Meeting MPI Toronto - January/February 2015 - (Page 17)
By Jordan Adams,
Canadian Outback Adventures & Events
hen planning an event, whether it be a
conference, training workshop or team
building activity, you always want to make
it memorable for the attendees. Doing
something new and unique at any event is key for retention,
engagement and participation.
If you need your team to hold on to a new concept, and
it's presented in the same way as every other concept
that's been rolled out before, you run the risk that it simply
won't be retained at a meaningful level. This is because
the audience has no reason to be engaged. It may be new
information but it's not a new experience.
Picture yourself in a large meeting room with a single
presenter lecturing about bullet-points on an overhead.
Unless its life-altering information, I'm willing to bet that
shortly after you leave the room the meeting will blend into
the grey, cumulative memory of every other meeting you've
attended that matched this format. Your brain might file it
in a folder brimming full of boredom, labeled "PowerPoint
presentations." Now if the presenter did something
unusual - screaming at the top of his/her lungs for no reason
or breaking into song and dance - the memory may go into
a folder with fewer files named "PowerPoint presentations
with flare." If nothing else, it's a step in the right direction
towards a unique memory that stands out and lasts.
If you can aim for something truly unique where
the memories fall into the category of "crazy project
management challenges involving potato cannons," then
it has no equal and has no competition in your mind. It will
stand out and last, along with the information presented
with that experience. This is why activities that mash up key
learning objectives with something fun and unique, make
the concepts of the day stick.
There are many ideas like these floating around if you do
a little digging. A great example is a program called "The
Art of Giving" where teams complete challenges to earn
non-perishable food items with which to build structures in
line with company themes. The creations are then donated
to local food banks. An activity like this tends to make
attendees feel good about themselves, and creating that
positive emotion is what will make it memorable.
Some planners fear that concepts that are too
radical might not be well-received by everyone. This is
understandable if a group is accustomed to the same annual
golf tournament or theatre style conference. But there's
another substantial benefit to doing something out of the
ordinary: It completely levels the playing field.
Team members need to be reassured that they're
not the only ones learning, developing and - heaven
forbid - making mistakes along to way to achieving the
overall group objectives. When a group is approached with
a task/experience that is completely new, everyone starts
at zero. The fear of being outperformed by an experienced
member flies completely out the door if there's no experience
to draw upon. No one will ever be able to say, "Based on my
years of experience with potato cannons, I think you've taken
the wrong approach." Giving ourselves permission to make
mistakes and laugh about it, rids us of stress and opens our
minds to a positive learning environment.
Combining learning objectives with experiences like these
ensures that concepts remain top of mind long enough to
be put into practice, and for the practice to become habit,
resulting in the lasting change.
Team-building events are only effective when they are
memorable and fun, so get out there and try something new!
Jordan Adams is an Event Solutions Specialist and
Employee Engagement Consultant at Canadian
Outback Adventures and can be reached at
www.mpitoronto.org | MEETING * 17
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Meeting MPI Toronto - January/February 2015
Welcome, New Members!
Discovering Toronto’s Best Kept Secrets – A Venue Guide
Entertainment Trend Forecast 2015
Inside the Chapter: MPI Toronto’s Hidden Gems
Canada’s Hidden Gems: Ready to Welcome and Delight Groups of All Sizes
Hiding in Plain Sight: The New Niagara
Secrets for Effective Negotiation and Getting What You Want
Attendee Engagement – Try Something New!
The Rise of Restaurant-Inspired Events
I Spy MPI
Advertisers’ Index & Advertisers.com
Meeting MPI Toronto - January/February 2015