It is an unfortunate fact that boring meetings are all too common. It does not have to be this way, however. If you want your meeting to be a time of productivity, consider the following to help liven it up.

More Input

Many meeting attendees will zone out during an extended monologue. Sure, sometimes meetings need to be dominated by one individual who shares a lot of information, but group input is often valuable. If attendees don’t get any input, or don’t have the chance to share their thoughts or questions, they’ll likely lose focus. By asking questions and allowing for more dialogue, however, the speaker can combat this potential boredom. An interactive meeting is less likely to bore those present for it.

Change of Scenery

Sometimes the location contributes to a meeting’s dullness. Meeting in the same stuffy room every time can take a toll. Maybe it’s too warm, or too cold, or not private enough—whatever it is, meeting in the same place over and over again can hinder your productivity. This makes off-site meetings a great opportunity. Escape the office! Why not visit a resort, or a city where you’ve opened a new office? Changing things up once in a while can liven things up and keep a meeting from growing stagnant.

Food

People like food. It’s a fact. There are very few occasions that cannot be improved by the addition of food. Meetings are prime examples: someone dreading the impending gathering may find a little extra incentive to be there if they know they’ll receive a meal. But how much more incentive if they know they’ll receive an excellent, high-quality meal? Even better, interesting local cuisine and heartier, healthier options combined with entertainment, a beautiful view or setting can truly enchant attendees. Giving meeting participants a true dining experience will certainly liven up your event.

Communication Styles

While most meetings focus on visual and auditory experiences few focus on the other styles in which many attendees may use to learn or communicate.  Some participants may be tactile learners where they need to hold something in their hand, feel it and touch it to embrace the experience.  Other attendees may find it helpful to tug at their emotions so a compelling story or video may provide a lasting memory.  Whatever your meeting is about, be sure to include various styles of communication so that your message speaks to everyone in the room.

Visual Aids

Sometimes a visual aid or two (or three or four) can help break up a meeting’s monotony. PowerPoint presentations sometimes get a bad rap, but if they’re done well they can help keep people engaged. Or, consider other visual mediums: a brief video, hands-on experiences, or brief break-out sessions can be highly effective.

Break It Up

Breaks are not bad! Too often meetings are run as if there can be no stopping as if any loss of momentum guarantees the meeting’s failure. But many times the opposite is true—well-timed breaks can make a meeting more productive. Giving people time to stretch their legs, use the restroom, or collect their thoughts will help them stay focused.

Change of Structure

One way to liven up your meeting is to deviate from your typical structure. If your past four meetings have followed the same structure, for example, it might be time to change things up. This modification, however subtle, helps keep your meetings from sinking into the kind of mind-numbing repetition that makes attendees zone out.

Utilize Social Media

Social media has taken over the world, so it’s worth trying to implement this technology into your meetings. Encouraging meeting attendees to post, tweet, etc. about your meeting can help keep people engaged. Sharing content helps that content stick in attendees’ minds.  It can also help build interest among potential customers, especially if it is a new product that is close to launch.

Conclusion

Business meeting are a necessary element of the modern workplace, but they need not be boring. By incorporating variety and changing things up, you can help attendees keep from losing focus. After all, the more engaged your attendees, the more productive your meeting can be.

Seeking a change of venue for your next meeting?  Contact Gavel International to learn more about planning and travel programs for your next meeting or corporate gathering.