Not all disruptions are destructive. As a matter of fact, some may help you break out of your meetings
rut. A disruption is a surprise element that
triggers and sustains interest and attention,
often leading to transformative experiences.
“Disruptions are really ways to make
traditional education more 21st century —
meaning it is more hands-on, exploratory,
peer-oriented, integrated, and memorable,”
explains Sharon Fisher, CEO of Play With a
Purpose, an interactive learning company.
With that in mind, here are 30 ways you can
disrupt your meeting using methods attendees will never forget.
1MAKE IT INTERACTIVE. Fun is an effective way to disrupt meetings. “Who
says general sessions have to be all about sitting and watching either endless speakers, or
some kind of entertainment?” asks Fisher.
“Why can’t they be interactive, participatory, and high energy?”
2LET MUSIC STIR EMOTIONS. For a recent insurance client, Fisher arranged
for 350 of its attendees to bang their way
into a musical frenzy. “Everyone in the au-
dience was given a musical tube that played
a specific note, then in a Guitar Hero–like
game, thumped their tube to create beautiful
music together,” she recalls.
3ENCOURAGE GRAFFITI. For another meeting, Dale Hudson, knowledge and
events director, IMEX Group, collaborated
with Fisher to create an exploratory learn-
ing center during IMEX America, and the
PlayRoom was born. “It was an instant suc-
cess. An entire day of hands-on learning
was created where the attendees experienced
interactive education, including walk-the-
walls learning, which is a way to stir up con-
versations about a specific topic with things
like stick-ons and graffiti, experiential learn-
ing games, and corporate social responsibil-
ity and networking activities,” says Fisher.
4GET CREATIVE JUICES FLOWING. Meetings that are infused with creativity will be more productive. “Anything that
breaks up the boring meeting mentality
and gets people smiling and laughing helps
break down any walls employees may have,
and it also helps relax employees and get
their creative juices flowing,” explains Claire
Pearson, president, CP Inc. & Creatives,
who after 15 years left her position as chief
operating officer of a national retail company to start the organization.
5INCLUDE ACTIVITY. Belly dancing, yoga, Hula-Hooping, anything that gets
smiles on faces and energy levels up should
be included in the meeting, says Alecia May,
CEO of Eventistry by Alecia.
6GET NOSTALGIC. Some corporations have had success with a whatever’s-old-is-new-again approach. “Go back through
time and find games from the ’50s, ’60s,
’70s, and ’80s. Twister, Toss Across, and
Trouble are attention-getting and will draw
attendees over to watch the fun and join in,”
notes Julie Austin, CEO of the consulting
firm Creative Innovation Group.
7BRING ON THE PACHYDERMS. At he association meetings he has planned,
Dr. Elliott B. Jaffa, a marketing and behavioral psychologist, has arranged disruptors
that have included bringing in a baby elephant for attendees to pet and hiring a juggler who juggles screeching chainsaws.
8SHAKE THEM UP. Surprises, good and bad, are disruptors. Jaffa got the attention of a group he was addressing when
he arranged for a hotel employee dressed
in uniform to rush onstage and hand him a
exploratory, peer-oriented, integrated,
— Sharon Fisher,
Play With a Purpose
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