360 Live Media
360 Live Media is an event strategy and digital marketing agency in Washington, D.C. serving association, professional society, and not-for-profit conferences.
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The Design Project

Have you ever designed something? Perhaps a new kitchen, a wardrobe for a new season, a meal?


A design is a plan, a drawing, a blueprint, a draft. It’s an intentional expression of your imagination.


Good designs start as good ideas, and then lead to projects that convert ideas and imagination into applications. Projects have goals, schedules, budgets, and resources required to accomplish the desired outcomes.


Recently, ASAE hosted the third Xperience Design Project (XDP). This design project is different from many other kinds of projects as it must be reinvented every year—building upon what works, and layering in new ideas, concepts, and innovations.


XDP 2019 was the most successful to date. The three factors leading to its success were:

  1. Willingness to take risks. Working with 360 Live Media, ASAE was willing to step out, step up, and break the mold on new formats, environments, food, speakers, and experiences. This was not a rinse-and-repeat performance of last year’s XDP.
  2. Commitment from leadership. From the board of directors to every member of the ASAE team to each of the industry partners, everyone supported the vision, strategy, and execution of this year’s event. There was no wavering, no backsliding—just forward movement and great leadership.
  3. Imagination, innovation, and fresh thinking. Ideas are a dime a dozen. The best ideas are relevant and strategic; they deliver on what an audience is motivated by, which separates the winners from the losers. XDP had a lot more winners than ever.


These three success factors created the conditions to break the pattern of a predictable and formulaic live event, and to avoid the better sameness of many association annual meetings, conferences, and trade shows. Above all else, they led to XDP’s success this year.


Experience design and meeting planning are compatible skill sets, and are both necessary for the change and innovation your audience is seeking.


What new experiences will you design, plan, and deliver for your next event project? For ideas, check out these 10 event innovations that produce results.

Don Neal Headshot

A marketing thought leader, speaker, teacher, and advisor, Don Neal brings his Madison Avenue experience to help organizations see their opportunities in a new light. He is passionate about helping organizations accelerate the trajectory of their success.

Don Neal
Founder & CEO
360 Live Media

Top Resources

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Discover how you can deliver more value to your members with this essential thought piece for association executives.