By Jeffry Farman, past Global President, International Association of Conference Centres.
The new year . . . it’s the perfect time to get everyone together for a kick-off meeting. Whether planning for the year ahead or a brand-new project, this meeting is also an opportunity to reflect on successes, failures, and what the next 12 months should look like.
While your kick-off meeting should have a strict agenda, it should also be an inspiring event; one that encourages feedback and allows everyone to bounce around ideas. Below are some tips to help you plan yours effectively:
A new location and change of scenery can really have a positive effect on employees, allowing for a more focused discussion and a newfound commitment to achieving business goals. Holding your meeting away from the office in a dedicated venue can further enhance creativity, allowing employees to break out of their office personalities and communicate with one another differently.
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GET EVERYONE INVOLVED
Make sure that everyone who needs to be involved in the strategy over the next 12 months attends the meeting. This could also be sales, marketing and finance teams. This way, everyone will know what the focus is and what their role is in making sure it happens.
ORGANISE A TEAM BUILDING EVENT
Arranging a team building event alongside your meeting can really help to banish the January blues and refresh and motivate your employees ahead of a new project. It can also help to improve communication and teamwork if you are recruiting new employees or merging teams together.
CREATE A MOOD BOARD
One way to inspire enthusiasm and gain understanding about the vision and goals for the year ahead is to create a mood board. This can be done ahead of the meeting to present to employees, or collectively as a group for a brainstorming exercise. It can also be a great visual reminder to keep in the office year-round to give employees focus and keep them on track.
MAKE IT INTERESTING
People get creative when they’re relaxed so try to make meetings engaging. This can be done by mixing up traditional presentations with group discussions, adding ice breaker activities/games and stepping outside for a breath of fresh air. There’s also plenty of research to back up that adding different music and scents can help to relax and stimulate everyone in the meeting.
With the above tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to achieving great meetings, making sure you always leave the conference feeling accomplished.
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