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Don’t Just Have a Meeting. Provide an Experience.

By: Jody Miller, Sales Coordinator, FIU Kovens Conference Center

Gone are the days where meetings – whether it is a conference, convention, seminars or workshop – are a boring place. The modern meeting offers way more than just an exchange of information.

Nowadays, attendees are more excited to attend a meeting and have an experience. Technology has advanced so much that being able to incorporate interactive elements into a meeting is easier than ever. A simple way to incorporate technology is the great-old PowerPoint presentation. However, you want audience participation, and you can do this very simply by spicing up your presentation with an interactive element. Sites such as polleverywhere.com allow you to create and customize your questions (colors, fonts and graphics). Your attendees can be provided a link to access these questions using their mobile devices (laptop, phone or tablet) to respond. You will then have live responses in your presentation.

Another great way is to have a team building exercise. This is a great way to have fun and learn new things about the people you work with. This can also incorporate an outdoor component to the meeting. If climate is an issue, you do not have to be outside to have a fantastic team-building experience. The aim is to accomplish the goals set by your organization—whatever those may be—with customized activities to make those goals happen. I cannot express enough how much you will learn about yourself and your teammates while also having fun.

As a planner, you can make your meeting or event stand out in so many ways. Another simple way that won’t break the budget is to match the food and beverage to the theme of the meeting. Having a reception after the meeting concludes is a fun, relaxing way to enhance your event. Here, a planner can get creative and encourage participants to relax, mingle and have fun. It has been proven that when employees have fun and like one another, they are more productive. Tech companies know this very well. You would be surprised at how much bonding happens during this extended hour.

Lastly, your location too is a part of the experience. Change up your venues and give your attendees a different view. Rent a meeting space that is flexible and offers a myriad of options to customize how you meet.

Let your next meeting be an experience. Find ways to engage your attendees. Offer them something different. Get them to talk about your meeting and anticipate the next one. People like experiences that engage all five senses. Keep this in mind the next time you’re planning a meeting.