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.

View show to find out how: Skip show and view as list

 

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17 ways to make meetings more memorable:

 

  1. Change the location
    Get out of the conference room; go outside or find a surprising local venue like a museum, hotel lobby or library.
     
  2. Rearrange the room
    Move the table to one side and place chairs in a circle.
     
  3. 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.
     
  4. 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.
     
  5. Juggle
    Literally: teach participants how.
     
  6. Get physical
    Do a vote-with-your-body exercise, where participants move around the room to indicate their agreement with key statements.
     
  7. Ask the expert
    Invite a guest speaker to provide a fresh perspective on a topic.
     
  8. Use an interactive polling tool
    For example, Poll Everywhere is a mobile tool that helps you gather real-time responses.
     
  9. Hold the Q&A session first
    Find out what’s on people’s minds.
     
  10. 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.
     
  11. 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.
     
  12. Use an event app for large meetings
    DoubleDutch manages the agenda and facilitates networking.
     
  13. Give out free swag
    Simple items like a shirt or a keychain will serve as a memento.
     
  14. Play Jeopardy http://www.jeopardy.com
    Create a learning exercise where answers need to be stated in the form of a question.
     
  15. Create a collage
    Create a collage of participant photos to show during the meeting.
     
  16. Encourage selfies
    Invite team members to share on your company’s social media platform.
     
  17. If all else fails, offer fun food
    Think carnival: popcorn and cotton candy.

     

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