The checklist is tailored to help organisers create the perfect meeting environment and keep attendees attention.
Stephen Bench, divisional director for Redefine|BDL Hotels, said: “Our hotels pride themselves on offering the very best experience to guests using our conference and meeting facilities. To enhance the great service we already provide and to help guests get the most out of their meetings, conferences and training events, we have developed this seven-point checklist so that users can achieve their full potential while attending an event.
Redefine|BDL’s seven secrets for meeting success
- Set the agenda
Yes it’s a core element of meetings, but a well thought out agenda circulated in advance of the meeting, allowing delegates to prepare information and thoughts to discuss, is vital. When circulating the agenda think about including a light hearted point to secure added engagement – something food related is always a winner! On a hot summer’s day why not have an ice cream break and ask delegates in advance, via the agenda, what flavour of ice cream they would like for their 11am break?
- Stick to a schedule
Easier said than done, as we all know meetings can run over and a sharp eye on the clock is required to keep things in check. To avoid falling behind on the schedule, allocate sensible pockets of time on the agenda for each point of discussion and stick to them. Bring in a good old fashioned ‘egg’ timer (even better if it’s a giant one!) or use your stopwatch on your phone to start – and call time – on your point of discussion. Be strict and allocate some time at the end of the meeting to pick up on any areas which may need revisiting.
- Get focused
Depending on the time of day, your attendees may need a quick shakeup to get focused and creative. Stimulate their mind at the start of each meeting with a set of star jumps, some simple stretches or even throwing a ball between the group to get the blood (and creative juices) flowing.
- Introduce a traffic light system to your meetings
Drive the meeting forward by introducing a traffic light system for the meeting by allocating colour coded actions to your discussion points. Green for go – the idea/discussion can be moved forward, amber means it needs further discussion or work and red to flag that the topic won’t be moved forward. This is a simple process to ensure discussions don’t go round in circles – and gives an added bonus of making meeting notes succinct and easy for everyone to interpret and action post-meeting.
- Fair share of the floor
Don’t allow one person to do all the talking and stifle input from other attendees – all delegates should have a voice and be encouraged to interact. Why not bring in a prop that has to be passed from person to person throughout lengthy debates on a certain topic? The prop is a signal to voice your opinion and could be anything from a giant stress ball to large foam finger.
- Check and stretch
Everyone is busy and a day away from email at a meeting or conference can cause an unwelcome pile-up in your inbox! Instead of delegates trying sneakily to check email when no one is looking or using their lunch break to frantically catch up, why not allocate a 10 minute ‘check and stretch’ break at various points throughout the day? It will get people up off their seats and moving – and help them focus on the content of the meeting, instead of their phones.
- Food for thought
Ensure you have fresh food on hand throughout the day to help boost brainpower and keep motivation levels up. Super healthy, tasty lunches will ensure there is no post-lunch slump and help combat afternoon fatigue. A sweet treat is essential too, but try to make it just that – a treat – and not a constant stream of goodies that will end in energy level slumps.