Starting from the fact that a meeting is a live form of communication, there seems to be an overall feeling that delegates’ expectations are just constantly disappointed after attendingB2B events. Why is this?

The answer comes from Neuroscience research! Nobel laureate Eric Kandel states that people don´t remember anything without emotions. That is how our brain is wired. When designing a programme that has business networking for its main objective, the guiding principle is that participants should be brought into a situation where they can share a positive, pleasant emotional experience. Having a pleasant experience together – and going beyond mere eating and (especially) drinking) – means that people measure each other´s reactions under non-standard circumstances. As a result, they are much more likely to develop mutual trust. Research shows that trust between business partners is a far more important parameter for successful cooperation than only financial outcomes. Of course, the financial rewards have to be there, but they cannot be the only thing.

According to the German Convention Bureau 2030 Megatrends report, one of the most important shifts in the next two decades will be the human measure, which is the need for human and social contact and the awareness of human needs. The need of well-designed programmes for meetings is becoming more relevant as we are advancing in this “human” shift. It has a huge impact on the way we deliver powerful messages through live communication.

This is what we are trying to achieve @ Connections Meetings! We aim to offer a programme where you can delight in a wide variety of activities carefully chosen to create a sense of well-being, physical adventure, rhythmic togetherness, and pleasing of the senses – all carried out in pairs or small groups, so that they become memorable. The main idea is: getting participants – buyers and suppliers alike – to live new group experiences. Based on the meeting design principles with Mike Van der Vijver- Author of the acclaimed book “Into the Heart of Meetings”. The experiences should not be just anything: they should be meaningful in the lives of meeting participants.

We believe that only properly designed programmes can achieve greater outcomes in meetings and events, and everyone has to be involved in such programmes. The buyers that are attending this event are really hard to access because they simply don´t see the value in the existing conservative b2b networking programmes. We want to show the meetings industry how b2b events can be smart, well-designed and more humane in order to create strong bonds between suppliers ad buyers for greater business outcomes.

The activities are based on unique stories that Portugal is able to offer within the programme. For example we will be meeting whilst walking through the centre of Lisbon; or at the famous Museu de la Cerveja (Beer Museum) in Lisbon; or we will be having designed b2b and learning sessions on a 3 hour train ride form Lisbon to Faro; or buyers and suppliers will be netting Portuguese fishing nets together in the Algarve; or doing Cork art (did you know that 60% of the World´s cork is produced in Portugal?); and much more! We are designing the programme with Mike Van der Vijver as we speak and by the end of October we will be able to share the final programme with everyone! So…. stay tuned my friends!! 😉