The beauty of mind mapping is that there is no right or wrong way to do it. Matching the mind and imagination of its creator, some are rigid and linear, while others are jumbled and hectic. Either way, they can be excellent tool for planning corporate events. The fact that they are visual and modifiable means they can be not only read, but created, by several — or all — of the people involved in the event.
In its most basic form, a mind map is a visual drawing in which lines, shapes, images, and words are used — often with different colors representing different concepts — to map out a plan, idea, or course of action. Generally, a central concept is planted in the middle of the map, with “branches” reaching out to connect with secondary and tertiary concepts that can contain sub-branches of their own.
1. Draw and Re-Draw
Use a chalkboard or dry-erase board when creating your mind map. Taking a pen to a permanent surface, you’ve removed your ability to revise your map as your ideas change. Your map is a visual incarnation of your mind; if it’s working correctly, it is in constant flux.
2. Assign Branches to People
When using a mind map to plan a corporate event, one strategy is to assign a color to each of the different people involved, so you can follow their branches, track their ideas, and follow their progress. With each employee assigned a specific part of a larger project, it instills friendly competition and promotes individual accountability.
Assign Branches to Components
Another strategy is to assign colors and branches to ideas, and whoever is assigned to deal with those ideas can add to that color and branch. If catering is one component, venue is another component, public relations is a third, and vendors is the last, each of those entities could be given a color. Everyone assigned to each part of the plan would work within that color.
Because of its flexible, inexact, malleable nature, mind mapping is an excellent way to plan a large gathering with many facets such as a corporate event. Everyone can contribute and — unlike with mass emails or a never-ending string of meetings — it is a creative way to get your employees to engage, get involved, and leave their mark. When it comes to event planning, mind mapping is the epitome of thinking outside the box. Learn more about Mindjet’s mind mapping software here.
Andrew Lisa is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. He writes about event planning and the California car insurance industry. Follow him on Twitter or email him.