Life is all about experiences. Studies have shown that people are happier when they invest their money in experiences rather than possessions, and this way of thinking has affected the way people conduct business.
Now more than ever, meeting attendees crave engagement, interaction, and a unique experience. Given that many meetings can be conducted remotely, participants seek true substance through active participation and meaningful learning, not just the material itself.
In order for your attendees to truly absorb the meeting material, you might need to be creative. Here are some out-of-the-box ways meeting planners can make events more effective for their clients.
Social interaction is key to a successful meeting. Live demos and hands-on sessions are just a few examples of how you can steer your meetings away from the traditional roadmap.
Sometimes the solution to redundancy is as simple as getting your audience out of their desks. Have your participants navigate their way through booths or rooms. Use scavenger hunts and other team activities to trigger thinking and engagement. If networking is an important part of your industry’s culture, be sure to fit ample time in for guests to get to know each other and share ideas on a more intimate scale.
Gamify your Meetings
It’s hard to argue against meetings with a strict agenda. An agenda you and your participants can stick to is paramount to hosting an organized meeting. However, it’s important to fill this strict agenda with activities your attendees actually want to participate in.
While it may seem productive to cram as much information as you can in the time you’re allotted, doing so won't necessarily do you any favors in terms of how well your attendees grasp the concepts.
Serving your attendees an experience, rather just information, can make all the difference in the overall effectiveness of the meeting.
Augmented reality and other digital games can do wonders for boosting creativity and interaction. With their popularity so widespread, it’s no wonder the corporate world has begun embracing its power. Meeting planners can also help coordinate quizzes and interactive polls to gather data from the audience (and award attendees points for participating) so they feel like they are part of the presentation.
Consider Virtual Prep
Meeting planners know the burden of time constraint. To alleviate this pressure and make for a truly impactful meeting, consider a bit of virtual learning beforehand.
Send videos or other educational materials to be covered via e-mail, so attendees can come prepared and ready to engage in discussion. Peer-to-peer evaluation and brainstorming are more enriching than the standard classroom method of learning, so offering your audience some ammunition for discussion can make engagement more seamless. This works especially well when your audience has travel time to read and study.
Kick the Traditional Keynote
No one is dissing the keynote speech. Keynotes are an important part of any meeting, if for the sole purpose of letting participants know why they are there in the first place. But a keynote doesn’t have to keep the same humdrum format each time. There are ways to jazz up a keynote to where your audience leaves feeling more inspired than when they entered.
Rather than hurling all of that pressure on your keynote speaker alone, why not try a less traditional method? Keynote speeches can take the form of debates, Q&As, or panels. Not only does this shake things up for the attendees; it allows the keynote speaker a valuable glimpse into the minds of the target audience.
A truly productive meeting is one that gives the attendee a greater sense of direction. Incorporating technology and other innovative materials into your meetings can be just what you need to nail your most successful event yet.