Have you thought about how salt impacts your attendees? What about which colors might spark their creative juices? How about the value of dancing during your next breakout session?
While these may feel like unorthodox questions, it turns out that their answers may just hold the keys to designing better meetings in 2013. A new guide commissioned in part by the PCMA Education Foundation uses historical data and research from thinkers at Harvard Medical School, Carnegie Mellon University and other institutions around the world to offer advice for planning more powerful meetings. The Appliance of Science: 39 Ways to Improve Your Meetings was assembled through a partnership with UK-based performance consultants The Meetology Group.
“When promoting a product, those marketing it will often turn to science to add validation to their story,” Jonathan Bradshaw, CEO, The Meetology Group, writes. “At a time when we have to prove the value of meetings like never before, I believe that this is the key for our industry, too.”
Small Changes Create Big Impact
From how to boost attendee brain performance to how to keep attendees healthy, the guide includes a wide range of insights, but most of the tips share one similarity: they’re easy to implement.
“Making continual little improvements can add up in big ways,” Brad Lewis, executive director, PCMA Education Foundation, says.
A complete overhaul of a meeting may not be possible due to budget restraints, but The Appliance of Science includes simple tips that can help planners enhance attendees’ moods and improve on-site productivity. Lewis adds that while planners will not implement all 39 tips, the insights will inspire them to look at their meetings from new perspectives that can improve the performance of participants and fuel greater outcomes from face-to-face experiences.
Give Attendees a Break
While many meeting planners feel the need to pack an endless number of sessions, networking receptions and exhibit hall hours into a three-day program, Lewis says that the guide serves as a reminder that those schedules don’t need to be quite so hectic.
“We tend to overplan meetings,” Lewis says. “You want a complete and vibrant experience, but part of the job is to be the curator and edit your event for maximum performance.”
“Give them a full schedule, but don’t overwhelm them,” Lewis adds.
Find out how to give your attendees a more complete experience. Download the complete guide.
Science Comes to Life at Convening Leaders.
For an in-depth review of the research behind the guide, meeting professionals can attend Jonathan Bradshaw’s Convening Leaders session on Tuesday, January 15 at 8:30 AM.