Sure, Caesars Entertainment was drawn to Event Design Collective’s expertise and worldwide success in establishing a partnership that will offer a free certificate program to 1,000 meeting professionals and Caesar’s team members.

But what piqued Caesars’ interest—and what differentiates it from some other event design programs—is the strong emphasis on personal interaction and engagement.

“The human element is the key differentiator with this program,” says Lisa Messina, vice president of sales for Caesars Entertainment. “Many certifications and education that our professionals go through tend to focus on logistics, for obvious reasons. This program takes us outside of the ballroom box of transportation issues and things of that nature.

“It talks about what is the behavior, what are the feelings, that you want your attendees to come to your event with and what are the changes in their behavior, so that when they leave your meeting or event, that’s when the real stuff happens, that’s when the real ROI begins.”

The Event Design Collective, which has also partnered with Meeting Professionals International, was founded by Rudd Jansen and Roel Frissen, and they, along with Dennis Luijer, wrote Event Design Handbook.

“One of the things that we do is make sure that a group of people design together and figure out who has a stake in the event, and use Empathy Mapping,” Rudd says. “It’s a technique were multiple people and multiple brains, in a very orderly sequence, go through a process to extract what people see, think and feel…hear, say and do—to find out what their pains and gains are before and after an event. We subsequently use the #EventCanvas, which is intended to create a common language around event design.”

Jansen and Frissen conducted a three-day course in Las Vegas earlier this year, marking the beginning of a three-year partnership with Caesars that will provide training and coaching—as well as sponsored summits and industry events—in Las Vegas. The three-day training courses are part of the Event Design Certificate Program, and are followed by six months of coaching on a real-life event. The objective is to use a systematic, 10-step visual approach to teach participants critical skills that will enable them to design events based on stakeholder needs and then prototype event designs using the #EventCanvas.

On the first day of the Las Vegas training, 26 participants first gathered in a circle and then engaged in an interactive activity in which they shared something important about themselves. This helped to establish a familiarity among members. In the afternoon, the group was split into two groups, each of which focused on National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell as a stakeholder in the upcoming player draft.

“We articulate the behavior change of stakeholders,” Jansen says. “There’s a group of people involved in providing input, and they can think of a particular stakeholder and walk a mile in their shoes so that they look at that situation through the lens of that specific stakeholder.

“This allows you to harvest from various brains and various perspectives input to create a story about the pre-event entry behavior; the way people would leave that event as the stakeholder, the exit behavior; and the pains and gains, the expectations, the satisfaction. You then would look at the commitment and the return—the costs and the revenues—and analyze the jobs to be done by that specific person, and the promises that the event delivers for that stakeholder.”

The final two days of the program consisted or participants prototyping event designs based on #EventCanvas. Now, their task is to design a real-life event.

Event Design Collective is based in Switzerland, and is actively present in the Netherlands, Canada, Spain, Germany, Italy, France and The Philippines. Currently, there are 7,500 users worldwide, 1,200 trained users and 150 Certified Event Designers. The collective hopes to double these numbers each year. Trainings are delivered in partnership with organizations and universities worldwide.

Foundation Promotes Collective’s Work

The Foundation is the organization promoting and supporting innovation in the field of event design. The foundation enables the creation of a common visual language for events. Its objective is to create a global common and visual language for event design based on the #EventCanvas methodology and practice to enable teams to:

  • consciously design events
  • apply design thinking and doing
  • systematically create events worth attending
  • be engaged and confident with all stakeholder levels and across cultures and languages using visual thinking, based on the #EventCanvas