When you design a meeting, you want to affect your participants – enlighten them, change their views, make them understand or feel different about something. Read on to find speaker, author and professional meeting facilitator Bo Krüger’s views on the advantages of facilitated meetings, including valuable tools and tips on how you capture your audience’s attention.
Create trust through facilitating and staging
Facilitation is about ensuring that the way you speak and work together supports the objective of your meeting or event. Staging is about setting the scene, arranging the meeting room, creating an atmosphere, etc. Consider the below 7 tips that will help you facilitate and stage a successful meeting:
1. Divide your audience into smaller groups
Large groups and plenary meetings rarely induce intimacy. So have your participants work together in pairs or small groups. Groups of six or fewer will have the best group dynamics and most intimacy.
2. Activate and engage your participants
Keep one-way communication to a minimum. The more you activate and engage your participants, the more trust you will build. Suggest brainstorming, various group tasks, etc. Remember to engage them for a reason. The activity/task should be relevant and support the objective of your meeting.
Make sure to use the venue for the staging of your meeting. Both the foyer and conference rooms on the 8th floor at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Berlin for example are ideal spaces.
3. Create variety and think body-wise
Using the same meeting format again and again can be boring and counterproductive. Change the ways you meet to promote energy, motivation, and the opportunity to meet new people in new ways. Why not create a Walk and Talk?
4. Establish an informal atmosphere
Arrange your meeting room so that it allows for work in small groups.This will make it easier for participants to build relationships and trust. Lay out the room so it has a personal, informal, warm atmosphere by means of welcoming elements such as candles, pillows or soft music.
5. Invite participants to approach new people
Most participants tend to sit with people they already know. Ask your participants to sit somewhere else so they can speak with participants they don’t know. This promotes creativity, knowledge sharing, and networking.
6. Meet outside
Tell your participants to bring practical clothes so you can go out into nature together. When participants shed their suits and spend time together in a different setting, they build trust in one another.
If the meeting space is in the city center, this can provide a great backdrop. Our Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Waterfront for example offers breathtaking vistas of the surrounding skyscrapers.
7. Plan plenty of breaks
Breaks allow your participants to chat and hop from topic to topic. Turn breaks into little high points with tasty snacks; ideally in an inspiring space with a view.
At the Radisson Blu Hotel, Frankfurt the pond just next to The Terrace serves as the perfect backdrop for a break with a nice view.
We hope the above tips and tools inspired you to consider implementing one or more of them in the planning of your next meeting or event. No matter what you have in mind, Radisson Blu offers the goal-setting framework for any meeting or event where facilitation and staging are used to achieve a successful and memorable meeting.