At a time when a do more with less budget is becoming the norm meeting planners are more critically assessing those meeting venues and elements that provide high impact experiences with strong returns on investment. The adoption and use of new technology, the physical design of meeting and networking spaces and the greater emphasis on experience creation have sparked a shift in meeting planner objectives and goals. While planners are still focused on return on investment, education and networking, an increased focus on participant engagement and personal development is taking shape. But what makes a memorable experience? How do we learn and remember? Which environment makes cognitive change possible? And finally what makes participants turning learnings into action with a business impact?
Eric de Groot is one of the very first Meeting Designers. His pioneering work started in 1992; now he caters to the national (Dutch) market in De Wet van Thomas and internationally in MindMeeting. Thanks to his background in drama-education he takes a broad, human as well as an educational perspective to meetings and meeting processes. Eric regularly conducts workshops and learning sessions for professionals in the meeting industry as well as in other educational contexts. Early 2013 the book he wrote with his co-writer and business partner Mike van der Vijver about Meeting Design was released, “Into the Heart of Meetings”, the bible of Meeting Design, as readers say. Eric developed many effective formats, like The Synthesis Debate, Experience Carousels and the Powerstand. He won a number of awards like the best session Award at Fresh 13 in Copenhagen, the Golden Giraffe for the Best Business Event 1999 in the Netherlands and Best Conference 2015 at Eventex in Bulgaria. Eric lives on a yacht in the north of the Netherlands.