Willkommen! Pardon moi. Bellissimo! Blimey.
For three days, I heard foreign phrases in elevators, in lines for lunch and inside breakout rooms as I gathered with about 400 meeting professionals and members of MPI Europe from Italy, Denmark, Belgium, France, U.K., Finland, Iceland, Netherlands, Poland, Germany and more. (Wait, who am I leaving out?) Oh, and the United States. About 13 percent of European Meetings & Events Conference attendees were my fellow North Americans. We gathered at Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel and Conference Center in Copenhagen, Denmark, to discuss the state of meetings and events in Europe. Event manager Andrew Walker took us on a wild ride filled with brain food, indoor snowball fights, Meetovation (read more on the concept here) and plenty of hygge. Below are the eight words and ideas that stuck out the most:
This fantastic Danish word—pronounced “hue-gah”—was one of the local themes woven throughout EMEC. It is an intangible Danish feeling of togetherness and warmth that can be hard to define outside the country. In the tangible, hygge involves throw pillows, blankets, warm socks, stories around a fireplace and baked items like Danish buns to create the experience. While you may never be as hygge as the Danish, you can give people a feeling of warmth and coziness with small touches at your meeting. Walker displayed this full screen image of warm socks near a fireplace on both ends of the general session space.