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16 Jun

May the Force Be With You: Why in-person meetings are the most powerful way to connect, inspire and learn

By Andrea Driessen, Chief Boredom Buster, No More Boring Meetings In this era of webinars, video conferencing, podcasting, ad infinitum, the need for authentic, human-to-human connection from live meetings has never been greater. Indeed, with so much happening virtually, the power of real time people engagement is at an all time high. We in the meetings industry, then, have an unprecedented—and I believe under-utilized—opportunity to create exceptionally memorable experiences and greater productivity for our audiences. How? By tapping into force fields: that invisible, palpable , contagious energy exuded by thought leaders, celebrities and really anyone we care about. After all, what’s more compelling: watching Oprah on a screen—or watching her live? Seeing him skate on ESPN, or shaking hands with Apolo Ohno?  And why do thousands line up in advance to talk personally or even shake hands with Presidents and CEOs? No matter how much we go virtual, or maybe BECAUSE so much is now virtual, we still LOVE to be physically near people we admire, and who bring skills and insights we need to be more effective in this wild world. We are wise to allow this Force to shape our own knowledge, excitement, and energy. 7 ways to…

14 Sep

Less is More: Why considering fewer speakers yields better results

The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less author Barry Schwartz shows us why having more choices leads to poorer decisions. Advising hundreds of individuals and groups on external speaker selections, I see organizations often held captive by this paradox.
To save you effort and aspirin, as well as boost morale and group cohesiveness, here’s a simple, NON-paradoxical process for optimal committee-driven speaker selections

15 Jul

Why Uncomfortable Meeting Attendees are Smarter

By Andrea Driessen, Chief Boredom Buster, No More Boring Meetings On a recent adventure in China, I spent at least half the time being uncomfortable. Hot, sweaty, crushed by crowds, lost, confused. After a few days of being cranky, I realized that in exchange for this discomfort, I had the rare chance to experience forever-memorable moments that would have been impossible without first being uncomfortable: Trekking the Great Wall, viewing Mao Zedong’s embalmed body, eating some of the world’s most delicious dumplings, communicating in a very foreign language, standing amidst some of the most gorgeous scenery on earth. But I’m not here to talk about what I did on my summer vacation. Via discomforting travel, I also saw a strong correlation between discomfort and meeting success….and how building in some discomfort into meetings helps attendees experience lasting—and positive—memories and deeper learning. It can mean the difference between significant behavior change and complacency-maintaining status quo for your audiences. How to purposefully add Discomfort to your Meeting Agenda…. It’s natural to view high levels of comfort as central to a successful meeting. Of course, want to provide a comfy venue, lighting—and enlightenment. Yet when attendees are UN-comfortable in particular ways…exposed to the unknown….they…