Learn how to scientifically improve your meetings and events
There are hundreds if not thousands of tips that could help improve any meeting, but most of them are experience-based and unscientific. That does not mean they are not good, but today we will take a look at some fun, yet scientifically proven ways of improving meeting and event planning. They range from more or less obvious to downright bizarre tips and ideas.
1. Stir things up. Studies have shown that grumpy, discontent attendees can be a valuable resource, as they are likely to stir things up and motivate others to join the discussion.
2. And then meditate. On the other hand, meditation and a calm environment can boost mental performance and reduce stress, allowing attendees to focus better. Hold a quick relaxation session, using guided relaxation techniques.
3. Caffeine, Calories and Protein. It has been proven that moderate amounts of caffeine positively affect the brain’s performance. Calorie intake is also a factor, so organizers need to make sure that the attendees are not short on “brain fuel” by providing snacks and a few caffeinated beverages. Also, you don’t want participants to feel hungry and be counting down the minutes to the next lunch break. Keep them focused and full, by providing breakfast or snacks rich in protein.
4. Social proof and perception. Fake smiles should be avoided, they scientifically effect mood and productivity. Genuine humor on the other hand is a great ice breaker and helps in releasing tension, minimizing aggression and facilitating negotiation. If on the other hand you want attendees to empathize with you…make a mistake! We are all humans, and the element of human error could be just what you need to create bonds and allow the crowd to identify with you. Need to boost attendance? Use social proof! A smart use of psychology can get more people to attend; this can be as simple as advertising the number of registrations, as people are likely to follow if they know others have already chosen to attend.
5. Please the senses. A good venue is vital to the success of your meeting, but there are a few scientifically proven elements to consider, as well. Psychologists have proven that a pleasant fragrance can positively affect the mood and memory of the attendees. Another interesting fact to consider, is that certain colors such as sky blue, as well as the presence of plants, can significantly boost creativity. Creative art has a similar effect.
6. Work, play and network. Creating a play area as part of the event can help attendees unwind, enhance creativity and can make the event a bit more fun and memorable. Depending on the theme of the event, you can create an inviting area with board games, pinball machines, arcade games or table soccer. Of course, every venue needs a space set aside, to serve as a networking area. Research shows that attendees who mingle and socialize tend to be more creative.
7. Easy access. Physical fitness is an issue for the majority of the population, so unless the event is planned for personal trainers or professional athletes, it is important to factor in some health considerations, including easy access, elevators, and comfortable sitting.
8. Get the blood flowing. Studies have shown that high intensity exercise can make middle-aged people smarter and more receptive. Maybe next time include a morning fun run and other forms of exercise as part of your event itinerary.
9. Don’t forget about jet lag. International attendees might have a bit of trouble overcoming jet lag and getting enough rest; Making sure that every attendee can get enough sleep should also be on top of any meeting planning “to-do list”. Another aspect that should be taken into consideration is that the attendees have access to the right type of light (daylight or light box). This will help maintain meeting performance after a tiring flight.
10. Doodle away. Most people wrongfully think that doodling is a sign of boredom. Quite the contrary! According to research, people that doodle actually have a higher level of knowledge recall and retention. At your next event, think of a clever and humorous way to encourage doodling and take into account these fun ways to scientifically improve your meetings and events
Source: THE APPLIANCE OF SCIENCE:39 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR MEETINGS, The Meetology Group