Cool meeting ideas can boost engagement and productivity within your team. While games and activities are fun, they’re not going to get the job done and help you achieve your meeting’s goals. Instead, try a few time management incentives and different meeting types to keep the team engaged and on-topic.
Here are some of the best cool meeting ideas for your next catch-up.
Out of the box meeting ideas for small meetings
If your team meeting has up to six people, there are plenty of weird and wonderful meeting ideas you can try. These ideas aren’t about strange ideas for the sake of interest, but more as tools to engage and excite your team. Once they’re excited, they will be more active participants and remember more from the meeting.
Fresh air, exercise and decreased eye contact can make walking meetings with very small groups ideal. Without the pressure of sitting across from each other, walking meetings have been proven to encourage more creative thought as people feel less self-conscious when raising ideas. Plus, it will boost your workplace wellness, immediately diminishing the well-proven risks of long-term sitting such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Remove the chairs from the meeting room and you’ll be amazed at how much more time-conscious the meeting’s speakers become. When people can’t slouch back into a chair, they’re more alert, but only for so long. If your speakers waffle on, people will begin fidgeting and looking for a chair, so standing meetings can be great to keep meetings short. Plus, much like walking meetings, they’re great for workplace wellness by limiting static postures and long sitting times.
Before a team member speaks, why not get them to try their hand at corn hole? If they don’t get any bean bags in the hole, they have to donate $5 to the team’s happy hour jar. It adds a fun element to the meeting, without wasting time as it only takes a few moments. For 1-on-1 meetings, table tennis or air hockey can be a fun way to conduct the meeting. While you’re partly distracted by the task, you may find yourself less self-conscious when sharing ideas.
Make speakers do a physical challenge if they waffle
Drawn-out meetings are the worst and blamed for more time wasted in the office than anything else. Lightly punish any ‘wafflers’ who don’t get to the point quickly by making them do push-ups, sit-ups, or a lap of the office. It’ll make your colleagues laugh, and the threat acts as an incentive to be concise.
Cool meeting ideas for large meetings
Destination meetings at a bar, cafe, or unique city space can shake up the team and add excitement to a regular meeting. While a meal is fun, it is distracting, so canapes or even just coffee can keep people’s attention when in the new venue.
Mandatory donations to the happy hour jar for wafflers
Large meetings are hard to manage, and drawn-out presentations make them far more tedious. Add a timer for each comment or presentation, and every speaker who goes overtime must make a donation to the team’s happy hour fund. The team will love it, plus the threat will help everyone stay on track and boost productivity.
Quick game of basketball before the meeting
If you have a large team, getting everyone up and moving is a great way to boost concentration and engagement, plus workplace wellbeing and health. A basketball game with a ten-minute time limit adds competition and edge to a slow day.
Productivity tips for unusual meeting types
Use scheduling software with exact time durations to keep expectations in line
There’s nothing worse than expecting a meeting to take 30 minutes, and it ends up dragging on for two hours. Using meeting scheduling software can ensure your team’s expectations match yours, so no one will talk for too long. When you send out the meeting invite, clearly state the duration of the meeting. Employ some of the fun time-management tactics above, like using an egg timer and the threat of push-ups, to inspire everyone to stick to the time limit.
Charity donations for anyone’s phone that rings
Phones ringing during meetings are distracting for the speaker, and deviate the team’s attention away from the meeting’s content. If your workplace sponsors a charity, make a rule that anyone whose phone rings during a meeting must donate $5. It will help encourage respect for the meeting, plus it’s a positive move for the workplace.
Use ice breakers to start a meeting
Ice breakers for meetings really work to establish rapport, especially for virtual meetings when you can’t meet in person. From the ‘funny hat challenge’ to ‘show me outside your window,’ there are plenty of icebreakers you can use to help connect team members without wasting valuable time.
Start a meeting at an unusual time and anyone late has to pay into the beer jar
Imagine starting a meeting at 9:48am? This strange time will keep your team on their toes and is a fun way to challenge the team to be organized and on time. Using scheduling software helps ensure this works well, and no one has an excuse for not knowing the start time! Anyone late has to donate $5 to the team’s happy hour jar. Sounds fair right?
Ask your team what they want to do during the team meeting
Your team members are a valuable resource when it comes to cool meeting ideas. Many of them will have worked at other workplaces where they’ve learned what worked for them during meetings. Why not ask them how they want to spend their meeting time? They may come up with some weird and wonderful ideas you never would have considered.
Meetings don’t have to be boring, but they do have to be productive. Try one of the out-of-the-box meeting ideas above for your next scheduled catch-up with your team. It will shake up your workplace and might even help keep your team become more engaged and creative, which leads to better meetings.