Meetings Beyond Logistics: Principles, Practices, and Play©


Meetings rarely exhibit inventiveness or joy.  Meetings have for years looked and felt and sounded like the worst of the school classes any of us ever experienced: rooms set in rows that dare not be disturbed, low lighting and rarely windows, teachers (“subject matter experts”) in front, lecturing on what they believe to be important, stern looks given to anyone who doodles or appears to otherwise be engaged, and little time for discussion to clarify information or to make comments to express thoughts and opinions or to interact with others.

Dan Pink, in “A Whole New Mind”, says: “Today the defining skills of the previous era – the ‘left brain’ capabilities that powered the Information Age – are necessary but no longer sufficient.  And the capabilities we once disdained or thought frivolous – the ‘right brain’ qualities of inventiveness, empathy, joyfulness and meaning – increasingly will determine who flourishes and who flounders.”

In a world where an appreciation for different kinds of intelligences and learning styles and a desire for experiential learning is flourishing, we can create better meetings.   

Learning Objectives 

  1. Develop a greater awareness of your own and others’ learning styles.
  2. Advance your ability to create different learning environments and delivery formats.
  3. Create steps to take to move meetings you plan or host to a new level of inventiveness.

Recommended reading to stimulate thinking for the session

Joan Eisenstodt

Joan Eisenstodt founded Eisenstodt Associates, a Washington, DC-based company that provides meetings and hospitality consulting, training and facilitation in 1981. She brings 35+ years of experience to her work with associations, corporations, hotel companies and DMOs, to facilitate and design meetings, conduct training, perform departmental audits and negotiate contracts.

Joan is retained as a hospitality industry expert witness and is on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Convention and Event Tourism. Her industry activities include involvement in ASAE, DMAI, MPI, and PCMA. Her passions for life-long learning, meeting preparation, risk anticipation, contingency planning, ethical and inclusivity practices, and meeting excellence have been well-recognized by MPI, HSMAI, and NSA (speakers not spies!); as an inductee into the CIC [now EIC] Hall of Leaders; by the PCMA Foundation for Lifetime Achievement as an Educator; and by IACC with the Pyramid Award and with the Mel Hosansky Award for Distinguished Service in education.

Joan has a strong desire to make all meetings more interesting, interactive and appropriate to their audiences and hopes you’ll participate in this session with an open mind to change! You can interact with Joan on twitter (@joaneisenstodt and @meetingsfocus), at her blog on, and on LinkedIn (