Is your Twitter feed more interesting than the meeting you’re sitting in? Then it’s time to bring some excitement to the table. With a creative approach, solid planning, and expert execution, a company meeting can and should leave everyone energized.
Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants specializes in helping business clients host meetings and events worth remembering — the kind of get-togethers that inspire, focus on healthy food, and unleash the fun. Here are 10 foolproof tips for hosting a memorable meeting from the pros at Kimpton’s distinct boutique hotels in Alexandria, Virginia; Baltimore, Maryland; and Washington, D.C.
Tip 1: Dress casually. Inviting guests to dress casually sends a bold message — one that says you’re committed to fostering a relaxed atmosphere. This allows attendees to feel more comfortable, which, in turn, promotes participation and fosters creativity.
Tip 2: Present differently. Let’s face it: Few speakers do PowerPoint presentations well. To make sure attendees stay engaged, encourage presenters to create decks that are rich in imagery and keep verbiage short and sweet.
Tip 3: Encourage participation. People stay more interested when they are encouraged to participate. Involve your guests in the presentation by asking questions, seeking feedback, and reading materials out loud.
Tip 4: Plan icebreakers. While interactive presentations are great, presentations that ask attendees to interact directly with one another are even better. Split the crowd into breakout groups to tackle collaborative icebreakers. By encouraging guests to bond, you’ll create more visceral impressions of the event.
Tip 5: Break things up. Instead of scheduling the day around a few lengthy breaks, build in four or five shorter opportunities for attendees to stretch their legs. They’ll return minutes later feeling refreshed and ready to jump right back in.
Tip 6: Offer a variety of seating. It’s important to mix it up. Reserve part of the setup for high tables with bar stools or soft-seated vignettes. Flexibility is key; the more options attendees feel they have, the more comfortable they’ll be.
Tip 7: Move people around. If seats are assigned, reassign them after every break so guests can meet new neighbors. This small act can inspire fresh perspectives and ultimately make for a more productive meeting.
Tip 8: Serve healthy beverages. Think pressed juices, smoothies, coconut water, and teas, which offer a more natural pick-me-up than sugary sodas.
Tip 9: Embrace high-protein foods and greens. Opt for “brain foods” such as eggs, veggies, and whole-grain salads over high-carb sandwiches and chips for a lasting energy boost.
Tip 10: Promote snacking all day long. Consider offering high-energy snacks all day long, instead of just during breaks. Grazing on DIY trail mix, fresh fruit, and veggies and hummus will give attendees more stamina throughout the day.
Of course, the overarching tip is simple: Have fun! Meetings that are lighthearted, interactive, and thought-provoking are the ones that generate the best results and your guests will remember most.
To learn more about hosting a memorable meeting at one of Kimpton’s Capital Region hotels, contact us at [email protected] or visit kimptonhotels.com.
By Matt Vilano for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants