The Helsinki Method for Meetings and Events -concept serves meeting planners and designers in creating virtual and hybrid meetings. It was designed together with industry professionals with the intent to keep the focus on the audience. The concept emphasises the need to identify the participants and seeks to ensure that the purpose of the event is crystal-clear before the organiser selects the right methods and partners for the event.
The core of the Helsinki Method derives from the Helsinki City Strategy and encourages participants to take action, feel at home, be equal and be fragile. This applies to both physical and digital presence.
Planning the content of an event begins by defining the attendees, i.e. the event community. As virtual events require a strong level of interaction, the community is often more relevant than in more traditional events.
Whether it is a predefined group including e.g. an organisation’s employees, or a group of individuals separately chosen for the event, the motives and passions of the participants need to be identified.
Once you have recognised the characteristics of the participants, clarify the goal of the event. Why should the event be arranged? What purpose does it serve? The objective might be to inspire, share knowledge, co-innovate, reward participants, increase awareness on a particular matter, promote a positive image or solve a joint challenge.
Identifying and documenting the intent of the event ensures that the organising parties are on the same page about the sought change. Clearly documented goals ease the communication and improve the quality of the event.
After defining the purpose of the event and the role of the participants, you can determine the contents for attaining the goals and serving the participating community in the best possible way. How do I keep the participants interested? How can I engage them? What role does sharing information play? How much responsibility dare I give the participants on the course and content of the event?
A virtual event cannot compete with the Internet in offering static content. One-way declarations and presentations should be in the form of recordings that are available to participants at their leisure. Virtual events that do not allow participants to continuously influence their course and content rarely succeed.
A successful event needs to make use of diverse methods. Participants soon get bored if the content is repetitive. With the right methods, the organiser reaps the desired results and the participants are willing to invest their time also in the future.
We have created an online tutorial for the Helsinki Method through which you can familiarise yourself with virtual event planning and practice using the method. The canvases are also freely available for use. You need to enter your email when registering and you can find more information about our data privacy here. Please see the below video for an introduction of the online tutorial.
COVID-19 is hitting the meetings industry maybe more than any other business. In Helsinki we believe in open innovation and collaboration. That’s why we are sharing Helsinki Method with you. It’s open and inclusive, just like Helsinki.