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Association Chat Podcast

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Sep 12, 2022

Today’s Nonprofit Business Model often relies heavily on meetings and events. Whether it is for commitment to cause, content, or community; all we know is that the value proposition for an association often finds an important channel in its events.

But what happens when attendance begins to slide? What happens when the value of that value proposition doesn’t seem to be what it used to be? Can Event Design Save Your Conference?

Ruud Janssen is an events industry powerhouse. You may have already seen his work if you’ve looked through tools like Miro or Mural and discovered a design tool called the Event Model Canvas. 

Ruud is an international speaker, facilitator, and designer of high-stakes conferences & events. He is the Author of the Event Design Handbook (2016) and Design to Change (2021) and he serves as co-founder of Event Design Collective ( 

He helps organizations innovate by thinking differently based on functional, social, and technological advancements using business and event model innovation.

  • Can you share the story with us about the Event Model Canvas, which is such a popular and helpful tool for people to know about? Why did you co-create it and how the Event Model Canvas, MURAL, and the Internet Society all collaborate on this effort?
  • Where do you typically see most associations getting their event design wrong?
  • So talk to me about #HorizonsOfChange and how that’s built upon the Event Canvas…
  • Has anything changed events or event design forever, in your mind, since COVID came along? 
  • How does the format – in-person/virtual/hybrid - asynchronous or synchronous impact event design?
  • What are your favorite practical ways to change the emotional state of participants?
  • What are some stand out examples of events that have the Ruud Janssen Stamp of Approval for being well-designed?
  • What is the best next step any association executive can take after hearing our discussion today?