marketed Meetovation and other new Danish ways of working with meeting formats under the title of Mindblowing Meetings in Denmark. The concept was one of five international destinations nominated for the ICCA Best Marketing Award

2013 in Shanghai in November last year. Facts about the Danish meetings industry

Turnover of €2.8 billion in 2012, creating 37,900 jobs in the country. (Source: VDK 2012.) 17 percent of the meetings turnover comes from international meetings and meetings participants. International participants are an attractive target audience because they have a daily consumption of €280. 187,900 meetings are arranged every year in Denmark with a total of 6.9 million Danish and foreign participants. Denmark currently has 700 official meetings venues. Copenhagen is the eighth most popular congress city in the world. (Source: ICCA 2013.) The country lies 20th in the world as a congress destination. (Source: ICCA 2013.) The government growth plan for Danish tourism points to the country increasing the number of international meetings, conferences, congresses and events by ten percent during 2014–2015 compared with 2011–2012.




“The Meetings Industry is one of Seoul’s future core industries because of its economic impact” Park Won Soon, Mayor of Seoul. TEXT Atti Soenarso

Meetings international met with the Mayor to talk about the ‘Master Plan’, a blueprint for Seoul to quickly transform into one of the world’s leading meetings cities, which it is already rapidly becoming.

Photo: Seoul Convention Bureau

Active policies are being implemented to develop Seoul’s Meetings Industry. Why have you taken such a strong interest in the industry?

“In 2012, the number of international visitors to Korea exceeded 11 million, with more than 80 percent of those traveling to Seoul. This made it the 11th most-popular city for tourism that year: some 8.2 million inbound visitors came to see Seoul. Contrast this with other Asian destinations: Number 1 – Bangkok with 16 million visitors. Number 4 – Singapore with 12 million visitors. Number 9 – Hong Kong with 8.7 million visitors. With so many of these people traveling on business, we have selected the Meetings Industry as one of Seoul’s future core industries because of its economic impact. “The expenditure of business visitors in Seoul for meetings-related activities is 1.8 times greater than that of general tourists. In 2011, Meetings Industry participants in Seoul spent

a total of USD 2,585, while general visitors spent a total of USD 1,410. In terms of job creation rates, the Meetings Industry exceeds the manufacturing business by a factor of 2 and the IT industry by a factor of 5. The effect on production inducement of the Korean Meetings Industry is 28 trillion won and the induced employment effect is 270,000 people based on 2011. “McKinsey, the global specialised consulting group, suggested in 2012 that the tourism and meetings industry should be developed extensively as Seoul’s future growth engine.”

to 5th place in 2010 – a ranking it has retained today. However, in contrast to the overall GDP (1,237 trillion won) in 2011, Korea’s Meetings Industry accounted for 0.8 percent (10 trillion won), which is significantly lower compared to that of other global meetings nations such as England, Singapore and Australia, where it accounted for 1.5–2.5 percent. Taking this into account along with Seoul’s strong and consistent year-on-year performance in the meetings sector, and it’s clear that Seoul’s potential to dramatically boost the nation’s GDP through meetings is enormous.”

In comparison to other global cities, how would you rate Seoul’s Meetings Industry competitiveness?

What is the government’s current policy for attracting Meetings Industry events to Seoul?

“Since 2011, the Union of International Associations (UIA) has consistently placed Seoul 5th worldwide for the number of international conferences it has hosted between 2010 and 2012 according to their criteria. These figures show Seoul hosting a total of 253 meetings in 2012, a 10 percent increase from the 232 it hosted in 2011. In the last decade, Seoul has demonstrated rapid and sustained growth, rising from 11th place in 2006 with 89 meetings

“Seoul has been operating a one-stop support programme covering the initial stage of attracting international meetings to the actual hosting of the event. In 2008, Seoul City established the Seoul Convention Bureau, a division of the Seoul Tourism Organization, consisting of Meetings Industry professionals. During the first phase of attracting an event, the following support services are available: assistance in bid preparation, a one-on-one pres-



entation workshop and consultation on successful bidding strategies, site inspections of convention facilities and unique venues and information on tourist attractions. Administrative and financial support are also provided, such as support funds, cultural performances and promotional materials. “The industry also actively pro-

through the Meetings Industry. The important points of future economic development are knowledge, creativity, dissemination of information, communication and convergence. The Meetings Industry will function as the platform for the development of these factors that enhances the economy. If this goal is met, it can be stated that the Meetings Industry will

“Seoul’s potential to dramatically boost the nation’s GDP through meetings is enormous” motes ‘Seoul: Your Complete Convention City’ when participating in overseas exhibitions and information sessions and advertising in meetings specialised media. Seoul participated in five meetings exhibitions in 2013, including IT&CM Shanghai, IMEX Frankfurt, and three meetings road shows in Shanghai, Ho Chi Minh City, and Bangkok. In addition, Seoul Tourism Organization operates the Seoul MICE Alliance, a partnership of 113 private-sector organisations in the Meetings Industry and related fields such as convention centers, hotels, PCOs and travel agencies. Together, they participate in joint marketing activities such as industry tradeshows, Seoul site inspections for international congresses, and Seoul media tours.” What is Seoul’s goal for the future of the Meetings Industry?

