How to... hold an inspirational meeting
We take a look at some innovative ideas
Freshen up a meeting by changing the location – go to the park, or the café. This tends to be better for smaller, creative sessions that require staff participation, rather than for meetings that need to convey lots of information. Or you could spice it up even more by taking a walk – good for very small or one-on-one meetings – as the brain functions much more effectively when the body is active.
Be it speed scrabble, a networking icebreaker, a quick quiz or poll, any game that gets the creative juices flowing and attendees engaged is a win – particularly if it’s a post-lunch or afternoon meeting when attention tends to wane. Get the audience to interact and encourage competition and the rest of the meeting will be a breeze.
Think outside the box
Adding some jazz to conventional meetings needn’t be hard, just think outside the box. As well as workshops and breakout groups – which will cater for different learning styles – and using creative visual aids and graphics other than PowerPoint, you could: introduce an illustrator to scribe the meeting content in real time; play catch-box microphone, where participants have to throw and catch a microphone before speaking; invite inspirational, professional speakers; incorporate creative networking opportunities such as speed dating or group painting classes; or invite people from other industries or job roles to give a different perspective on the topic being discussed.
Play it unconventional, get rid of the chairs and stand on your feet; it will keep meetings short and ensure teams stay focused. This approach is ideally suited to meetings of 15-20 minutes duration.
Once the main bulk of the meeting has taken place, break into groups and use role play to practice what′s been learned within a simulated situation – for example, training medical reps to speak to doctors and stay within the ABPI Code. Incorporating the learnings in this way will help embed them in people’s memories.
Keeping people alert
And for keeping people alert during the more conventional meetings: schedule them between 8.30 and 11.30am when everyone is at their most attentive, and if the meeting lasts more than an hour take 5-10 minute stretch breaks every hour. It’s also a good idea to keep people fully informed and engaged by circulating the agenda three days before the meeting, stick to the agenda and the allotted time frame – don’t worry about finishing early – and circulate the minutes within 24 hours.
Thank you to our contributors: Luke Flett, head of sales and marketing, Ashfield Meetings and Events; Paul Simms, chairman, eyeforpharma; Sue Pelletier, senior content producer, MeetingsNet; Richard Freeman, global communications specialist to the pharmaceutical industry, MeetingZone; John Gidman, vice president, Small Planet Meetings; Gary Stroner, managing director, Vista Medical Meetings and Events.
This article was published in the March issue of PharmaTimes Magazine. You can read the full magazine here.