You might be an event pro planning external events for your organization or clients, but have you been finding that lately that your work meetings are ineffective, tiresome or boring? It’s time to take some of those attendee engagement skills and apply them to your daily or routine office meetings to make the most of the skills you have!
Value Their Time
When you’re planning an event, you make the most of every moment you have with your attendee. You’re careful to plan ahead, to get to the point directly and to never leave them feeling like they’ve wasted their time. The same should be true for your meetings with your fellow employees. An important part of working on a team is valuing and respecting one another’s time, so be conscientious and considerate. Plan ahead and pull up whatever materials you’ll need in advance; don’t waste time fumbling through your documents or waiting on a PowerPoint to load. Keep your talking points brief. If you’re covering content for one person that everyone else has heard before, rethink your strategy and cover that content in a one on one prior to the team meeting. If you notice conversations getting tangential, try to reign them back in.
One great strategy to keep everyone on task is incorporating a “parking lot.” In essence, a parking lot is simply a paper where team members can write down questions. That way, if you can make it through the meeting without questions (which may be irrelevant to others), you’ll save time, and can use that time you’ve saved at the end of the meeting specifically designated to answer the parking lot questions. This is also a great strategy because sometimes people ask questions that will be later answered over the course of the meeting, and by the end, you can skip right over those questions instead of getting distracted.
Venues and Spaces Matter
Don't be afraid to mix up the venue! Here at Aventri, when the weather gets warm, plenty of teams will meet outside at the picnic tables for a refreshing change of scenery and an attitude-enhancer. If you’ve gotten into the same routine of using the same conference room and the same seats time and time again, book a different room, or encourage people to switch up the seating arrangements. You wouldn’t keep your event attendees stuck in their seats all day, would you? You want your employees, like your attendees, to remain alert and to actually be attentive to the content they’re consuming, so don’t keep them stuck in one spot for over an hour.
Excite Employees with F&B Options
Why do you offer the greatest foods and beverages during events? To please your attendees? To incentivize them? It works either way, and chances are, your employees will appreciate it just the same way. Occasionally treat them with a breakfast or lunch meeting. Send out a poll or email to see what your team members want to try, mixing it up sometimes. Not only will you be ensuring that your meeting is on the radar, but you’ll also be giving your team a reason to look forward to the meeting, and walk in with a positive attitude.
Encourage Common Courtesy
Speaking of positive attitudes, remember to treat your team members with the same respect you’d show your attendees. When someone has asked a question that you feel is common sensical, explain it with patience nonetheless. It’ll ease the process and maintain the mutual respect that all parties deserve. Nothing is worse than sitting in a meeting with an entirely impatient or rude team member leading the conversation. Have courtesy for everyone and understand that each member of your team is bringing a different skill to the table, not everyone’s skills will translate in the same moments.
Engage and Appreciate
Be engaging! Like I said before, polls beforehand help with preparation and positivity. Try to find ways to engage during the actual meeting too, whether this is through an implementation of an interactive agenda or incorporating a video/graphics where you can to explain things instead of talking in a monotonous tone. Additionally, be sure to recognize and thank your team for their patience. Follow up with them afterwards to be sure you answered any and all questions, and to simply continue your presence in their work day.