“Seoul will aim to become a global center of knowledge and economy and a leading global city of innovation with the latest information and techniques communicated and shared MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 13 2014

bring growth in the economic, social, and cultural areas of this city and in turn will enrich the very lives of the citizens of Seoul.” What are the main elements of the Seoul Meetings Industry ‘Master Plan’?

“The vision for Seoul is to become a leading global meetings city. World Top 3 Convention Cities: 253 cases (2011) 350 cases (2018), based on UIA. Meetings Industry Visitors: 510,000 people (2011) 1,000,000 people (2018). Meetings Participants spend 3,088 USD (2011) 4,500 USD (2018). There are four policy tasks involved in the Master Plan to develop the Meetings Industry in Seoul. 1. There is the development and expansion of Seoul’s meetings infrastructure. This includes the expansion of three major regions: the Metropolitan area (Dongdaemun and Seoul Station area), Yeongdong, and the southwest region (Magok area). Seoul plans to expand the meetings infrastructure by three times by 2020.

“2. The expansion of attraction through seeking potential demand for Meetings Industry events in Seoul. Potential demand. Marketing to attract meetings. Support programmes. Hosting of the event. Establishment of the Meetings Industry information and sharing of bidding system. Also, through the implementation of the plan, we are looking to seek out more unique venues to be used as meetings facilities. Seoul will devise a customized marketing plan fit for a target buyer and be proactive, not reactive, in promoting our city. “3. The expansion of added value services for Meetings Industry events. Efforts are being made to connect tourists with meetings participants and increase satisfaction by customizing meetings tourism for international visitors through services such as the Seoul MICE discount card, etc. 4. The reinforcement of the local Meetings Industry and its professionals. Educating new generations of meetings professionals, strengthening Meetings Industry organisations and institutions with a convention mindset and promotion of businesses to raise awareness of the industry’s importance.” What are the plans for Seoul to expand its Meetings Industry infrastructure?

“Compared to the top five convention cities of the world, Seoul’s meeting and exhibition space is only 30 percent of the average of the top five, with a total 214,000 m². Seoul needs to triple its convention and exhibition space by 2028 for a total of 186,000 m² (meaning an addition of 122,000 m² of space). The goal is to expand exhibition and meeting facilities in the Metropolitan area, Yeongdong area and Magok area, in three separate stages by 2020 (to go from 60,000 m² to 180,000 m² of exhibition and convention space).”

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What kind of policies does Seoul promote to increase the satisfaction of a visit to the city and expand economic value added by connecting the Meetings Industry and Tourism?

“Most meetings industry participants are business travelers, mostly professionals, and have special tourism demands such as the desire for various types of industry-related site

site inspections at Samsung Delight, SK Telecom Public Relations Hall T-um, LG Science Hall, Shoe Alley in Seongsu-dong, and more. Preview Seoul in advance through a guide system linked with the host event’s home page so that participants can make a plan for their tour before visiting Seoul. Train high-quality specialised tourism interpreters, experienced

“The vision for Seoul is to become a leading global meetings city”

inspections. Therefore, it’s important to develop our tourism resources, tour packages, variety of accommodations, and tourism information services for these meetings participants. Seoul is focusing on the development of customized tour programmes and the establishment of a guide system connected with tourism. “The development of customized tour programmes: Develop shortterm tour courses of half-day, one-day and night tours including attractions, dining, and entertainment in Seoul, and development of programmes for experiencing the charms of Seoul. The introduction of the tour and transportation card exclusively for Meetings Industry participants in 2014 offering discount benefits when using public transportation, entrance fees for tourist attractions and shopping centers for the convenience of meetings participants. Support the creation of business by providing industry site inspection courses related to the fields of the meetings participants. Creating a system for

and knowledgeable in Meetings Industry events.” Singapore is the number one convention holding city. What aspects of Singapore has Seoul benchmarked?

“Seoul will look to the complexes and facilities of Singapore’s Meetings Industry infrastructure when preparing its new infrastructure. Singapore’s 21 overseas branches of its Tourism Bureau are an excellent case for benchmarking that may be introduced to the Seoul Convention Bureau, which is the official Meetings Industry marketing organisation for Seoul. Because Seoul has no overseas branches as of yet, it will conduct overseas marketing at the 30 overseas branches of the Korea Tourism Organization.” Attracting international organisations and associations and headquarters of corporations is very important to expand the Meetings Industry. What measures has Seoul taken to attract international organisations?

organisations and headquarters of corporations, as these lead to the hosting of more Meetings Industry events. These include strengthening and training of bidding committees of local organisation chapters, creation of a database of events that may potentially be hosted in Seoul in the future. Further development of bidding support for each stage of the bid: Preparation of bid, bidding activities, attraction activities, site inspections, and more. Preparation of a legal, administrative and financial support package: Tax exemption, office space, and operation expense support. Providing space in the Seoul Global Center building for an international organisation to get established in Seoul. Improvement of systems such as enactment of statues supporting the attraction of international organisations and enactment of ordinances. We would like to attract 20 international organisations such as inter-governmental organisations, international NGOs, etcetera by 2020 through the systematic international organisation attraction policy.” Do you expect that Seoul can overtake Singapore in 2020 by implementing the Master Plan? What are the methods to attract more participants than Singapore?

“The strongest advantage of Singapore is that they have a lot of headquarters and they also have specialised manpower in the field of conventions. Seoul is a city which has huge potential with wonderful nature and manpower resources. Natural resources such as beautiful mountains and rivers, historical heritage and culture can stand out as advantages. More storytelling for tourists and Meetings Industry participants is necessary.”

