The new normal

Rigid training systems, the change in customer needs or the demands placed on employees – two event professionals describe their greatest challenges.

Cerstin Steindorf, Global Account Director Healthcare, MCI Headquarter, Genf (Photo: MCI Group)

Yasmin Haunold, Inhaberin, CE-Management, Wien. (Photo: Yasmin Haunold)

The market is in constant evolution. Today, customers are looking for ever more engaging creative and strategic solutions. Experiences. Excellence in logistics is a “must”, but they need more: programmes that inspire, foster change, educate and enhance performance. And so it is not enough to hire talents who are able to work according to a checklist and follow a meetings manual. You need talents who understand the business of the client – and their client’s client – and who are service-minded.

You need thought-leadership. You need talents with business acumen who understand finance, legal aspects (compliance, GDPR), strategy, creativity and technology. As a company, at MCI, we need to bring these talents together and provide them with a business environment where we draw benefits from economies of scale, from investments in technologies, from the latest in learning and development. This way, we can help our clients to engage with- and activate their target groups, building community.

Cerstin Steindorf, global account director Healthcare, MCI Group Geneva


‘Transcultural’, ‘interdisciplinary’, ‘holis­tic treatment’, ‘cross-professional’ – all these buzzwords are often used prominently in the meetings world. The challenge, however, is to incorporate this content into our rather rigid further education system and to encourage attendees to accept it. To address this challenge, we joined forces with international societies, associations and universities this year to organise the first congress on women’s health in Asia in Kathmandu, Nepal. Doctors, social workers, psychologists, midwives and other interested guests from Europe, Nepal, India and other Asian countries met there to discuss their access to treatment and options. Local hospitals were also introduced to give an impression of conditions in the region.

However, I underestimated the discomfort it causes many Europeans to be outside familiar, supposedly safe – essentially western – destinations. Moreover, organising such an event is a truly ‘transcultural’ challenge. In Germany, things that are taken for granted, such as clear time schedules and detailed planning, can either lead to misunderstandings or require a lot more logistical and organisational effort due to the local infrastructure. I also very much felt how one often comes up against limits in this clearly patriarchal system. Hence, this was a ‘challenge’ on many different levels for a very complex, interdisciplinary CPD event.        

Yasmin Haunold, owner, CE Management, Vienna