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22 Jun

What Angry Birds and Righteous Pigs Teach us about Meeting Design

By Andrea Driessen, Chief Boredom Buster, No More Boring Meetings More than 250 million people have downloaded the game Angry Birds. Every day, humans worldwide collectively spend about 200 million minutes playing this game on our mobile devices. Nearly 4 million “Like” it on Facebook. In a world of time-starved business people, a vast chunk of us find time for an admittedly silly game, a pastime that has us fully engaged and focused for hours at a time. (Full disclosure: I love to play too!) What’s going on?? What makes this digital interface so compelling that gamers can’t stop interacting with it? Wouldn’t you like just some of those folks to read your emails? And just SOME of that engagement and energy at your meetings? Let’s see what Angry Birds game teaches us about designing more captivating meetings filled with more focused meeting goers. The Power of Story Knowing why the Birds are Angry (they stole the birds’ eggs, and they’re….mad!) gives the game some context and an added layer of fun. The same holds true for a well-designed meeting, which tells a unified, compelling story with a captivating arc and interesting characters, dialog and plot. What story does your…

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…