Gone are the days that businesses, associations, and groups hold live, in-person, multi-day meetings for the purpose of exchanging information and pure learning. With the advent of email and the internet, exchanging information and learning has never been easier.
Attendees don’t need more information. Attendees need meaning, context, and engagement at face-to-face meetings to counter the information overload they’re already experiencing.
Organizations should include in every multi-day conference or meeting they-re planning for 2016 and beyond the following three benefits to attendees:
Meaning and context will counter the abundance of information that they’re already overwhelmed with.
Engagement allows individuals to feel better connected with your group.
Here are three concepts to include when your organization is planning its annual meeting or event in 2019 to provide attendees with a better, overall, event-experience.
The purpose of the meeting must be crystal clear. Purpose provides direction. Why are you asking people to stop doing what they regularly do to come meet with the whole organization for the better part of a work week?
The purpose of the meeting not only provides direction but also gives attendees context.
With everyone suffering from information overload, it’s imperative that your organization provide guidelines. Get people on the same page. Let people know the purpose (i.e. direction) so they can figure out what’s important and unimportant (i.e. guidelines = context). People are too independent in 2010 to be told what to do. They need to understand why things need to occur – not how to do them. Give people the direction and context so they can navigate the best path on their own.
The theme is where you give the direction and context meaning.
The theme is a singular concept that connects with attendees’ five senses. Theme is omnipresent.
- The theme becomes the words and messages they hear from every speaker, entertainer, & host
- The theme becomes what they see from the moment of entering the venue to every detail they encounter throughout
- The theme becomes what they taste in the both the food you provide and the direction you’ve outlined of what is possible
- The theme becomes an atmosphere where they can smell their role in determining your organization’s future success
- The theme becomes how they’re emotionally touched by the overall experience
Theme isn’t easy – especially if you intend to do it well. When theme is done well, it’s all encompassing. Theme done well seeps into the pores of each and every attendee’s senses.
3. Engagement with Community
A sense of belonging. People want – and need -to be part of the group. Face-to-face meetings are an ideal way to give people a break from their routine and become re-engaged with other fellow human beings. Ultimately, people won’t care about your organization if they don’t care about the people and community to which they belong.
Individuals working remotely and alone is now the new norm – zoom meetings and email are the primary means of communication – in-person meetings are a way for people to practice their face-to-face social skills.
Meetings are a form of social exercise – use it or loose it.
Meetings allow people to engage in a way that their daily work schedules no longer include.
In 2019, organizations need to provide their members with the things that they no longer get as part of the their regular work week or work day.
Individuals need context and meaning to effectively deal with the abundance of information your organization – and the world – is hitting them with regularly. Meaning and context can be accomplished with a crystal clear purpose and appropriate theme.
Finally, people want to feel like they’re part of a group. They want – and need – to develop a fondness for the people in their group. Give people a chance to exercise the social skills that their daily work routine no longer provides.
This post was originally published on SpeakingGump.com on April 5, 2016.
It has been updated and edited to appear here on ChangeByGumption.com
Communicator, Forrest Gump lookalike, Strategist
– Brand Ambassador, Change Agent, Speaker, Writer
– Gump-like Messaging, Simplicity, Values
– Big Picture, Bottom Line, Visual Mapping
Learn more about Steve here.
more 'Association' and 'Business' Meeting posts …
Conference attendees at multi-day conventions, meetings, and events are no longer willing to settle for average or mediocre. Anything less than unique and special will be considered boring or a waste of time. The bar for meeting and event planners…
When you hire an individual to be the moderator for your next conference, meeting, or event, it’s important that they possess certain attributes. The moderator is commonly called the emcee or host. But could be referred to as master of…
If you want to improve the user experience at your next multi-day meeting, conference, or event – focus on triggering an emotional response. An emotional response garners interest and engagementAn emotional response helps a person rememberAn emotional response brings out…
Everyone is familiar with ROI – Return on Investment. It’s a tool management uses to measure the effectiveness of a given program. In the meeting industry, ROI measures an increase in performance (e.g. sales, productivity, cost savings) as a direct…
Companies frequently need to move from Point A (where they are today) to Point B (where they need to be). Always, the reason for the change is something big such as a change in culture … or a change in…
A group of people get together for a meeting. The meeting could be a group of people all working for a single business entity/purpose. Let’s call this a Corporate Meeting. or … The meeting could be a group of people…