“Seoul has implemented plans for further attracting international








Atti Soenarso IMAGES



© Belomlinsky



Meeting Design IS AN ART FORM Into the Heart of Meetings – Basic Principles of Meeting Design is the first book on Meeting Design and is about the art of matching a meeting’s form and format with its content and aims. Under the heading, Meetings Live, we are publishing a summary of the book’s main content along with some essential excepts, and we are doing it in collaboration with Eric de Groot and Mike van der Vijver. They have run Mind Meeting for the past twelve years and are specialists in designing fruitful programmes for international conferences, congresses, seminars and workshops. Their innovative design format has received a good deal of global attention due to the format also taking up strategy issues in organisational development. The book is based on experiences and concepts developed during the many years that the authors have worked with Mind Meetings.

Meeting Design is a complex subject, but we will try to do the art form justice by giving you an idea of the authors’ main trains of thought in future articles. Into the Heart of Meetings takes the reader into the only place that ultimately matters during meetings: the meeting room. All the organisation and logistics that surround meetings may be important, but the change meetings are supposed to generate, the change in content and in participant behaviour which are the reason for having the meeting in the first place, takes place between participants and inside the meeting room (taken in a broad sense as all areas meeting participants use in the course of the meeting). When design2014 No. 13 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


ing a programme, there is the clear purpose of making the meeting as effective as possible. A workable definition of Meeting Design is “the Art of Matching a Meeting’s Content and Objectives to its Forms and Formats.” As with any form of design, good meeting design makes meetings more engaging and effective, if not only because it obliges meeting owners to analyse their content and objectives more in-depth, and to gain a deeper understanding of what works for their participants. This article is the first in a series of four; together they provide a brief synopsis of the roughly 300 pages of Into the Heart of Meetings. In order to match a meeting’s form and format to its content and aim, you first need to understand how meetings work. And so, part 1 of the book (and this article) homes in on the 7 Characteristics of Meetings as a means of communication. How do meetings actually work? Next time, you will get a taste of the essential ingredients that make up any meeting programme: the content, the objectives of the meeting owner, and the expectations and desired experience of meeting participants. These ingredients materialise per MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 13 2014

force; the meeting designer cannot choose them freely but needs to dig them up. The third article will allow you to catch more than a cursory glimpse of what it means to design a programme. What does the Meeting Designer do with the ingredients? You will see that designing a programme works like inverse cooking: the ingredients have been forced upon the designer and now he has to make a delicious and unique dish with them. What the fourth article will be about we don’t know yet, because that depends on you, the reader. It depends on your comments to these articles, in the form of doubts, support or disapproval. We kindly and expressly invite you to send in your observations. Then in our last contribution, we will respond to your love or hate mails, to your fierce criticism or clear-cut encouragement, to your puzzled surprise or astonishing alternatives. Naturally, we hope that many of you will go through this trouble and in order to encourage you, the editors of this magazine offer a perhaps predictable award: after each of the three articles, the reader who sends in the most inspiring


“ S eating, for instance, carries an implicit message”






“ Meeting participants quickly pick up signals from their surroundings to figure out which behaviours are acceptable under the circumstances and which aren’t”

comment will receive a free copy of Into the Heart of Meetings at his home address, as well as 30 minutes of free Meeting Design consultancy with one of the authors (via Skype). That’s three books and six quarters of an hour at stake, so: come on you Swedish meeting minds, show us what you can think up! But now to the content of the book.

© Belomlinsky

The Seven Characteristics: How Do Meetings Work?

What happens during meetings? What characterises their dynamics? What does a mindful observer perceive when examining meetings as a form of communications? In what way do they differ from newspapers, novels, nose-rubs or other forms of human communication? When does normal, day-to-day communication turn into a meeting? As a form of communications, meetings display a series of distinctive characteristics, seven to be precise. They are the inevitable cornerstones in every meeting and, as a result, they determine to a large extent what is and what is not possible (or productive) in meeting programmes. A Meeting Designer needs to grasp these characteristics

in full because if not, his programmes risk becoming a haphazard collection of activities. And that is poor design. Characteristic 1: Physical Presence

It may seem a platitude but the first and main distinctive characteristic of meetings is that participants are physically present. The meeting cannot be just for their brains because they also bring their bodies along. This is an important point to raise because so many meetings, especially the ones with ‘traditional,’ classroom style programmes, seem in total denial of this. Once participants have been made to arrive at the venue, movement is restricted to the absolute minimum and attention for our primate body focuses on filling it with food and coffee. But meeting participants will have a physical experience because it is unavoidable. And what a meeting programme offers participants’ bodies has a significant impact on how they think and behave. There is both a passive and an active aspect to this. Passive in the sense that participants can be asked to put their bodies in different ways and these different ways have a meaning. Seating, for instance, carries an 2014 No. 13 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


“ Meetings are a suspended chunk of reality; the meeting is not the real world as the real world is outside!”

Characteristic 2: Real world or not?

