Rosa Garriga Mora
For living up to her meeting architect title by aligning the design of clients’ meetings with their content delivery goals
Going to the Source
I met Maarten Vanneste [author of Meeting Architecture: A Manifesto] when I was doing my MA in event management at London Metropolitan University. After reading his book, I decided I wanted to become a meeting architect and I moved to Belgium to work with him. For me, the most important difference between architect and planner is that a meeting architect focuses on the way the content is delivered, while a meeting planner looks after the operations and logistics around an event.
Clients often don’t know what to measure and tend to get sidetracked. They come up with a huge survey but many of the questions are not really useful in determining: Was this meeting worth it? Did it create value for the stakeholders? I help them by identifying their key objectives (following The ROI Methodology) and designing measurement tools that will address those objectives, and nothing else.
At Kenes Group, we are a team of 300-plus people all over the world. We mostly organize medical and scientific congresses for professional associations. Our events are in worldwide locations from Australia to Argentina, but primarily in Europe and North America. Most of us got together last year to celebrate the 50th anniversary of our company—our biggest gathering ever. Otherwise we meet with our departments only, or during client or industry events. I work remotely from my home near Barcelona. I feel most creative when I’ve been out attending events that inspire me or discussing clients’ objectives for their next meeting.
I have a few! The most influential ones are Maarten Vanneste and Elling Hamso, founder of the Event ROI Institute. They’ve shaped my career and the way I approach meeting architecture.
Got a Spare Hour?
If it’s during an event, I’d do an interactive exercise where delegates can discuss with each other what they’ve learned and how can they apply it to their jobs. I think this step is very important in order to digest content properly, but it’s often neglected—there are so many speakers that the event owner wants to include in the program! If I personally had a spare hour, I’d probably call a friend or catch up on some reading.
Favorite Career Advice
My best career advice I received from Elling Hamso: He told me that the most important thing is the boss, not the job. I’ve followed his advice and I can’t agree more. Having a boss who supports you is what matters the most!
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