Table of contents for Design thinking for events

  1. Design thinking for meetings and events

What would happen if meetings and events were designed to answer attendees’ needs instead of corporate mandates? That’s the question behind design thinking for events, a process intended to create more effective, relevant and enjoyable learning environments and experiences.

Using IDEO’s Design Thinking for Educators Toolkit as a template, meeting planners can easily adapt its concepts. (IDEO — pronounced EYE-dee-oh — is a global innovation and design consulting firm.)

What is design thinking? According to the Toolkit, it is:

  1. Human-centered. It begins from deep empathy and an understanding of the needs and motivations of people.
  2. Collaborative. It’s based on the idea that several great minds are better at solving challenges than just one, so it seeks multiple perspectives and trusts that others’ creativity will bolster your own.
  3. Optimistic. It’s the belief that change is possible, no matter how big the problem, how little time or how small a budget you have.
  4. Experimental. It’s about learning by doing, giving yourself permission to fail and learning from your mistakes.

To put design thinking into action, IDEO has developed a structured approach to generating and evolving ideas. This design process has five phases that helps organizers move from identifying challenges to finding and building workable solutions.

  1. Discovery
  2. Interpretation
  3. Ideation
  4. Experimentation
  5. Evolution

By following the five phases, meeting planners can become more strategic about their event design, get “unstuck” from tired traditions and discover how to create personalized, needs-based change for their groups. We’ll explore the concept of design thinking for events and the phases of event design in more depth in a new series titled “Design thinking for events.”

To download a copy of IDEO’s Design Thinking for Educators ToolkitCLICK HERE.


The Toolkit is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0). ©2012 IDEO LLC. All rights reserved.