Day-long meetings can tend to drag on, with attention spans dropping off in the afternoon. It’s up to you as meeting organiser to make sure that your attendees keep their focus from the moment they walk in at 9am to the second they leave at 5pm.
Here are a few alternative suggestions that will keep even the most jaded of attendee attentive…
We’re not suggesting you make your middle-managers fight for a chair – but mixing up the seating arrangement as you go can keep things fresh. You can do this after every break or in the middle of a presentation or discussion.
If you don’t mix things up, by lunch time groups will have started to form and conversation will focus inwards within the groups, instead of ideas being spread around the room.
Putting people on the spot can be a great way to get them thinking more instinctively instead of relying on pre-prepared notes. And you can add to the pressure by giving them a limited amount of time to pitch their idea, respond to others’ suggestions or simply have their say.
We suggest 30-seconds or a minute. It might not seem like a long time but when you’re put on the spot it can be hard to fill. Have these sessions dotted throughout the day and get people to stand, state their name and role and then give them their time to pitch.
After a long day of swapping ideas and talking business, the creative well can start to run dry. For some inspiration, hit social media – it’s a goldmine of ideas and insights.
Set up a screen and keyboard with the company’s Twitter feed on during the event. You could even encourage people to respond to Tweets, post their own updates and upload photos throughout the day.
It’ll give them a great view of what their customers, rivals and general public think of their company, and will provide them with plenty to talk about.
It can be tough to talk business for 8 hours solid. To help break things up, have a half-hour session in which everyone can chat about their personal lives or share something about themselves with the group.
Try and get them to relate their personal experiences with work – for example, it could be how having a new baby has made them revaluate their role, how they’re struggling with their morning commute or how they’d like to see better lunch options near the office.
Jargon, buzzwords and oft-repeated phrases are common in all offices. And while we might joke about them, it can be hard to avoid them and, before you know it, you’re talking about ‘blue sky thinking’ and ‘low-hanging fruit’.
To get people to speak more clearly and avoid these phrases, set up a bingo game.
You hold the card and every time someone uses one of the phrases you’ve picked, their name goes on the board. The person who uses the most phrases has to complete a forfeit.
Posted by Ashleigh Sharp
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