You’re watching your favorite TV show (on DVR, of course) and a commercial comes on that’s so compelling that you actually watch it. It’s so good, in fact, that you rewind and watch it again. What makes a commercial that memorable? Two key elements: It’s unexpected and it’s fun.
You can use those same two elements to create an engaging experience for participants at your next meeting. Whether you’re running a small team meeting or organizing a large conference, creating unexpected and fun activities will pump up the energy—and make your event memorable.
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17 ways to make meetings more memorable:
- Change the location
Get out of the conference room; go outside or find a surprising local venue like a museum, hotel lobby or library.
- Rearrange the room
Move the table to one side and place chairs in a circle.
- Make it personal
Break the ice by asking participants to share something others may not know—a leisure activity, for instance, or a hidden talent.
- Use a magic board facilitation kit
Paper sticks to this unique facilitation tool, so team members can generate ideas and then you can organize them in different ways.
Literally: teach participants how.
- Get physical
Do a vote-with-your-body exercise, where participants move around the room to indicate their agreement with key statements.
- Ask the expert
Invite a guest speaker to provide a fresh perspective on a topic.
- Use an interactive polling tool
For example, Poll Everywhere is a mobile tool that helps you gather real-time responses.
- Hold the Q&A session first
Find out what’s on people’s minds.
- Create a word cloud
Invite team members to use Post-it® Notes to write a word that describes an issue, then stick notes on the wall.
- Chat at the “campfire”
Put a photo of a campfire in the middle of the room. Then facilitate a round-robin to ask each team member to contribute ideas or perspectives.
- Use an event app for large meetings
DoubleDutch manages the agenda and facilitates networking.
- Give out free swag
Simple items like a shirt or a keychain will serve as a memento.
- Play Jeopardy http://www.jeopardy.com
Create a learning exercise where answers need to be stated in the form of a question.
- Create a collage
Create a collage of participant photos to show during the meeting.
- Encourage selfies
Invite team members to share on your company’s social media platform.
- If all else fails, offer fun food
Think carnival: popcorn and cotton candy.