Conference Matters 131

44 TEXT EVELIEN BAKS | PHOTO INGEBORG VAN BRUGGEN MEETING DESIGN Mark Stoop has taken the Scenario Based Concept to new levels. Potentially threatening situations are simulated through high-quality films and war games. ‘It makes every event more exciting because you get straight to the point.’ What if? Indeed, what if there was an attack being planned on a nuclear safe- ty system or at a major transit port? What if a large swathe of a country were flooded? Over the past few years, Scenarios4summits has specialised in simulating such realities. Like many governments, increas- ingly the conference world is recog- nising its added value, says co-founder Mark Stoop. His company holds a patent for so- called 'scenario-based events' that are supported by compelling films. Stoop collaborates on these scenario-based events with his partner, film producer Fried-Jan van den Eerenbeemt. They produce short clips or films averaging 15-20 minutes in length. From their base in the CaballeroFabriek in the Dutch city of The Hague, the partners continue to expand on their concept. “We storyboard and then shoot a film or short clip that illustrates a conference's message,” says Stoop. “The film, which we often cut into three blocks, has far greater impact than spoken word alone. It makes every conference or event more attractive and gets straight to the point, guaran- teeing discussions during the interim and beyond. Challenging scenarios help hone your thoughts.” WAR GAMES While working in the defence sector, Stoop became acquainted with wargames and tabletop exercises. After switching in 2004 to the technical research institute TNO, this knowledge grew deeper and broader. Since the founding of Scenarios4summits in 2014, Stoop has been the ultimate expert in the field of scenario-based events. “Without my military background in guided weapons, I would never have been able to build this as I have,” he ex- plains. “At TNO, I worked for a long time on many exercises, focusing on air and missile defence. In late 2013, I received a call from the government: Mark, can you develop a nuclear crisis game for a meeting with world leaders?” GOVERNMENTS, BANKS AND MULTINATIONALS In recent years, Stoop's company has produced several films for the United States Congress, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, banks and large mul- tinationals. The United Arab Emirates government has also employed Scenarios4summits to assist with various security conferences. Stoop and Eerenbeemt are currently working on a film for a con- ference on Hotel Security organised by the Greek Chamber of Commerce. At the Scenarios4summits Crisis Training and Wargaming Centre, they are also developing crisis games and wargames for multinationals. A SIMPLE POINT OF VIEW They see how our concept brings them back to basics of real discussions and interaction because, in the end, that should always be the objective of your event. As an organiser, what do you hope to achieve? What do you want world leaders to take away? If the goal ‘Challenging scenarios help hone your thoughts’