08 Aug

#2 Way to Guarantee a Horrific Meeting

Arrange out-of-synch programming and messaging. With proper planning and yes, extra leg work, we can ensure that all aspects of our meeting agenda are aligned—and do not contradict each other. Accomplish this simply with 1-3 planning meetings and/or conference calls with all meeting-message stakeholders, from your C-suite, to your external keynote speakers, to your breakout session presenters and even your entertainers. (Imagine, for example, the audience’s happy surprise at hearing an after-dinner comedian whose “call-back” reflects something your President said that morning.) During this message continuity meeting or call, have participants share their content plans, and ensure everyone’s on board with ways to unite and align messages for more impact. This discussion also removes content redundancies or contradictions, so that you can make the most of every meeting minute. With information overload rampant, the more you focus on just two or three key “meta-message” take aways, the more participants will retain overall…and the stronger your meeting’s returns. Trying to do too much means very little sticks. Often, we communicate more (and more is remembered) when we communicate in a more strategic, streamlined, and unified way.

06 Aug

#1 way to guarantee a horrific meeting

Employ a purposeless–or not purposeful enough–planning process Even before you set a date and find a venue, find a reason to meet. Sound silly? Well, how many meetings—large and small—have you endured, while wondering: what’s the point? So, get to the point from the very beginning. Decide key event take aways: What do you want the audience to think, feel, do, believe and/or experience after the meeting that they don’t currently? What will we do together in this in-person meeting that could never happen virtually? If your answers aren’t compelling–and tied to your business strategy–it’s time to answer the questions again, or scrap the meeting. What should attendees do immediately upon returning to the office? Can every audience member recite their roles in achieving the newly set goals as they walk out of the conference center? If not, you’re an accomplice to a horrific meeting.

11 Jul

Beyond Feeling Good: Cancer Research Center Generates Record Results with Two Strategically Chosen Speakers

Inviting well-known speakers is a common way for organizations to boost event buzz, create more engaging events and ensure audiences are excited about attending. Yet these days, we usually need more than “feel-good” reasons to invest in top speaking talent. Namely, we need solid returns on our investments. Real ROI doesn’t happen by chance. Only when speakers are chosen strategically, and the event is well designed to achieve key objectives, do we reap true results. To wit: To celebrate its 20th Anniversary, Seattle-based Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, for its annual Premier Chefs’ Dinner fundraiser, decided to seek a nationally known headlining chef for the first time, in 2011 to round out the evening’s programming. No More Boring Meetings teamed up with the organization, taking into careful consideration the event audience of foodie-philanthropists, and the Center’s mission to eliminate cancer as a cause of suffering and death. After extensive research and tapping our insider network, we uncovered an ideal speaker-chef for them: Grant Achatz. He’s known internationally for his work in molecular gastronomy AND a cancer survivor alive today because of cutting-edge cancer research. The ROI? FHCRC had high fundraising goals, which were surpassed by 23%. Comments included: “…nothing but…

12 Jun

The Power and Point of Low-Tech Meeting Games

By Andrea Driessen, Chief Boredom Buster, No More Boring Meetings A quick pop quiz: What one meeting tool delivers increased engagement, teamwork, retention, problem-solving ability, goal attainment, cross-generational connections, risk taking and even a sense of control over one’s work environment—plus a substantial dose of FUN? If you said a well-designed game, you’re a winner! Given its many positive results, it’s no wonder gamification—bringing participatory games, game apps and sophisticated play to work and meetings—has garnered a worldwide fan base. With myriad options, where do you begin? Even the word gamification itself (five syllables!) is intimidating. But integrating games into a meeting needn’t be complex, and it doesn’t even have to involve technology. Designing a low- or no-tech game for an event, vs. a customized game application, is relatively more manageable and affordable. Most can easily be tied to business objectives. And if you’re bringing games to your meeting for the first time, why not start small, and score a big win—for you, your attendees and your organization? After staging countless educational events for adults, I’ve found that what separates the great events from the mediocre are meeting planners who are genuinely game for punching up how they engage and…

11 Jan

The ONE Secret to Reaching all your New Year Goals

By Andrea Driessen, Chief Boredom Buster, No More Boring Meetings   Did you set resolutions for 2012? Or at least up the ante on your goals? Bad news: The odds against you making change in your life are 9 to 1. EVEN IF you’re facing a life-threatening illness that demands change.  <Still my beating heart!> Good news: People remember things 65% better when they’re attached to pictures. Even better news: your brain will believe anything you tell it—and, most importantly—SHOW it. So, what’s the easiest, most powerful way to train your brain on your goals? It’s a simple combination of belief, expectation and a willingness to clearly picture how that future state looks and feels. And then taking bold actions toward this vision. In short, your ability to reach your goals and master change is as close as a piece of paper. Patti Dobrowolski is a nationally acclaimed comic performer, high-performance business consultant, speaker, and the author of Drawing Solutions: How Visual Goal Setting Will Change Your Life.  All about unleashing your creative genius, she works with large and small teams around the world to help them create new and different strategies. She is also teaming up with the Bill…