Meetings are a suspended chunk of reality; the meeting is not the real world as the real world is outside. Of course, what happens during the meeting depends on the outside world. Also, the outcomes of the meeting should have an impact on the world outside. But the meeting itself is not the real world. The implication is that the meeting programme can be literally any reality that would be useMEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 13 2014

ful to achieve the desired outcomes. It could, for instance, be a demonstration of a technique, or a simulation, or a series of case studies, or a representation by actors. Or a string of PowerPoint slides, accompanied by a monologue. Naturally, the chosen representation of reality must deal with the content in an appropriate way, it must resonate with the participants and it should help achieve the desired outcomes. Finding that combination and balance is a major challenge in Meeting Design. As a process that is no different from designing a functional and attractive bread toaster. Characteristic 3: Conventions

Meeting owners want to manipulate participants so that they ‘behave properly.’ Such as: sit and be quiet during presentations. That is what happens automatically in a large auditorium with fixed seating. Meeting participants quickly pick up signals from their surroundings to figure out which behaviours are acceptable under the circumstances and which aren’t. They consciously and unconsciously perceive a number of ‘markers’ that refer them to a


implicit message. If participants are put in the dark, the implicit message is: you count less than the people in the limelight; you are the passive spectators to a performance. Secondly, physical activity changes the way peoples’ minds work. It has long been known that people think better when they move. They are literally ‘quick on their feet,’ they produce more and better ideas, they interact more fluidly. Most meeting owners are unaware of alternatives and so they accept the default options most venues offer them: fixed seating and movement only during breaks. And that’s a whole series of missed design opportunities that can improve the effectiveness of the programme.







“It is almost impossible to have a meaningful knowledge exchange with participants sitting in 52 neat rows of 28”

type of gathering they know and, as a consequence, they open up their repertoire of appropriate behaviours for that gathering. A useful term for the gatherings that people can recognise is “Elementary Meetings.” A couple of markers will produce the whole string of typical feelings and behaviours that come with that specific gathering. A designer can use this characteristic of meetings to tempt participants into the behaviours which are useful for the meeting’s outcomes. Characteristic 4: International Meetings are Different

Participants from different countries have different expectations about a whole series of meeting-related issues: timings and timekeeping, types of food, function of breaks, and such like, but also of content-related matters, such as the role of the chair, the appropriate level of involvement of participants during Q&A, the role of experts, and such like. Dealing with these differences in expectations is generally not easy. Solutions risk going off track in two directions: Sometimes programme choices are so ingrained in national habits that they appear incomprehensible to foreign

participants. Incomprehensible can easily equate to poor. The more common risk, however, is programmes that have become so risk-averse and predictable that they fail to engage the audience or produce something new. At that point, the touristic outing becomes the meeting’s most attractive feature, a risky positioning! Good Meeting Design produces solutions that work for all parties involved. Characteristic 5: Dealing with Knowledge

The time that meeting participants accepted to merely and respectfully listen to THE EXPERT is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Knowledge is complex and no longer sits exclusively in the head of just one authority. In addition, most meetings are expressly held to achieve the exchange of knowledge. This means by definition that the many should be engaged to speak up. Meetings are characterised by the fact that knowledge is everywhere: in all participants. This means that effective programmes need to facilitate fishing in that pool of knowledge. The snag is that this automatically implies a

certain degree of disorder. It is almost impossible to have a meaningful knowledge exchange with participants sitting in 52 neat rows of 28. And so, to tap into the knowledge of the entire meeting, it is necessary to carefully plan and design the interactions between participants. Characteristic 6: The Meeting’s Timeline

If you open a webpage, you can freely click and go to the page that contains the information you need. And return and go somewhere else. And immediately return again to the first or second page. And stay there as long as you want. In meetings, you can’t do that. Meetings have an unavoidable timeline: at some point they start, then they take place and then they are over. This may be another truism, but it has important implications for meeting programmes. Because when something happens on that timeline it influences the meaning of that event and its impact. The disorder necessary for engagement and interaction we mentioned in the previous section is ok during the middle of the meeting but would leave a really



“As with any form of design, good meeting design makes meetings more engaging and effective”

strange feeling if it happened at the end. Characteristic 7: The Magic of Meetings

We have all experienced it at some point in our lives: meetings have magic moments. Ever had that during a phone call? But although the magic is an innate potential quality of meetings, you can never be certain that it will happen. Actually, magic during meetings often emerges unrehearsed. Unless you are David Copperfield, it is not possible to rehearse magic and make it happen on command. What is possible, however, is to create a number of conditions that could lead to something magical. Create the circumstances or contours as it were. An example of such a contour is a true and authentic story. Tell us what you see!

This, we think, is what one sees when examining meetings: their basic characteristics, or – if you will – the laws by which they work. This is what the Meeting Designer actively uses when giving shape to programmes in his attempt to use the valuable MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 13 2014

meeting time in the most effective way. Described as briefly as possible and – differently from the book – with a few examples. As a meeting professional, you may have recognised a whole series of things. Perhaps you agree with us, perhaps you don’t. In both cases, let us know! Send us your opinion on this content, preferably with your arguments: Opinions alone rarely lead to better insights – motivations do.

