Successful Meeting Architecture Certificate training concludes in South America.

Cartagena Chamber of Commerce (Colombia) is reinforcing the competitiveness of the companies that are part of the meetings industry local cluster. After researching all the possibilities, they decided to organise a Meeting Architecture training. The goal is to  boost the skills, innovation and knowledge around objective based meeting design, execution and measurement, in short: Meeting Architecture. With the support of iNNpulsa Colombia Fund, a government agency for the promotion of innovation, and different local companies, they worked together to make this possible.
As a major conference and event city in a growing country, Cartagena decided to increase its competitiveness by getting as many people from as many backgrounds as possible to move foreword as much as possible in a short time. The answer was the very intense 5 day training as developed on the book 'Meeting Architecture, a manifesto' and the Project Meeting Architecture end goals. 
The program is four long days of intense training and group-work leading to a fifth day of case presentations. All 50 participants came from either Cartagena, Colombia's capital Bogota and one or two other places. Hotel managers, PCO's, planners and production people were mixed into 7 tables of meeting professionals, all new to each-other. These teams of 6, each worked on one case of their choice with an end presentation in mind. Some case were real projects, other fictitious.
In the amazing and historic city of cartagena lies, docked to the old port, the CCCI; it's biggest conference centre. With their great support and that of the technical team MAGIX, this was a very comfortable environment for all the technology and other experiments this course brings. With CIC (Convention Industry Council) approval for 32 clock hours for the CMP (Certification for Meeting Professionals) the course got an extra dimension, above and beyond the local and regional value.
The two trainers/speakers/teachers kept all participants on their toes with presentations, exercises, discussion tropics, feedback and even debate moments. Beside presentation and demonstration there was at least one tools for meeting design per day that the trainees could experience themselves.
an early morning start and a late end allowed the program ample time to cover 4 topics per day. The first day is the most challenging with MAP as the methodology for objective based meeting design. The next three days are filled with sessions on the 5 (CHATTY) categories of toolbox  for meeting design and a number of sessions on more practical meeting design segments like hybrid, interaction, production, social media and presentation.
The participants use and experience a classic voting system, a Mobile phone based interaction system a web-based co-creation system, a flying microphone, a portable web-cast system, robot participation, etc. Plenty of real experience besides demo and presentation. By applying the new knowledge to their case, the teams would repeat the learning and make it more tangible.
The seven teams each had a case: a Horse Fair, a National Education Conference, a Chamber of Commerce gathering, a Medical Conference, one on technology in Education, a government meeting and a Wedding Fair and each came with a great presentation on friday. All teams were highly competitive and used props, presentation techniques, decor, room setup and many more in the design of their presentation. The entire group could score with the keypads and the points varied between 587 and 684 in criteria like objective centric, participant involvement, innovation, etc.
The Chamber kept a 'check-in sign-sheet' for every morning and every afternoon. This enabled them to identify roughly 40 participants that received the Certificate as handed out by the Meeting Design Institute and signed by the trainers Maarten Vanneste and Stefania Conti-Vecchi. 
With a few closing Interviews for local and national media, this training will certainly have an impact on many individuals and the Cartagenian and the Colombian Meeting industry a as whole. Cartagena was the first 5 day training of this kind and the way this looks, with the amazing feedback; many are going to follow.
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