It seems like there are endless options and venues for offsite meetings, so many in fact that meeting planners should never run out of creative ideas.  But if you’re a meeting planner, you have no doubt stumbled upon your fair share of creativity blocks when it comes to thinking of fresh new ideas for meetings.

Sometimes fresh ideas can be restricted by location, budget, lack of creativity by others, or something that’s totally unexpected.  So what’s a meeting planner to do?  The solution may be as easy (or as difficult) as digging into what can be found online.

In a world where technology is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year inspiration can be found from a number of resources.  Here are some of the best resources for creative inspiration for meeting planners:

Fall Under the Influence

While it may be easy to dismiss Instagram influencers as trivial and superficial, they are in fact excellent sources of the beautiful, trendy, and glamorous elements you should try to incorporate into meetings.

When it comes to destinations, influencers typically avoid the beaten path in favor of scintillating locales. This makes them an easily accessible repository of intriguing ideas for your meetings. You could learn about a fascinating destination you may have otherwise overlooked. You could also get insight on food and activities in this locale that are authentic to the culture rather than tourist bait.

Watch in Living Color

In keeping with distinctively modern methods of finding fresh meeting ideas, YouTube offers a wealth of information. And of this research on food, venues, accommodations, etc. is all free of charge!

Do not stop at general searches on the video platform. In order to capitalize fully on it, you should subscribe to specialized channels that focus on your topics of choice. For example, if you are looking for a new tropical locale, you can find a slew of videos about any one place and videos that rank different destinations in certain categories. Additionally look at activities or experiences that could be around the location or even stumble into a venue that you might not have considered, but may be more affordable, offer more value, or provide such a unique experience that your offsite meeting will be truly memorable!

Most videos are easily digestible in 10 minutes or less. A few minutes of investment could lead you straight to your next great meeting idea!

Get Some Visual Inspiration

Social media can be a fantastic resource for inspiration.  Sites such as Pinterest and Instagram can provide a plethora of creative ideas ranging from venues to space set up to even little details!

A few ways to use both:

  • Look for brands, influencers, designers, chefs, publications, destinations, etc. that you admire, find creative, interesting, etc. Be sure to start following them.
  • When you find something that catches your attention save it into a board (in Pinterest) or save to a collection (in Instagram). You can reference these later when you need ideas.
  • Dig deeper into boards (on Pinterest) of those you follow to see what they’ve saved in the past that might be interesting, unique or might provide ideas for you.
  • Visit their blogs, websites, etc. to see what other hidden treasures you might find.
  • Discover other sources of helpful inspiration that you want to follow – and follow those brands, influencers, etc.

Tell A Story

Part of memorable meetings is the overall experience.  Meeting attendees will remember a meeting based on how it makes them feel.  The environment, connections to others, sensory stimulation as well as new experiences all leave an impression.  These all tell a story.

A master storyteller can take various details and weave them into a captivating story.  Understanding how to tell a good story can lead to inspirational moments.

What’s the story your meeting needs to tell and how do you want to tell it? Do a search online to find examples of stories that match the theme and see what ideas come to fruition.  Often a series of seemingly scattered and disconnected elements can be carefully connected through planning to create a framework of story.

Do it Virtually

Conducting research for business purposes via the internet offers another benefit: it is appropriate and safe any time. The information you need is all at your fingertips. You never have to leave your computer to obtain it.

Virtual tours provide the opportunity to walk-through venues, and even get a first-hand perspective of activities, adventures, dining, and more.  What’s ideal about the ability of research online doesn’t involve travel so it can help reduce costs, and whittle down a list to what’s really the most interesting and applicable to the meeting.  Then, the actual investment of onsite vetting can occur.

The next time you feel like your well of meeting ideas has dried up, turn to these resources ideas. You will be enormously pleased with the inspiration they give you to elevate the meetings you plan.

For more information about how Gavel International can help your organization come up with exciting ideas for meetings that inspire attendees, contact us.

Jim Bozzelli