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03 Aug

Gracenotes: Finding meaning & belonging in this time of ‘in-between’

….And now, for something completely different. Join speaker/author Steve Farber & Andrea Driessen on Aug. 12 for a powerful, no-cost virtual experience aligned with ‘business-as-new-normal.’ Watch a short video to discover more: Have you ever wondered why people can’t relish and appreciate one another while they’re still living? Including people at work? Even more so now, during this pandemic…when the world feels so uncertain and people are scared. COVID will pass. People will return to work. A new normal will unfold. Will your organization (and people) be ready? They can be. Join bestselling author (“Love is Just Damn Good Business”) Steve Farber and Andrea Driessen on Wed. Aug. 12 from 10am-11.30am PST for a virtual, interactive Gracenotes experience. Together we’ll experience how Gracenotes — my term for eulogies for the living — forge a workplace and a world of greater appreciation, connection, belonging & collaboration. Our co-created, no-cost session will transform how you navigate this powerful time of “in-between.” Space is limited. Register here via Zoom at no cost

16 Mar

A big-picture vision for an events industry in crisis

The events industry is at the center of the virus crisis. Right in the cross hairs of travel disruption, social distancing, & large-event bans. But rather than sit back and lament our situation, we be a highly visible example of cooperation, communication & cohesion, with the following steps: 1. Over-communicate. Keep people informed more than you would normally. Not sure if you’ll cancel? Share that. Decide internally on a deadline by which you’ll go ahead with or cancel a gathering? Get that message out pronto. 2. Stay close while apart. Amidst heavy news, try something light: How about a “Sip&Skype” session for those working remotely? Crowdsource recipes for vitamin-rich beverages and/or tonic-rich cocktails. Then gather on a virtual platform & raise your glasses to the time—& it WILL come—when this is all over. 3. Aim for empathy and transparency. We could all use some extra care. Leave soup at your neighbor’s door. Call a long-lost cousin. Reach out to a colleague & just listen to what’s going on. 4. KNOW we’ll get through it & be a stronger, more trust-rich & cohesive community as a result. 5. Imagine how EAGER we’ll all be to meet when this is all over….

21 Jan

Take one (or more) for the Team: 5 group activities that build trust, commitment & accountability

  In his bestseller The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, author Patrick Lencioni describes five primary reasons teams fail. (To which some will say, only half-jokingly, “What, only five!?”) By Andrea Driessen, Chief Boredom Buster, No More Boring Meetings Using these dysfunctions as a framework, I’ll profile corresponding team building exercises that turn the dysfunction into engaging, purposeful function. Each one has been designed by top team building design consultancy Wildly Different, and proven in the “wilds” of corporations and associations nationwide. Absence of Trust We know trust is the cornerstone of solid teams.  A ropes course is a classic and now-tired way to instill team trust. Here’s a fully fresh and fun approach. Team Dynamics Dash: This activity requires teams to work together and open up to one another to complete tasks. EG: In one task, teammates share what they see as each person’s main strength. In another, they must agree on the critical items to choose if “stranded at sea.” Such discussions can get heated as perspectives differ. Lessons learned are covered in a closing debrief to help everyone recognize “a-ha” moments. Indeed, when team members open up and raise awareness by putting team dynamics to the test, they become…

09 Jan

The Power of Proximity: What cocktail receptions, selfies & mirror neurons tell us about designing better meetings

A conversation with speaker and author David Meerman Scott and speaker bureau veteran Andrea Driessen A marvelous, new book about fandom has significant implications for the meetings industry. I recently devoured Fanocracy: Turning Fans into Customers and Customers into Fans, by top speaker and author David Meerman Scott and daughter Reiko Scott. In this lively back-and-forth with David, we’ll examine a critical—and actionable!—concept from David’s book as it relates to events: proximity. Andrea: I loved your book Fanocracy, David. There’s so much in it to explore, all of it relevant to today’s business climate. You devote a chapter to the idea of proximity, referring to the level of closeness among people. For our purposes here, let’s consider these people event attendees. Why is proximity so important at meetings and events? David: Thank you Andrea! I’m honored that you read Fanocracy and thrilled that you enjoyed it. Writing the book with my 26-year-old daughter has been a fantastic experience for me. I remember about a decade ago when many people were predicting the death of physical events. Because the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of superficial online communications at a time when people are hungry for true human…

04 Sep

How can panels and Q&A sessions become unquestionably better? The answer: With these 10 best practices

By Andrea Driessen, Chief Boredom Buster, No More Boring Meetings While panels and Q&As can be memorable meeting elements, they’re usually sub-optimized and predictable, short on insights and long on length, unmoored and formulaic. Wouldn’t you rather offer engaging dialogs, energetic interplay, tangible takeaways, friendly arguments, authentic debate and purposeful experiences with a sum greater than the parts? Your audiences would like that too. So, without question, I recommend these 10 best practices. FOR MORE POWERFUL PANELS: 1-Make sure everything about the panel—just like every element of your entire event—is designed and delivered from the audience’s point of view. While you will of course choose panelists because they have specific, valuable points of view, whatever the moderator asks and however panelists respond must be in service of the audience. For example, this point of view is in service of the panelist: “When I was President of BigTechCo’s retail division, we showed our clients how to integrate Internet of Things technology into existing business models faster than any other firm.” This comment is in service of the audience: “IoT is constantly evolving. The most important step you can take is to use a secure framework for building your sales plan. Here…