So your delegates have been well fed and have had a chance to network. Now it’s back to business after lunch. How do you get the most out of your afternoon sessions and stop your audience gazing wistfully out the window? Tudor Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club’s inspired marketing team has 10 top tips for making summer meetings memorable and productive.
- Icebreaker – Don’t just save this for the beginning of the day; wake them up after lunch with an icebreaker. Try Tudor Park’s version of `call my bluff’ – divide the delegates into teams. Each person gives one true statement and one false about themselves and their team members have to guess which is correct. If you’re not sure what type of icebreaker to use, try this quiz.
- Energy food – Plan the contents of your delegate lunch in advance with the venue’s chef to ensure it has plenty of energy foods and not tummy fillers that will leave them snoozing. Pack in the protein, such as salmon, tuna, chicken, eggs and nuts and stir in some complex carbohydrates, which slowly release energy such as brown rice, sweet potatoes and beans.
- Keep it visual – It’s true that a picture speaks a thousand words, so use photos, slides and videos to grab attention rather than long speeches. It’s proven that people remember much more from visual aids than from spoken words.
- Change of scenery – While your delegates are eating lunch, change the layout of the meeting room so they don’t get bored. Or if the delegate numbers are manageable and the weather is fine, take the meeting outdoors. We suggest this can work for up to 25 people – perfect for a summer meeting.
- New faces – Where possible have different trainers or presenters for the afternoon session, or even get the delegates to break into smaller groups for new interactions.
- Mood music – Music can provide a vital undercurrent of emotion. Background music, either at the start of the afternoon session or in between speakers, can enliven your audience. Choose music that has 70-120 beats per minute to produce an active mental state.
- De-stressing – Have an object for delegates to fiddle with. Squeezing a stress ball has been shown to improve concentration by giving the person something tangible to focus on and it adds a fun element.
- Interaction – It’s not a lecture, so encourage audience participation. Why not try a live poll or a quiz so that delegates can use their laptops/tablets/phones to interact with speakers?
- Use technology – Encourage audience engagement with technology. Use apps as teaching tools or give them a hashtag to use for the event on social media.
- Reward engagement – It’s not just children that like rewards. Have prizes for team games, an ice cold drink after a productive session, or a prize for the best tweet of the day using the event hashtag.
For more information about Tudor Park Marriot Hotel & Country Club, contact the events team on 01622 632 006