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11 Ways to Turn a Stale Meeting into a Sizzling Event

March 30, 2016

Is your meeting tired and boring? Many meeting professionals plan the same format over and over again because their mantra is: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But the truth of the matter is events that are planned the same way in the same place with the same presenters and/or style, don’t appeal to most attendees.   

While there are several good reasons to meet, now is the time to shake things up. Below are ten easy ways to make your event special and get attendees looking forward to the next program you plan.

 

11 Sizzlers
 

  1. Be clear about the WHY and the WHO.
    If you don’t know the planned outcomes of the meeting and specifically who should be attending, you need to examine whether it makes sense to hold the meeting at all. If it doesn’t make sense, cancel it.
     
  1. Crowdsource your Content. 
    Actively solicit content and speakers from participants.  Publish all the conference details including topics, speakers, sponsors and attendees well in advance. Be transparent and welcoming to new ideas.
     
  2. Let Attendees Know What’s on the Horizon.
    Giving them a preview of what’s going on within your company or association keeps attendees interested in coming to the next meeting and learning more about it.
     
  3. Always use Name tags and add a Question underneath the Name.
    No matter how small or large your meeting, name tags are a great way to get to know individuals and retain information. In addition, attendees can put something new or special about them, such as “Ask me about my 3-week RV trip, ask me about my favorite holiday, or ask me about where I grew up”. These are great conversation starters.
     
  4. Put Attendee Milestones (new jobs, work anniversaries, births, marriages) on the PowerPoint Presentation Equipment for all to see before the meeting starts.
     
  5. Upgrade your Food and Beverage Options.
    Instead of serving stale bagels and cold coffee, find out what attendees prefer for each of their meal options. A classy boxed lunch that gives attendees a chance to leave the building may be more attractive than a buffet.
     
  6. Integrate Laughter.
    Whether it is telling a joke, hiring an entertaining presenter or sharing interesting stories, attendees want to smile and laugh when they are at your meeting.
     
  7. Have a Surprise Element.
    Give attendees Audience Response System rentals and have them answer trivia questions on the screen. The person that has the most right answers will receive a special prize.
     
  8. Teach Attendees through Gamification.
    Gaming apps are available on iPad rentals and are a great way to help attendees learn complex information. In addition, many apps require small teams which encourage interactivity among potential strangers.
     
  9. Put Open-Ended Questions in the PowerPoint presentation and Give Attendees 3-Minutes to answer each of them.  
    Record all answers on a MacBook Pro rental and share all answers with attendees immediately after the meeting concludes. 

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