by Yolanda Logt, SHARE TODAY Imagineering, the term pops up more and more also in our business. But what is it? And can it be of significance to our market? Is it just a fashion word or a real cool method to finally deliver more quality events? Let’s have a look.

Imagineering is certainly not new; Disney already made it popular in the twenties of the last century. Imagineering is a blend word of ‘imagination’ and ‘engineering’, a concept that has various interpretations coming out of different sources. Diane Nijs* defines Imagineering as value creation from the experience perspective. In other words, Imagineering is the design process in which an imaginative artifact is brought into existence that can mobilize people in a generative way.

This is where we ‘meet’ the meetings & events industry. Do we not all deliver and create value for our clients using our imagination? It is too simple to make a comparison like that. I dare to state I doubt if we all use Imagineering to give our events the right values.

The world is changing

Our current society evolves at high speed from a passive to an active consumption market where two-way communication is essential. Value creation in networks starts to dominate value creation in value chains, meaning digitalisation diminishes the distance between supplier and consumers and other stakeholders in a structural way. It is not strange concepts like Facebook, e-bay and Tripadvisor pop up successfully. Also in our market we see this happen. Think of MeetingSelect, StarCite and you-tube that recently launched live streaming for events (

Events & clients change

Our clients want different events than 10 years ago. Involvement and inspiration of participants are key words; delegates should not passively enjoy but actively experience the event and be inspired, whether it’s a meeting, conference or incentive. Inspiration should go so far that it even changes behaviour.

These phenomena are not only a must for the one single event but for all corporate events of a company and applicable for every target groups with different needs. Events are more than ever part of marketing strategies however with more challenges for the organizers. All levels, employees throughout the whole company should be actively involved and become part of it. No ‘sole’ event but a mix of multiple events bounded by the company strategy and image.

Events versus Imagineering

For the event industry this asks for a different approach. There will often not be one answer to serious company questions; certainly not for an event! But how do we play the game differently?

These Imagineering tips might help:

It all starts with inspiration. What is your clients’ identity? What does the company stands for? What is changing in society and what can your client offer that same society?

If that’s clear, you start creating; translate the know-how of the DNA of your clients company and your society knowledge to a high involvement experience concept. This concept should be inspiring to both the employees as well as the stakeholders.

Last but not least; the organisation and transformation in a meaningful way, using the creativity of the in- and outside of your clients company. Create an experiential platform that is interactive and with a two-way direction. This will definitely lead to more creativity and constant innovation.

It sounds simple enough, this short cut Imagineering for organizing events. But be honest is this the way you handle your events or even more you lead your company?

Co-creation is a point of attention in the meetings & events market. Not for the future but for now. Developing Imagineering competence helps the designers of our industry to create a concept that has various interpretations and input from different sources. This will help you to provide what your clients want and you need; successful, competitive events combined with value creation and inspiring to the delegates.

This brings the question: shouldn’t we all be Imagineers?


*Special thanks to Diane Nijs, Associated Professor in Imagineering at NHTV Breda (Netherlands) or of the book 'Imagineering' and developed the Master in Imagineering.

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