by Jessi Minneci | February 11, 2020
"Empathy" might not be the first word planners think of as they start to design an event, but it should be a foundational component of successful user-experience (UX) design for every meeting.

While attending PCMA's 2020 Convening Leaders conference in San Francisco, Beth Surmont, CMP, CAE, director of experience design for 360 Live Media and a speaker at Northstar Meetings Group's upcoming Women in Leadership Meetings & Incentives, expected to hear the term referenced in event-design sessions. "To my surprise, empathy was also discussed on the main stage," she recalls.

Empathic event design starts with the planner walking in the participants' shoes, but Surmont stresses that it's more than just that. "It's really about analyzing and understanding attendee needs so that you can anticipate, deliver, and surprise and delight them. It's about creating a UX design that attendees didn't even realize they needed."

For tips on how to achieve an empathic event design, including what questions to ask and how to conduct an empathy mapping journey exercise, read the full story on