In order to know how to organise more productive meetings there are a few things to bear in mind that may not be obvious at first. Whatever type of meeting you’re going to organise (brainstorming, negotiation, workshop, presentation…), your objective is that the participants can follow your pace and stay interested.
But this isn’t easy as not all the participants attend in the same conditions. It could be that they didn’t sleep well the night before, that they haven’t had their morning coffee, that they are attending out of a sense of duty or that they have other things on their mind. Even when people are eager to attend the meeting, sometimes it’s hard to hold their attention for the whole session.
There are many factors that can influence the productivity of a meeting, workshop or work session. Whether it’s a meeting to arrive at a conclusion and decide on a specific matter, negotiate, sell an idea or present a project, it’s fundamental that all the participants follow the pace of the meeting and maintain their interest and concentration.
Some factors are beyond our control, but we have to do everything possible so that those factors that we can control contribute to the meeting being a pleasant and productive one.
We can programme the work times, rests and the intensity of each part of the meeting to alternate moments of greater concentration with others that are more relaxed. Making the sessions more participative will help to maintain the attention and concentration of the attendees; you can organise activities in groups or couples so that everyone can join in without feeling intimidated or uncomfortable in front of the whole group. You can even choose a spokesperson for every group to present their conclusions to the rest.
The place where the meeting takes place is key to creating the right atmosphere and for the participants to be able to follow you. The location, room, lighting, décor, furnishings, material and the kind of light refreshments that you choose can influence the emotional and mental state of the participants. That’s why it’s important that you have all the options beforehand, and that you select the place that best adapts to the type of meeting you’re going to organise.
A room with large windows and natural light or with indirect lighting that simulates sunlight can help maintain concentration and an optimal pace of work.
The lighting level affects the human body directly by increasing or decreasing the ability to see, and indirectly affects the mood due to hormones produced by the body as a physiological response.
But the choice of lighting and intensity of the light must be in harmony with the type of meeting or event. Often, we want the participants to concentrate on the speaker or on a screen, and so soft lighting throughout the room with more intense light where the action is taking place, is the most appropriate option.
Making strategic pauses before beginning a new subject or following an intense session is fundamental in order to return energised and with greater powers of concentration. If you want your meeting to be participative you can organise a Coffee Break so the participants can get to know each other and gain confidence to interact with the rest of the group.
If you want an informal meeting or to create dynamism you could suggest that the participants stand and serve themselves whilst you all comment and propose ideas or solutions.
For the Coffee Break or lunch, you can choose the Healthy Meetings formula with fresh fruit juices, salads, vegetable snacks, infusions and fresh fruit. These are light hydrating foods with vitamins that provide the body with an immediate energy boost and stimulate the mind.
Imagen: Fresh strawberry juice at the Barceló Montecastillo
The Healthy Meetings are perfect for surprising your guests and getting maximum results from meetings and corporate events.
If the meeting will take place over a whole day or over several days, you can intersperse work sessions with team building or relaxing activities so that the participants can disconnect during the breaks.
Barceló is committed to developing new formats that blend work, a healthy lifestyle and leisure, and so for a while now it has been introducing new ideas and additional services that promote personal relationships and good health.