(Gastbeitag von Irina Graf) Each year, the VDVO hosts an obligatory General Meeting for its members. The association shares the latest updates on activities conducted over the past 12 months, provides an update on the financial status and discusses upcoming events and projects for the following year. Most importantly, members can meet other members for networking and knowledge sharing.
General meetings can be undervalued and be perceived as 'boring', but not with VDVO because it knows well their target audience of savvy and experienced event planners. To break the stereotypes of the traditional general meeting, the VDVO came with an innovative format to make the meeting more interactive, appealing and memorable for attendees. It was designed in two parts, the obligatory part of the mandatory update, with the second part being more fun and experiential. This part included a gamification element at the international mydays Erlebniswerk in Berlin.
Introducing a new format for the general meeting
The board meeting took place on 4 April 2019 in The Dawg restaurant at the mydays Erlebniswerk, in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. The obligatory meeting lasted only 59 minutes and the Board was elected. The current board members include Doreen Biskup, deputy chairman of the board, Kerstin Pickny, a board member, Kurt Schüller the treasurer, and Bernd Fritzges the CEO. The board has remained in their positions from their previous tenure.
The host venue mydays Erlebniswerk has real-time driving and flight simulators which guests can try and experience what it's like being a Formula 1 racer or an Airbus/Boeing pilot. The simulators are based on real routes and speeds, giving an authentic feeling of racing or flying. After having time to try the simulators, guests were treated to 'luxury hotdogs' by Michelin star cook Björn Swanson.
The interactive and participative event format wasn't offered by chance. As a leading association for event planners in Germany, VDVO sets focus on innovating in this space, and data gathered from the MICE Think Tank (a study conducted by the German Convention Bureau) show that participative event formats provide significant advantages. Now, VDVO has demonstrated how a strongly regulated event, such as a general meeting of a trade association, can be gamified and be an experience in itself. Sharing experiences together at a top Berlin venue and simultaneously posting the highlights on social media inspired this annual gathering of leading event planners in Germany, leading to further networking and a stronger sense of belonging to this community.
VDVO leads the way in promoting the importance of the MICE industry in Germany
VDVO is promoting to a significant degree the importance of the MICE industry in Germany, integrating offline and online communication to constantly engage members and industry stakeholders and collaboratively raise industry standards. In times when a large part of communication takes place online, live events have become even more essential, and associations instrumental for industries such as ours to thrive and innovate.
I asked Bernd Fritzges about the importance of associations and what added value they provide for members - he responded that, 'We need to focus on being a think tank, sustainable, share great ideas for the future and values for meetings planners'. The VDVO is present at key industry trade shows in Germany, such as Best of Events International, mbt Meetingplace, ITB Berlin and IMEX, and has also a strategic online communication plan, including social media and member newsletter, where they share the latest internal and partner news. That approach provides members with strong support for their professional and personal development.
What to expect in 2019 and beyond
The VDVO has an ambitious plan to grow further this year, and the next step will be a strategy meeting this May in the newly launched business academy 'Business Bad Saarow' at the Hotel Esplanade Resort & Spa. The full day workshop will be designed to discuss and develop new and international projects.
Afterwards, the next major event will be fast approaching, and this year VDVO will have a joint stand with H-Hotels at IMEX Frankfurt in the international pavilion. In June, VDVO will be 'on tour' with the Captain MICE Future events in Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, with the finale being in Berlin in July. In November, VDVO will exhibit at the mbt meetingplace in Munich, and in between now and then, the partner event calendar is also full with the latest events and news, so make sure to check it out regularity.
VDVO general meeting in Berlin coincided with Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID)
Lastly, the VDVO general meeting in Berlin was held at the same time as the Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID). This is an important occasion celebrated by event professionals around the world to highlight the importance of meetings for local economies, businesses and communities where they take place, and how they impact individuals. According to Meetings Mean Business, the meetings and events industry contributes $2.53 trillion in terms of global economic impact. I was particularly happy for these two important occasions to take place on the same day, and it was fantastic to celebrate our industry with its movers and shakers!!
Here we go for a bigger and stronger 2019!!
Mehr über die Autorin Irina Graf
Irina Graf ist Gründerin von The MICE Blog, einem internationalen Event-Management-Blog für Corporate Event Planer, der 2011 ins Leben gerufen wurde. Sie arbeitet mit globalen Kongressbüros, Veranstaltungsorten, Veranstaltungsplanern und Ausstellungsorganisatoren, um diese bei den Themen soziale Medien, strategische Erstellung von Inhalten, Live-Blogging, FAM-Trips und gesponserten Beiträgen zu unterstützen. Seit Juni 2018 ist Irina Graf auch als International Relations Officer beim Verband der Veranstaltungsorganisatoren eV (VDVO) tätig.
Fotocredits: Thomas Loris, Blitzboxx, Irina Graf