Showing, Not Telling: Mind-to-Mind Meetings Are the Events of the Future

Here’s how to incorporate the breakthrough trend into your meeting agenda

When it comes to organizing the perfect meeting, we event planners take pride in scrutinizing, modifying and reimagining even the tiniest details for our clients. But even amid gorgeous mood-setting light displays, Instagram-worthy hors d’oeuvre platters and décor fit for a royal wedding, those extras can be rendered useless if the content of the meeting itself is lackluster. 

As most of us have come to learn from working in this industry, when it comes to truly moving attendees, fancy displays go only so far. Sometimes, to truly get your message across, you must move beyond telling––and venture into showing. In other words, you must transcend from face-to-face encounters to actual mind-to-mind ideation sessions. 

In mind-to-mind meetings (a phrase coined by Matthias Schultze, managing director of the German Convention Bureau), one of the latest and most promising waves of thought in the event planning industry, planners eschew traditional meeting styles (e.g., conference rooms with a projector screen) in favor of more dynamic, experiential locations that explore the subject firsthand (think: innovation centers). And while the location of that meeting depends on the you and/or your client, it’s a learning concept that can be applied to all industries. 

How to Master a Mind-to-Mind Meeting

If you plan to hold a mind-to-mind meeting, you’ll need to do a deep dive into your brand, message and goal for the meeting. Is the company a manufacturer on the verge of releasing an innovative, much-buzzed product? Consider taking attendees on a field trip to the plant to see the object being constructed. Can’t afford to truck hundreds of individuals to a particular location? Bringing that product in-house for attendees to touch, assess and discuss can make any meeting more dynamic. 

Of course, if you’re less concerned with promotion and more interested in spreading an idea, your mind-to-mind meeting might be a bit more abstract. Do you wish to get across a particular message, such as environmentalism? A short hike on a nature trail or a walk on the beach can quickly transport guests to the right frame of mind to digest the message.  

At its core, a mind-to-mind meeting revolves around ingenuity. Although it might require you to put in more planning besides the typical menu and décor arrangement, the outcome is likely to reward you, and your attendees.