The Hyper Island-inspired Meeting canvas is a framework/model that helps you think about the structure of meetings and events. Depending on the context, I might use the full version or a quick sketched version of it to prepare for a full workshop day or sometimes even a 1:1 meeting. What I like most about the structure is that it forces you to think how to open up an audience for your ideas and exercises, what the core content of your session will be and what the closing elements will be to finish the session in a proper way.
Thinking about the structure or fabric of different elements of the meetings might be better done with the five structural elements as proposed by the Liberating Structures movement, but designing the overarching purpose, structure and elements needed works perfect with this model.
Meeting canvas elements
Some compare the three key elements of the model (opening up, the main content part and the closing part, or: before-during-after) to breathing: breathing in, holding your breath, and breathing out. The model has 5 elements, with outcomes being divided into tangible and intangible outcomes.
The 5 meeting canvas elements
Giving the meeting a proper, enticing name or title helps in building clarity in and anticipation for the session. In case you are filling out the model as part of a workshop, this is also a great creative exercise.
When describing the purpose of the session or meeting, it is useful to think about two elements: the things you’d love to get done in the meeting and the questions you’d like to get addressed/answered during the meeting. This will force you to think about what questions linger in your mind and the minds of the audience.
- Tangible outcomes: the concrete outcomes you need from the meeting. This is often a perfect way to start designing the content of the meeting.
- Intangible outcomes: the feelings, moods the participants and you want after the meeting. A great way to have yoy think about the vibe, atmosphere you want to set.
Who is it for
This is a perfect moment to reflect on who your audience is. Who are they? What do they want? What mindset will they be in entering the meeting (and what should you do in the opening parts of the session to open up their minds)? What are questions or objections they might have? What do they want to get out of the meeting?
This element will have you think about what materials you will need for the session. I usually like to open this up for more structural elements (picked from the five structural elements). Obviously what materials do I need, but also what space/location I want/need, how I want to arrange this space and a rough idea of what invitations I want to extent to the participants.
... all to prepare for the key exercise
Opening - main content - closing, or: breathe in - hold breath - breathe out
Filling these elements out in the model is only the start. They key exercise starts then: what tools and exercises do you want in the opening, in the main content part and in the closing part to achieve your key outcomes defined earlier? Feel free to browse my toolbox for inspiration. Answering the 5 elements above will help accomplish this with more intent and impact.
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