Meetings are an inevitable part of any business or job, sharing information, brainstorming ideas and resolving general solutions. However, meetings are generally viewed as a painfully boring experience, so it is likely that attendees have their brains switched off than on. To get business and creative ideas flowing, meetings should be exciting and different each time. If you are planning a meeting and want your delegates engaged and focused but also participating in something fun, then read on for our tips for an enjoyable and successful meeting,
Plan the right time and day
Not many people put time and day into consideration when planning a meeting. Most meetings start on Monday mornings, ready for the week ahead or perhaps to review the previous week. We suggest making your meetings in the afternoon or even on Tuesdays. On Monday morning, everyone can do their homework and get things ready for an afternoon meeting or for the next day. If your meeting is required in the morning, we recommend avoiding the 9am start. Begin your session at 8:48am, having an unusual start time is often useful to help attendees remember a meeting time. Having a strict and non-predictable start time will make your delegates arrive on time (hopefully). Don’t allow latecomers to attend your meeting and get away with it, you can create a silly consequence for them and it can be a fun activity for later on in the day.
Lighten the mood
Some people may believe that having senior people in your meetings means you should do less ‘fun’ things, but we think the opposite. The more senior members there are, chances are they spend their time attending meetings after meetings and would appreciate a little fun thrown in. Perhaps begin your meeting with something silly to lighten the mood and to wake everyone up. Play a short game or a funny YouTube video will make people smile. If you’re leading the meeting, you might speak more than others, but don’t let any one person dominate the conversation. You’ll be in a room full of people with opinions and ideas which can be brought to the table. As a leader, you can control the dynamic of the meeting and engage everyone in the room. This will also give others confidence to speak up and participate in conversation.
Breaks & Lunch time
It’s important to have short breaks within your meeting to allow your delegates to stretch their legs and give their brains a rest. Delegates may have skipped breakfast to attend an early morning meeting, so making sure that there is time for food is essential. If you’re hosting your conference or meeting at a Business Centre or hotel, you can speak to your events coordinator about their food options. Some venues can create dishes tailored to a specific theme, such as Mexican or Chinese – something your delegates will remember and appreciate.
Team building activities
Some conferences can take up a full day or even spread out over a couple of days, so why not arrange something fun for your delegates. Make sure you choose a venue that has flexible rooms, gardens or even sometimes provide workshops. For example, at The Abbey we have many activities available like clay pigeon shooting and a Land Rover Meeting Experience. It’s a great way to get away from your usual surroundings and relax in the countryside. Discuss, dine and drive with a meeting coupled with the Land Rover Experience at Eastnor. We have one or two day packages available, a perfect way to make sure your meeting is memorable.
The right venue
The venue is an important decision; it will set the mood of your day straight away. You wouldn’t want your delegates to struggle getting to the venue. Find a venue that will be easily accessible for everyone. Make sure the location can be accessible by train, road or even flight. Understand how many delegates will be attending, as many venues will host a range of conference rooms of all sizes. If you are hosting a conference that will spread over a few days, you should consider if your delegates need a place to stay overnight.
At the Abbey Hotel we offer seven impressive light filled meeting and event suites for parties of all sizes. With stunning views over the Vale of Evesham, the hotel gardens are ideal for outdoor activities and workshops. We are located on a quite road in the centre of Great Malvern and easily accessible from the M5 and M50. When you book a meeting at The Abbey, your events manager can provide a PA system, projectors and any other equipment you may need. We can arrange full catering, team building activities and stationary. To find out more about meetings and events at The Abbey, click here.
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