Meeting Participants or Meeting Attendees?
Valentine’s Day is all about the love and boy do we love meeting participants. Does that make us weird? We actually think meeting participants are awesome. And that meeting attendees stink. DOWN WITH ATTENDEES!
If you’re wondering what the heck it is we’re talking about, we’re talking about the difference between being a meeting attendee and a meeting participant.
A meeting attendee goes to a boring meeting and sits in an uncomfortable chair in a row of chairs locked together with 50 other chairs and 25 other rows in front or behind. The meeting attendee sits patiently while the announcements are made and also laughs politely at the keynote speaker’s jokes. And finally, claps at the end of the session as if on queue.
Our meeting attendee walks dutifully to the breakout room and once again sits quietly, maybe even takes a few notes. After another few breakout sessions, a few carb laden breaks and a 2 drink ticket reception, the meeting attendee goes back to the hotel room, watches TV and falls asleep. A few Groundhog Day’s later, this meeting attendee flies home and returns to work. And life goes on.
On the other hand, are meeting participants. Meeting participants go to an energized meeting and have a variety of seating options from which to choose. A meeting participant interacts on social media and chats with colleagues, encouraged and empowered to do so. A meeting participant also responds to online polls and questions and joins into discussion groups.
Your meeting participant seeks out a business partner to share an idea sparked in the group, then moves to the tech lab to learn about a new application that will make work more efficient. This meeting participant walks to the networking lounge and accepts an invitation to tour the new plant via immersive virtual reality.
After taking a short but restorative nap in the quiet room, the meeting participant goes to the subject matter roundtable for clarification on a few questions from the video distributed in advance of the meeting. After a CSR team building experience and an interactive dinner, the meeting participant goes back to the hotel, reviews the day’s notes, connects with a few people on Linked In and falls asleep.
A few varied and stimulating days later, the meeting participant flies home and returns to work. Most noteworthy, the meeting participant is energized, equipped and eagerly applying learning from the meeting.
Meeting planners and designers, we’ve got a lot of love we need to spread. Let’s do it! Happy Valentine’s Day!