Whether you’re hosting the big annual company conference or a meeting of like-minded people, there’s no doubt that both can be – well, how do we put this? Boring. There, we said it. That’s why you should use a venue finding agency!
What’s even worse is that meetings and conferences are often seen as unnecessary. If you’ve seen funny notebooks and other items for sale bearing slogans like ‘another meeting that should have been an email’, then you’ll know just what we’re talking about. Then there’s the considerable cost involved – which means you really do want to be worth it!
No one wants the conference they’ve put hours of hard work into to be a big miss. If you’d rather have a hit on your hands, thank you very much, then you need this list of fun conference ideas to ensure no one is snoring by the end. (Or even worse, not long after the start.)
Banish boredom with this list of eight fun meeting ideas. Brought to you by a team of seasoned corporate events professionals, of course. If you want an audience that’s engaged, read on to find out just how you can ensure exactly that’s what you get.
The 8 most fun meeting and conference ideas
If you’ve got a lot of delegates who’ve never met one another before, then you need a good icebreaker. What better way to get them on side, than by making sure everyone on their table is indeed on the same side?
Each table at the conference should become a team from the outset. Get them to work on thinking up a name right at the start. Provide a simple mascot – such as a plain teddy bear – that they can customise as a mascot (supply some coloured paper, scissors, pens, pipe cleaners and other simple craft items for this).
It’s sure to get everyone talking – and laughing – as they come up with ideas. It’s also going to make the event much more memorable.
You then need to reinforce this team theme throughout the event to make it work. Have quick-fire quizzes, a debate putting one team against another, or get each team to solve the same problem. It sends a positive message about teamwork as well as making things so much more fun to be a part of!
Another idea to introduce from the start is that everyone should clap when they hear a certain word or name. It’s a sure-fire way to keep people listening. Speakers could also drop this into their speech at random intervals – this could make people laugh as well as keeping them interested if you choose carefully.
You could use a company or sponsor name, or even the name of a key figure (assuming they have a sense of humour). Something that’s fun is always going to be the best bet in terms of engagement.
Social media competition
Having a social media contest is a great way to ensure involvement. Tell everyone who to tag and which hashtag to add to their post, and see what they can come up with. A prize for the winner will incentivise participants.
Pick one theme and one platform for the social media posts, or go all-out with several themes and a number of platforms. You could ask for the best pictures, great slogans to sum up the day, or about a key message they’d like to convey.
Doing this as a team is an option, as well as on an individual basis.
Pick up a penny
Place a pile of pennies on the table. When delegates pick one up, they must state a positive fact about themselves from the year that the coin was minted.
For example, ‘in 2016 I got married’, ‘in 2012 I went to Australia for a year’ or ‘in 2022 I applied for the Great British Bake-Off’. Anything will do, but it’s best to keep it upbeat. This isn’t the time to mourn someone’s long-lost hamster.
Truth or lie
Each time a speaker comes to the stage, ensure audience engagement from the off. How? By getting the speaker to state three ‘facts’ about themselves.
One of these, of course, should be a lie. The other two should be true. Or vice versa. Either way, the audience needs to work out which is the odd one out.
So the Director of Sales, for example, could tell everyone they once met Donald Trump, that they used to work as a train driver and that a hobby of theirs is collecting vintage watches. The odd one out can either be the truth or the lie.
Ask the boss
If someone with significant status within the company is willing, the ‘ask me anything’ idea can work wonders. Asking delegates to submit their questions on a slip of paper that they post into a box is the best approach as it means they can stay anonymous.
Answering attendees’ burning questions is a great way to show that the organisation cares. It’s also a great way to get a genuine insight into the issues that concern people on a day-to-day basis.
Buy a large beach ball – and get every delegate to write a question down on the surface. Throw the ball towards the attendees at random. Whoever catches it must then answer the question closest to their index finger.
Questions can literally be anything, from ‘describe your job in three words’ to ‘where are you going on holiday’ or ‘what did you have for dinner last night’. It’s a great ice-breaker. If you’re short of time, you could add a list of questions beforehand instead of asking attendees to do so.
Use a simple pin board or whiteboard so attendees can add their own thoughts, messages, feedback and suggestions. You could even offer a prize for the most creative entry. Street art has never been more in the spotlight, so that’s a great theme to go with.
To reinforce the idea that every team member is valued, make contact after the conference to thank them for contributing. This doesn’t need to take long, but will really make those who’ve made the effort feel like it was worthwhile.