© MindMeeting, MvdV and Meetings International Publishing 2013–2014. You can follow Eric de Groot and Mike van der Vijver on Twitter: @mindmeeting and @mikevijv. Would you like free copies of Into the Heart of Meetings? The book will be sent to readers who write the most inspiring comments on Meeting Design. Email me at




MediaCentrum Defensie (MCD)




Decisions Made in The Hague AFFECT THE ENTIRE WORLD On 24 and 25 March 2014, the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS 2014) was held in The Hague, which is widely known as ‘the international city of peace and justice.’ A total of 58 world leaders attended the meeting to discuss and agree on measures aimed at preventing nuclear terrorism. Approximately 5000 delegates gathered in the city’s World Forum to attend the summit. United States President Barack Obama, whose initiative it is, was among them. TEXT Pravasan Pillay



“The entire International Zone was converted into a large convention centre”

The World Forum Conference Centre has in recent years organised numerous events revolving around the subject of safety and security, in the process gaining a great deal of experience in the area. General manager, Michiel Middendorf, who has worked at the World Forum since 2007, is keen to emphasis the importance of The Hague’s reputation as the city of peace, justice and safety, when it comes to global summits and international conventions. “25 percent of the conventions held in The Hague are directly or indirectly related to the subjects of peace, justice and safety. It is the official seat of the Crown and government, home to hundreds of international organisations and multinationals and the world’s second UN city. A reputation that was built over more than a century, as the very first International Peace Conference was held here in 1899. This made a strong argument for The Hague as an obvious choice to host the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit. “Since the beginning of the 20th century the Peace Palace has become a symbol of Peace and Justice. It is home to international judicial instituMEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 13 2014

tions, such as the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), the renowned Peace Palace Library, as well as The Hague Academy of International Law, which attracts law students from all over the world every summer. In the past decades more international organisations have found their way to The Hague, among them the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). This reputation has been a vote of confidence for companies and research institutions dealing with security to make The Hague their base of operations. This resulted in The Hague Security Delta (HSD). The thousands of delegates and members of the international press were welcomed at the HSD for a special ‘innovation room’ during the NSS to get informed about the many high-tech solutions The Netherlands has to offer in the field of security. “The city has conferencing and high-level decision making in its DNA. It’s no exaggeration to state that decisions made in The Hague affect

the entire world and the whole of humanity.” The World Forum Conference Centre is a part of The Hague World Forum, situated in the so-called ‘International Zone.’ “The World Forum is located at the beating heart of The Hague World Forum, a familiar and accessible zone for international organisations active in the areas of peace and justice,” says Michiel Middendorf. “In The Hague everyone gladly joins hands to turn your event into a resounding success. Yet the cooperation for NSS extended beyond the obvious ways one would expect for a conference. The meeting space requirements of the NSS could only be met when several organisations worked together in a unique cross-sector way. The entire International Zone was converted into a large convention centre, combining the World Forum, Novotel, Worldhotel Bel Air, OPCW, Omniversum and Gemeentemuseum, together offering the space to host delegations, staff and press.” The NSS 2014 was the biggest summit ever held in Holland. Delegates stayed in 55 hotels within a 60 kilo-

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“The city has conferencing and high-level decision making in its DNA”

metre radius of The Hague. Schiphol made available one of its runways for exclusive use by the delegations. Extra long trains ran and highways were cordoned off in order to transport guests safely and unhindered to and from the World Forum. On the first night of the summit, the world leaders were invited to the Royal Palace in The Hague, Huis ten Bosch, where they dined with King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima. The city was, unsurprisingly, at the centre of the world’s attention during the NSS, not least because the G7 met there simultaneously. The hosting of the summit was a fitting demonstration of the World Forum’s suitability for conventions requiring the utmost in safety and security. In The Hague, welcome arches, banners, flags and even NSS tulips focused attention on the summit. At several train stations and in the convention area, hosts offered delegates a warm welcome. Museums opened their doors to delegates and the international press. Other entrepreneurs in the city organised special events as well, from offering shopping discounts to ‘NSS Time Out’, treating guests to drinks and music.

For Michiel Middendorf the reception the city extended was only logical. “We know we are not the only possible international destination for an event or congress. So we love to create a welcoming atmosphere which necessarily includes special treatment. Even the public transportation system joined in the organisation of the NSS, offering free transportation in trams and buses. And where the NSS security measures prevented regular routes, that obstacle was easily overcome by creating a temporary tram stop, especially for the conference.” Michiel Middendorf highlights the centrality of international conventions for the city’s development. “Conventions enhance the profile of the city, both from a content and marketing perspective. And at the end, not least important, it provides jobs.” He works closely with the politicians and city management of The Hague when it comes to creating new conventions and events. “We have short lines with the politicians and city management of The Hague. We both provide leads for new conventions and events. The city of The Hague goes beyond the obvious support for

international conventions. If desired, they also support the content of the convention and get involved with the subject.” Preparing for a major event such as NSS was no easy feat. Apart from good cooperation between public and private parties, the World Forum had a special NSS project team, which consisted of: Project Director, Project Manager, Safety and Security Manager, and Building Manager. The World Forum project team started preparing one year and nine months in advance. Michiel Middendorf is quick to praise the support received from the city’s convention bureau during international bids. “The Hague Convention Bureau is a logical first point of contact for every meeting planner considering The Hague as a possible destination. Whether it’s for information purposes or a tailor made site inspection, the bureau’s extensive knowledge goes way beyond the meeting and event venues, hotels, restaurants and attractions. True value is found in the extensive network the Convention Bureau has built over decades. They know their way around the city, the (international) organi2014 No. 13 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


