tahira endeanAn event planner. A lover of technology. A champion of the human experience at events. A speaker. A writer. A book author. A friend to all. At her core, Tahira Endean is a natural connector — or as she would say — collector, of people.

We caught up at IMEX in Vegas last month for a stroll, er, run, around the show floor, and a chat about her new book, Intentional Design: Our Professional Opportunity. We only got interrupted by people she’s collected five times!

1. What is intentional design and why is it important?
It’s the end-to-end creation of an experience to deliver maximum impact for stakeholders, event after event. It is also referred to as “mindful” or “purposeful” design. Design at its best solves a problem. It is the process of creating, fashioning or executing to a plan, and events are the ultimate expression of design impacting a deep human experience. It is important because we live in a world where our event guests expect authentic, transparent, sharable experiences and we need to deliver.

2. What is the best example of it you’ve seen?
What a great question! One of my favorite examples is EventCamp in Vancouver. Several event professionals got together to produce an intimate, groundbreaking event. We looked at traditional meeting design from every angle in order to design experiences that would resonate on a deeper, intentional level. The lessons we learned then (it was 2012) — integrating technology, the power of storytelling and play, feeding people well, making sustainability easy and fun, creating space for deeper networking and more meaningful connections, and designing sessions for maximum learning and retention — all garnered great success and have been carried through to events from that time forward. I’ve also outlined them further in the book

Tahira Endean

3. Many people say they will write a book yet never do. You said you’d write a book and you did! What’s the passion that drove you to get it done?
I have been blogging and writing for other people for a number of years, and one day I wanted to find something I had written, and couldn’t remember where it was. It was that day (April 4) I decided to bring together what I thought was important and relevant right now for event professionals into one place, attributed to me, and take responsibility for the content. I set a personal deadline of “By IMEX” and I wrote pretty much every day, asked people to sanity check, content check and edited, and then hit publish. It will never be perfect, but I know the information is solid.

And with that, she’s off to do another round of introductions on the show floor focus on technology and innovation. So when you want to know what the next big idea is, ask Tahira, or better still, read about it in her book!

To get the book, click here!

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