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Meeting Planning Trends to Boost Engagement and Productivity

December 28, 2017

How do you orchestrate an impactful meeting? One that sparks interest, boosts engagement and productivity? That’s a challenge many meeting planners often face. The answer may be found in organizing programs that stimulate both physical and mental faculties. To help planners deliver both high levels of engagement and productivity, we’ve listed the following suggestions:

Tips for planners looking to boost engagement and productivity

Plan a destination/experience meeting – Give your group something to smile about with a destination meeting. Tapping into the vibe of an area will give your attendees a chance to truly experience the destination. Meeting planners hoping to boost attendee engagement may want to incorporate an understanding of the destination through local history and interests. Museums, art exhibits, and historical landmarks within the area will reveal the destination’s culture. Consider private historical tours via foot, coach or in Newport Beach, CA via bike or boat. A cruise along ocean bluff tops or around Newport’s natural estuary on electric Pedego bikes is an experience guests are sure to remember and one which many locals often enjoy.

Play up health benefits, both physical and mental – Nothing will create engagement faster than getting attendees out of the ballroom and into the destination. This can be as simple as holding sessions outdoors in the fresh air, or a day of team building that highlights the destination.

Along with the obvious physical benefits, a slightly competitive team building adventure can do wonders for the psyche. Team building activities are often an important part of a company conference. Upper management will tell you that team building can truly highlight leadership skills, inspire creativity and encourage collaboration. Rather than relying on indoor group activities, games, and icebreakers to promote collaboration, try thinking outside the box (or outside the office in this case) and watch your company get excited about group activities! Outdoor activities naturally facilitate positive emotions and reduce stress, creating the perfect environment for team bonding. Groups heading to Newport Beach, CA are in luck as this beachside beauty has a seemingly endless array of group activities that are sure to keep your group engaged.

Share the moment – We’re living in the age of social media, whether you know how to use it or not, it’s here to stay. Incorporating social media worthy moments into your group program will naturally help boost engagement. Creating socially inspiring experiences can be fairly easy. Try adding a photo booth and a few props to an event where attendees can gather and shoot plenty of ‘selfies’ that they can then post on their social channels as well as those of the company’s. Or design a fun Snapchat filter along with an event #hashtag to help your group share their experience.

Of course technology can only go so far in keeping your group engaged, offering informative sessions along with the destination experiences will also be key.

Boosting attendee engagement during the meeting

Create an environment for interaction – The physical setting can either foster engagement, or discourage it. Set the stage for involvement with your seating arrangements. Opt for round tables or rows facing each other, or completely ditch tradition and choose comfy lounge furniture where attendees feel much more relaxed to interact.  In fact, neuroscientists say that relaxation inspires creativity, which invites ideas and thus collaboration.

Chunk the content – Ask speakers to break presentations down into 10 – 15 minute sound bites and keep things interactive. At the end of each sound bite, ask speakers to involve participants by breaking into pairs or small groups to discuss a question or complete a short exercise.

Use videos to tap emotions – Help your speakers connect and engage the audience by incorporating video into their presentations. Videos can help evoke emotion, and anytime emotions are triggered we automatically become more invested. While facts may be important they do little to draw us in and hold our attention, unless they are sandwiched in a story or experience. Scientists say the human mind remembers far more when it is presented a story rather than straight facts. This is because we our thinking, feeling beings hence we relate to, and retain information that touches us at an emotional level. This is the same reason why physical experiences help to boost engagement and collaboration. By incorporating other senses we automatically become mentally sharper and attentive.

Get creative, think out of the box, and call upon your local CVB or DMO for destination specific experiences. High levels of participant engagement and collaboration will ultimately be the key factors that lead to a great event.

A destination that can easily get your attendees engaged is Newport Beach, CA.  An ideal location for groups with its year-round climate, upscale urban lifestyle and abundance of activities, Newport Beach offers a variety of hotels and meeting space.

When you’re ready to begin organizing your next group meeting, contact the staff at Visit Newport Beach, the destination marketing organization for Newport Beach, CA. Visit Newport Beach opens the doors to this Pacific paradise with destination expertise, customized site visits, strong partnerships and valuable resources.

Written by Visit Newport Beach Meetings

As a not-for-profit Destination Marketing Organization (DMO), Visit Newport Beach provides destination expertise, customized site visits, strong partnerships and resources tailored specifically to the needs of meeting planners and their clients.

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