“We know we are not the only possible international destination for an event or congress”

sations, corporations, institutions, schools and the government and even the Royal Family. “The recent NSS summit re-enforced all these connections, as so many of them joined forces in the organisation of the summit. The Convention Bureau serves as a gateway to Dutch organisations and institutions, ensuring that your event will achieve maximum success. They even offer cash and in-kind assistance to help bring events to The Hague.” Partnerships is a reoccuring theme. Michiel Middendorf say’s that their most important partners when it comes to international meetings, events and conventions are the Municipality of The Hague, The Hague hotel service, The Hague Convention Bureau, and local authorities like the National Police, Fire Department, etcetera. “Hosting complex conferences with a high level of security measures creates another added bonus. Out of the intensive cooperation between authorities, corporations, institutions and law enforcement a close relationship developed between all parties. Congress organisers benefit from this network as the right connections can easily be made. Whether MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 13 2014

it’s a VIP reception at city hall or any other special location, or a relevant dignitary to open the conference. It could just be that a minister, mayor or councillor, or perhaps even someone from the Royal family can make his or her appearance at your conference. “The Convention Bureau and The Hague Marketing know their way around all the players in the destination’s key areas of expertise, such as safety and security, life sciences and health, high tech and ICT, professional services and energy. They can assist you with endorsements or supporting letters from politicians or industry leaders, or help you attract expert speakers or secure industry sponsorships.” The Nuclear Security Summit 2014 was concluded at The Hague’s iconic Municipal Museum and was praised thus by President Obama: “Your hospitality was great, the organisation flawless and my visit was truly ‘gezellig.’”

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Berlin Buzz The 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall is a central theme at Berlin Convention Office’s stand at this year’s IMEX Frankfurt. From 20–22 May, visitors to the trade fair can come to Hall 8, Stand F100-40/41 to get a first look at the events that are planned to mark the anniversary. The highlight of this autumn’s celebrations will be a twelve-kilometre light installation across the centre of the city, consisting of hundreds of illuminated, helium-filled balloons, along the former path of the Wall. The installation will be illuminated from 7–9 November. With the opening of the City Cube Berlin, the German capital has obtained a modern venue for fairs, congresses and meetings. The cube-shaped building with a textile façade offers space for up to 11,000 participants over three storeys. A

glass-covered walkway connects the multi-function hall with Hall 7 of the Berliner Messe, creating enough space for up to 18,000 participants. “The City Cube is state of the art and therefore more than just a replacement for the ICC. It was also completed in record time,” said Burkhard Kieker, CEO of Visit Berlin. “It is an important argument for Berlin in a tough, competitive market for international conventions and meetings.” Heike Mahmoud, Conventions Director of the Berlin Convention Office added: “It’s a great asset for the city and a signal to the international conventions market. We are certain that we will be acquiring many new major conferences.” TED, the nonprofit known for “ideas worth spreading,” is hosting TED Salon Berlin, the first official TED

event in Germany on June 23, 2014. Curated by TED European Director Bruno Giussani, it’s a half-day event open to the public themed “Bits of Knowledge” – covering international speakers on diverse topics.



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Rules FOR GREAT MORNINGS So I wanted to reinforce some of the best rules I know of to help you deepen this exceptionally smart habit … Here you go:

1 2 3 4

Plan the first 60 minutes of your day the night before so you set yourself up for success in advance.


Eat breakfast within an hour of getting up.

Use the first 20 minutes of your day to exercise so you jump start your brain’s chem-

While you’re exercising, listen to something inspirational and of value (the influences that you expose your mind to at the beginning of your day set the mental tone for the rest of the day).


Hydrate. You’ve been sleeping all night. Drink lots of water to get yourself fired up.


Review your Big 5. This takes just a few minutes, but list your five main goals for the year on a mirror with a dry erase marker. Look at it every morning to renew your focus.


Do your affirmations. Perhaps in the shower, recite words like ‘excellence’ and ‘focus’ and ‘mastery.’ Also repeat one line statements to prepare yourself for a world-class day ahead.


Get into nature. As much as possible, get out into nature every morning. The fresh air as well as the environment has a superb effect on your creativity, productivity and sense of happiness.


No news. Start your day in what I call “a tight bubble of total focus.” Avoid the news, complainers and toxic situations. The first three hours of your day have the least distractions … and are golden. You know that the way you begin your day drives how you live it. So start it strong.





Reading in Different Media TEXT Tomas Dalström PHOTO Åsa Stiller

Jana Holsanova is Associate Professor in Cognitive Science at Lund University. She researches into the interaction between language and image, and the role of the image in learning and visual thinking. She has written several books. One, Myter och sanningar om läsning (Myths and Truths about Reading), presents research into reading in different media channels. Jana Holsanova is also Chair Elect of the Visual Communication Division, International Communication Association and Chairman of the Swedish Braille Authority at the Swedish Agency for Accessible Media. You talk a great deal about multimodality. What is that exactly?

“We absorb information using our various senses. When it comes to texts, you could say that our text world has changed radically and therewith also the reading. They are many modes of communication: written language, images, bullet lists, graphs, maps, films, videos, audio files, you name it. Text is simply very complex. It’s an interactive

process and the reader must decide which bits of this complex text should be observed, processed, memorised and created meaning from. We’re dealing with a very active reader.” You call everything text …

“We use it in a broad sense, that is to say not only written language but also all the modules and visual elements that go to make up a complex text. The interesting part is how we receive them and link them up.” Is this a new way of reading?

“Yes, it has emerged alongside the new media forms. The text is no longer a stable and finished product. We are forced to choose. It doesn’t offer a set reading order. The reader is instead invited to choose a route continuously and co-create the text. I call this multisequentiality.” We also do that on paper, and have done so for some time.

