How To Take The “Bored” Out of Your Board Meeting

We’ve all been there. We’ve endured monotone and black-and-white presentations, followed by hours of unproductive dialogue while we hold ourselves back from falling asleep or checking our watches every two minutes. Inside a cramped boardroom, times slows down, brains turn off and stomachs growl.

At the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, we’ll show you how to take the “bored” out of your board meeting. From big name companies turning product launches into branded festivals to young start-ups bringing a remote team together to associations changing the way they have always done things, the way companies do business is changing and the way we imagine meetings is changing along with it. The modern meeting is about igniting creativity, fostering collaboration and creating purpose-driven events. Strategic meeting planners are partnering with hotels like the newly renovated Atlanta Marriott Marquis and capitalizing on this change to combine the very best in technology, catering and creative spaces. Let’s design meetings that break down the fourth wall of the boardroom and create meetings that are an experience, not a bore.

Access to a tablet or smart device keeps these Atlanta Marriott Marquis event attendees connected throughout your presentation and can help to guide them through the day’s itinerary.

How To Maximize Your Meeting’s Visual Impact

Take your trusty PowerPoint skills to a whole new level by tapping into 2017’s biggest tech trend: Augmented Reality. With the right app, attendees can become fully immersed in the data being presented for a richer, more impactful experience. Be sure to discuss your bandwidth options when vetting your potential vendors, as that can make or break the success of these tech-driven events.

Suggestions from the Atlanta Marriott Marquis:

  • Bring an idea to life with projection mapping, interactive demos, genius bar or multi-screen displays and gesture media. These will create dynamic living presentations that keep your attendees engaged and on the edge of their seats.
  • Incorporate relevant video content to appeal to your audience visually, as well as help them relate to the content at hand.
  • Showcase attractive visuals to grab the attention of your meeting attendees. Over 65% of people are visual learners, so tapping into those resources will help you further captivate your audience.
  • Suggest visual note-taking, where ideas and key points from a session are represented in notes through sketches and drawings. In fact, you can even bring in professional artists to illustrate talking points on a large wall or board for your attendees to watch unfold during the session. This vibrant and visual notes can make for an intriguing and evolving focal point during a meeting.
Engage your guests by using interactive tools to convey your product or brand message.

How To Get Your Attendees to Get Up and Get Moving

No one does their best work when they’ve been sitting for hours on end. Unless the goal of your event is encourage creative napping techniques, you’ll want to prioritize scheduling time for attendees to get up out of their seats and get their blood flowing. Choosing a backdrop to your event with a history as rich and storied as Atlanta makes maximizing the impact of these breaks very easy.

Suggestions from the Atlanta Marriott Marquis:

  • Choose a meeting space whose flow fosters movement and ease of return, so even if it’s just a five-minute break, your attendees can stretch their legs and seamlessly find their way back. This produces organic networking opportunities for your attendees to invite others to take a walk together. Sometimes the most impactful moments of the meeting come not within the meeting itself, but during these breaks when attendees can authentically synthesize and share inspired ideas.
  • Taking a body break doesn’t have to mean taking a mind break though. Use these spaces in the day as opportunities to encourage attendees to engage with one another, by creating smaller spaces that allow for easy conversation and networking.
  • Select meeting space that provokes conversation and spurs ideas by its design and destination. For example, at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, our John Portman designed atrium inspires these conversations and creates moments of wonder.
  • Offer attendees seating that allows opportunities for relaxed conversation and atmosphere — think comfy sofas, armchairs, or soft chairs.
  • Integrate team-building exercises that support the city or raise money for a charity, giving your attendees a sense of purpose and a significant tie to the destination and hotel beyond the walls of the boardroom.

How To Fuel Up the Body and the Mind

It’s not a surprise that food is a hot topic for most meeting planners. Good food being the thing that can make or break your event is just a given these days. Sure, catering to the paleo, vegan gluten-free diets will win you fans, but the spread you provide can be yet another opportunity to deepen the overall experience and send your message home. At the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, our team knows this firsthand. Our 95% scratch kitchen makes everything from our own bread to our own salad dressings, and seeks to use locally-farmed and sourced ingredients. We’re ranked #1 in food and beverage service within the Convention & Resorts Network and are experts at creating custom menus that combine unique dishes that reflect the objective of your meeting.

Attendees will love the nostalgic feel of this fun and colorful snack station.

Suggestions from the Atlanta Marriott Marquis:

  • Creative bites can serve as conversational tipping points for your attendees. Ask your catering and banquet contacts about the most creative dishes they can service. One of our favorite examples is a creative Summertime Snack Selection for a fun-loving group, which employed a nostalgic feel for this fun colorful snack station featuring time-tested favorites like fried chicken, popcorn and pretzels.
  • Invite a guest yoga instructor or meditation leader to get your attendees in a calm, flexible and focused state-of-mind.
  • Introduce your attendees to the local fare and have fun with it. Lean on your local culinary team as the experts and challenge your attendees to connect with the destination through their tastebuds. In fact, we recommend that planners giving the culinary team the meeting’s budget, then giving the culinary team the creative freedom to develop an intuitive and local menu for your group that creates a lasting connection.
  • Introduce an engaging and relaxing activity like adult coloring to get the creativity and conversations flowing.
  • Don’t underestimate the value of culinary presentation. Using unusual or authentic presentation for the most common snacks can excite attendees and ignite the imagination.

How To Make it an Experience

The number one word dominating 2017 is: Experiential. Events that are fully immersive are the new frontier for meetings. When every element pairs your company’s goals with the very best in technology, and hospitality, your attendees leave with more than information. They leave with experiences they will carry with them long after the last swag bag is emptied.

Suggestions from the Atlanta Marriott Marquis:

  • Invite a special guest in to speak and to be a part of your meeting, even if it’s a regular internal board meeting. Whether the goal is to inspire, educate, or to simply bring your audience to action, having someone they respect or admire in the room makes it a unique experience for all.
  • Make it interactive. Have the team break up into groups, go through various exercises or share their stories to create an interactive, engaging experience.
  • As mentioned earlier, create an experience through your F&B selections. People eat with their eyes, so having a beautifully plated spread with vibrant colors and textures will go a long way in creating a memorable experience for your attendees. Attendees feel appreciated by a fresh menu.
  • Host the meeting in a place where attendees can easily explore a dynamic surrounding neighborhood, giving them memories of a new or favorite city outside of the meeting programming.

We hope these ideas have your creative juices flowing for your next board meeting! Follow us on Linkedin and tell us your favorite ideas, ask us questions or find out how you can host your next meeting at the Magnificent Atlanta Marriott Marquis.

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