Designing meetings for better delegate experience

In the face of changing attitudes towards meetings and delegate expectations, JPdL International points out three ways to boost the value of events today

Meetings and conferences are changing. Factors such as attendee demographics and increased competitiveness among events mean that the old formula for a successful event is in need of a major update. Today’s delegates want to feel involved and important, and it’s crucial to plan your meetings around these two needs. But how?

Here are three key meeting design elements that will boost the value of your event in the 21st century:

Technology
Events that incorporate new technology into their programmes keep attendees engaged and fascinated. An integrated and customised mobile app for your delegates, for instance, is quickly becoming a standard at major events. By synchronising marked sessions into their schedules or downloading abstracts directly to their devices, attendees value mobile apps for retrieving the information they need when and where they want it.

Space set-up
The way a room is set up and designed says a lot about a conference and how its organisers are in tune with attendees’ learning preferences. Mixing up the seating gives everyone an option, whether it is to network with peers at a roundtable or to spend some alone time in the theatre-style area.

An even better way of changing the status quo is organising a mobile meeting. Take attendees on the road and offer them a new and exciting learning experience. As a lead-up to the Professional Convention Management Assocation’s Convening Leaders event in Boston last January, JPdL International gathered 20 industry individuals on a motor coach bus for the trip down, providing accredited educational sessions, networking and food and beverage along the way.

Conference Social Responsibility – the new CSR
You may have heard of Corporate Social Responsibility, but doing good is not only for businesses. These days, more conference organisers are finding ways to leverage their events to reach out to the local community. As a bonus, attendees feel the reward of helping others, thus valuing your event even more.

Find a local cause in your conference’s host city that is relevant to your attendees, and get them involved. They will feel good about contributing to something important.

By incorporating the above-mentioned elements, your conference will be well on its way to putting attendees first, getting them involved, making them feel important, and, in the process, ensuring your conference relevance and success into the future.


JPdL International is one of Canada’s leading professional congress organisers, with offices across Ontario and Quebec. For the last 35 years, its meeting professionals have been at the helm of some of the world’s most prestigious events, including the World Parkinson Congress and the World Conservation Congress. The company is a member of the World PCO Alliance, IAPCO and ICCA.

The World PCO Alliance helps associations organise effective meetings worldwide. Representing 21 front-runner PCOs in six continents, this group aims to capitalise on the efficiency of consolidating conference and event services within one network. By sharing resources, knowledge, technology, training and best practices, the alliance is associations’ one-stop solution for international meetings and conferences. The alliance is led by president Per Ankaer of ICS International Conference Services, Denmark and vice president Kitty Wong of K&A International, Taiwan.

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