“Yes, we do. But multisequentiality becomes much clearer when we click on links and find ourselves in a completely different world; filling in a form, taking 2014 No. 13 MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL


“Research shows that we are reading and writing like never before … It’s definitely a myth that we don’t read”

part in a competition or answering a questionnaire. Today we are much more dynamically involved during the reading process.”

various elements so they contribute to the main objective. There is not a lot of research in this field at the moment.”

Is multisequentiality a good thing?

Does the layout affect the reading?

“That’s right, as a producer you have to justify why you use a certain image. And content-wise it has to be linked to the text, to the message, what you want to achieve and the effect you want it to have. When we refer to the role of images we have to be aware that the language controls our interpretation of the significance of the image when they are read together. We are instructed as a reader to view it in a certain way, the significance of the image is squeezed in through the written text or image caption. But language and image can also complement each other, as in a series, for example, where it is not just one doing the controlling, both contribute equally to creating meaning.”

When you refer to comprehension, do you mean all the elements?

Research into tablet computers shows that 61 percent are what are referred to as intimate readers. Readers have their fingers on or over the screen the whole time and expect something to happen when they click

“On the one hand it gives us the freedom to choose the information we require and are interested in when we want to inform ourselves, understand something or carry out certain errands. On the other hand it is cognitively demanding for some. It’s demanding to look for information when you lack clear rules or instructions for how to link, for example, text and image. It could be difficult to understand how it all fits together content-wise.” You speak of visual elements in newspapers, brochures, reports and advertisements. Is there any difference between them?

“Newspapers, textbooks and advertisements differ somewhat. There are also subtle differences between printed and online. As a producer you have to bear in mind that the visual elements have to interact. You have to ask yourself what you want to do with the text regardless of whether it is to inform, entertain or convince. You have to adapt the MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 13 2014

“New research findings appear to confirm this. As a producer you can help the reader to find, process and comprehend relevant information. This you do by using verbal instructions, graphic markers or by creating physical proximity between text and the associated image. You invoke the reader: this is linked, read it together. International research conducted in recent years shows time and again that a short distance between the written text and the associated image helps comprehension. In Lund we have seen that the reading of integrated material gives an even flow and reading is done in the proposed order to a greater extent, thus improving comprehension.”

“Yes, the interplay between language and image can make it easier to both read and comprehend. This is often forgotten.” Research shows that images purchased from image banks do not

make any impression. This could be of young, happy people advertising smart phones or insurance policies. Nobody sees them.

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on an image. If it doesn’t then they are disappointed.

“Headings, intermediate headings, preambles and images are all vital entry points. But perhaps it is so that the images form important links that redirect us to further information. In other words, not just entry points to look at but also to interact with. That’s good because the stressed

material. This you do by creating a clear structure that leads to relevant entry points and entices further reading using links and clickable images, etcetera. It’s also important to show how different parts of the message or text are linked together. We’re talking mainly about the interplay between written text and image, but you should also highlight what you con-

“Highlight what you consider to be relevant so that the reader doesn’t hop over what you want them to read the most”

reader gets an overview of the article contents by looking at the heading, preamble or image and the interested reader, who has more time to delve further, can click to more detailed information in the shape of films and multislide presentations. It is good to be able to read in different ways.” We read a text, but read different parts of it and therefore form different understandings of it. How should I think as a producer to get the message across?

“As readers we are not only controlled by the text but also have a certain task or purpose with our reading; we want to update our knowledge or delve deeper. We read in a certain situation and have different pre-knowledge, interests and preferences. It’s a very complex interaction process. As a producer you can facilitate this process. If you want your reader to find some important information then you have to rank it to enable orientation and navigation in the

sider to be relevant so that the reader doesn’t hop over what you want them to read the most.” A bullet list or a frame perhaps?

“They’re good alternatives. Another is explanations in the shape of information graphics containing text, images and diagrams. We expect it to give us ample information of what a complex process looks like or how it functions. Research shows that we read information graphics much longer compared to other image elements like photos, maps, graphs and diagrams.” Are you referring to an online or a printed newspaper?

“Both. We see in our own research into how we read newspapers how great the chances are of the information graphics receiving attention.” Highlighting keywords helps the producer to raise the attention levels. Have you looked into that as well?

“Yes, research shows that colour coding in text and image helps navi-

gation and text comprehension. Colour coding helps the reader to identity how text and image are linked together content-wise much quicker and easier, and it’s easier for them to navigate back to the text once they’ve looked at the image. As producer you suggest that what they are reading in the text is explained in the image. Those who read the coded message showed significantly better results.” I’ve seen newspapers that mark one or two sentences in a text with a highlighter. The eye is drawn to it and I maybe want to read more.

“It creates those important conspicuous leads that the eye is drawn to. It could also be keywords in bold or italics, or freestanding quotes. Readers get a better understanding and overview of the relevant parts of the material.” What are the most common myths among readers, writers and producers?

