With the continued rise of international, distributed teams, often serving an equally global clientele, organizations are looking for new ways to collaborate with both clients and each other. We heard from Event Design Collective about how they’re running their international company with the help of MindMeister and G Suite.
Event Design Collective is an organization developing innovative ways to enable event designers to plan and implement impactful events. The team train event planners to become ‘Certified Event Designers’, through the collective’s distinctive methodological approach to design.
Using MindMeister and G Suite, Event Design Collective currently manage over 5000 users and to date have trained 1000 professionals in their 3 tiers of event design and management. We sat down with Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Ruud Janssen, to hear about how they’re making this happen.
Designing Impactful Events Collaboratively
In order to help clients to design and develop their own outstanding events, the Event Design Collective team have developed a methodology using their EventCanvas. The EventCanvas allows teams to enter “a state of play”, encouraging creativity, while taking users through a series of processes to better understand the past, organize the present and plan for the future.
“In a fast-changing landscape, now more than ever teams want to learn how to collaboratively create shared experiences. They want to have fun by consciously designing for behavioral change using proven methodologies,” Ruud shared. “At Event Design Collective, we are driven to enable everyone to use this collaborative team approach to create events that consciously change our world in the desired direction of change.”
Sharing Their Creative Vision with Clients via MindMeister
Event Design Collective’s customers are first invited to attend an Event Design Sprint during which, as Ruud shares, “A good old poster-size Event Canvas is posted on the wall, as we use post its and pens to share ideas and unleash our creative thinking.”
Following these initial in-person sprints, client liaison becomes primarily digital, utilizing online collaboration solutions, such as MindMeister.
“We use MindMeister to map out and research the event design projects, as well as begin the planning of the design,” Ruud shared. “We find MindMeister particularly useful for sorting out complex problems and getting a clear first picture of the scope, time and research required by new projects.”
Once the project’s objectives and scope are established, Event Design Collective begin to drill down on the details of the project, creating a thorough project plan in the form of a mind map. The team then share this with the client to ensure their vision for how the project would develop is visualized and shared.
Project planning with mind maps
“Once the scope of the project is established, we use MindMeister to map out experience journeys and document events systematically”, Ruud explains. “By using hyperlinks to external ideas and resources, and embedding images, we’re able to flesh out our thinking online and collaboratively with the client. This is a very powerful process. Then, if we have an upcoming in-person meeting with the client too, we can print the mind map on a large scale poster to review in our project meeting.”
Once plans are laid out, actionable tasks within the shared mind maps can then be tasked up, assigned to the correct team members and converted into action in MeisterTask, via the MindMeister and MeisterTask integration.
Connecting a Distributed Team with G Suite
With an international, distributed team, Event Design Collective not only connect with their clients online but also with each other.
The Event Design Collective core team are spread across the Netherlands and Switzerland, but they also have chapters in Spain, Germany, and the USA, as well as a growing partnership in Canada. In order to remain connected, they use both MindMeister and G Suite for collaborative working.
Remaining connected using Gmail and Google Calendars, while sharing all key documents and files collaboratively and transparently, over Google Drive, the team successfully plan, write and implement, across offices and time zones.
“We collaborate extensively using Google Sheets and Google Docs,” Ruud shared. “We draft documents and calculate budgets within G Suite and even used Google Docs to write the first few drafts of our Event Design Handbook. G Suite was perfect for this as our team is geographically dispersed and use various operating systems in various languages.”
In addition, the team uses Zoom to make video calls between team members and clients.
The Impact of MindMeister and G Suite on Event Design Collective’s Business
“Going from a startup bootstrapping our efforts in Event Design four years back to a team of 9 today, we know that both scalability and being able to work online via the cloud are essential to keeping our organizational machine well oiled and accessible,” Ruud explains. “What’s more, we can achieve all this without needing a dedicated member of IT staff.”
“We learn by doing and having grown over the last five years to an international team serving a global clientele, we need scalable solutions in multiple languages to help us grow further,” Ruud shares. “Both MindMeister and G-Suite enable us to do just that.”
If you have a story to share about the impact that MindMeister and MeisterTask have had on your business, we’d love to hear from you!
To get in touch about being featured in a success story on our blog, drop Olivia an email at olivia (at) meisterlabs (dot) com