Secrets of Effective Meetings & Events

extract of the book

Part 2

Creating an M&E format

1. The Master Plan Format

Let’s illustrate the master plan with a little example. Suppose a meeting has to be organized for a medical company bringing together 200 employees, including managers, sales and marketing staff from all over Europe, for a short three-day conference.

Starting with the information gathered on the 7 ‘W’-questions, a draft idea of the meeting can be written. That may look like the following example:

To bring anything into your life, imagine it’s already there.

- Richard Bach - writer and pilot, °1936

To keep the overview of the whole meeting, this is done on one page only, we like to call this ‘the master plan’. This one page gives a quick overview of all composing elements and the sequence of these within the meeting program. The challenge is finding the right

balance between all composing elements, reflecting the right mix of content and information sharing, team work, networking opportunities and motivational actions. It preferably takes into account the budget restrictions from the very beginning.

    ‘Primacy and Recency effect’

This is terminology originating from the world of psychology and was the experimental result of the following test.

Volunteers were asked to learn a long list of words by heart during a predetermined time. When the time was up, they were asked to write down as much as possible of the words they studied. Now, the results revealed that the participants of this test were able to remember a lot of words from the beginning of the list. These were the words they ‘primarily’ studied. This effect was then called the ‘primacy effect’. Opposite of this effect is the ‘recency effect’. As the test revealed, not only the first words on the list were best remembered, but also the last words, the ones they studied most ‘recently’. Obviously the scientists called this effect the ‘recency effect’.