“Firstly, most people don’t think they read so much. When we say ‘I don’t read anything anymore’ we mean fiction. But that’s not correct, research shows that we are reading and writing like never before, both at work and at home. Some occupations require a lot of writing, but we also read printed and online newspapers, blogs, magazines, brochures and newsletters. Lorry drivers, construction workers, nurses and firefighters are not occupations you would normally associate with reading and writing, but they spend a good deal of time doing that too. And the possibility to read in a variety of ways and on different occasions is on the increase as well. We read from paper, computers, tablets, smart phones and ebooks. It’s definitely a myth that we don’t read. “Another myth is that we think we read systematically. We assume we


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read from beginning to end, but that’s not the case. We skim a lot in the text and read certain bits out of interest, for a purpose or basic preferences. In surveys we’ve conducted, journalists have shown disappointment when they see how little their readers read, that texts are not always read in depth and that we don’t read advertisements.

we have some previous knowledge in order to read into the images and interpret them. I think a lot about logical images like graphs and diagrams, which easily fool us if we have no previous knowledge. Problems arise when you as a producer assume that everybody understands images and graphics. That interpretation is easy: that readers don’t need to be

“A third myth is that we think the language is more important than the image”

“A third myth is that we think the language is more important than the image. Varying reports show that it is easier to investigate language and intelligibility when it comes to written language. This is more difficult with images, which play a vital role in the interplay with the text. We should always bear this in mind.” Images also need us to be able to interpret them.

“Yes, and it’s not certain that everybody can do that. Some types of images not only require an understanding of what is shown, but also that we link the perceptual thinking with the conceptual thinking, that

guided or informed with the help of language instruction or graphic markers like arrows and lines, or by keeping a close proximity between text and image.” But how do I know what previous knowledge my readers have?

“As a producer you face the problem of your readers not being a homogeneous group, but different types of readers. Therefore, I think the solution, as I commended earlier, is to have an overview for the stressed reader and an in-depth possibility for the interested reader. Being able to facilitate for different types of read-

ing needs and reading intensities is a good strategy.” ‘Latte workers’ is another myth that you mention in your book.

“Yes, people who gladly sit in a noisy café surrounded by endless hustle and bustle. Those individuals prefer it that way and I think it’s more relaxing than sitting in an office. They supposedly get more associations, more inspiration and a better focus. The question is whether these noisy environments actually do contribute to their work. Researchers at Lund University asked test respondents to read texts in four different circumstances: a quiet environment with music they chose themselves; with music they didn’t want to listen to; in the hustle and bustle of a café. Regardless of whether they liked the music or not, they had dilated pupils when they read, a sign of needing more cognitive power when reading. Also, they were not conscious of being disturbed when reading. However, the comprehension test carried out after reading showed that their comprehension suffered greatly when they had sound in the background, either hustle and bustle or music, compared with a quiet environment. This could be worth considering.”

Tomas Dalström is an author, journalist, lecturer and innovator with a passion for the brain. He’s the author of the book “Bäst i text · Läseboken/ Skrivboken (Best in Text · The Reading Book/The Writing Book)” which is about how to write texts that communicate on the terms and conditions of the brain. He runs the websites and



Roger Kellerman is a publisher, business intelligence analyst, trend creator, educator and networker. He has more than 25 years’ experience of the global meeting industry.

The Future is in BORÅS, SWEDEN In February 2013 the Regional Development Board made a decision that enables the Västra Götaland region to actively encourage private and public sector employees and researchers to arrange meetings, congresses and events in order to strengthen the region’s research environments, attract talent and promote West Swedish innovations. The initiative will also promote West Sweden as an attractive place to live and work. The project, Meetings for Growth in West Sweden, is being organised by the West Sweden Meeting Industry Council because a significant part of the knock-on effect will benefit the tourism industry. Guests fill hotel rooms, go shopping, eat at restaurants and visit the sights. Many people who visit a destination for the first time for a work-related meeting, a conference or congress often return again with family, friends or on their own. Discussions with researchers and people responsible for various activities within the region, both private and public sector, along with a joint vision to create a place where people can live a good, sustainable and rich life, have led to more and more politicians and officials realising the importance of getting more people MEETINGS INTERNATIONAL No. 13 2014

to want to, and be able to, organise meetings in their own town. The main purpose of a meeting is to facilitate the exchange of knowledge between the participants. If a meeting is arranged in your town then many more people will benefit from that knowledge and the town will also be able to showcase itself as a nice place to live and work as well as visit. For the West Sweden Meeting Industry Council it is also important to work with visitors to West Sweden on a daily and yearly basis, even if the largest resources still go to recreational tourism. By focusing on the meeting’s knock-on effects, the region has rapidly climbed the list of places in Sweden that invest most in developing the great potential offered by the meetings industry. We could probably lift Borås as a successful example next to Gothenburg, a region that has had a meeting and event focus for many years. Borås is undergoing rapid expansion where the university, private sector and local government have pulled together to create a platform in the triple helix model, which basically means that all the political parties agree on a strategic development model in which the meeting plays a central role. The next step,

the penta helix model, also includes non-profit cultural initiatives and inhabitants/visitors. Borås is already there. The town’s new conference venue is being built next to the newly opened Textile Fashion Centre. Borås University is already housed in the textile centre on the opposite side of the street to the main university building. There is a strong belief in the future, a place that Borås, in many ways, already finds itself in. Go there and see for yourself!

Making business a pleasure

Conventions don´t have to be conventional A business trip to Madrid seems less like hard work than most. Sunny weather, conveniently located conference venues and gourmet lunches are just some of the bonuses for when you visit on business. way to recharge before sampling the vibrant nightlife. Relax over tapas in an outdoor cafÊ or dance until dawn. Whatever you do, Madrid is the business. (+34) 91 758 55 28