meeting facilitator

What makes a good Meeting Facilitator? Skills & Responsibilities.

By definition, facilitating means “to make easier or less difficult; help forward.” Every meeting usually needs a meeting facilitator, someone to help participants stay involved, to lead discussions, and to identify and solve problems. Teams will almost always develop better, more creative solutions when the meeting has good facilitation and will be more likely to support the implementation of the solutions. So, it’s the meeting facilitator’s role to guide the group through an effective process, without influencing the decisions.

For a manager to facilitate a meeting, he or she needs to be willing to let go of their power and be open to different outcomes and approaches. If the facilitator feels strongly about the issue at hand, it might be a better idea to ask someone else to take over.

Meeting facilitator skills & responsibilities

Now, let’s get practical. What makes a good meeting facilitator? What are some skills you need as a meeting facilitator?

Agenda planning

A well-structured collaborative meeting starts with agenda planning. Define the purpose of the meeting, select topics that are relevant for everyone and invite participation, and ask people to contribute to the meeting agenda. Make sure every agenda item has one person responsible and an estimated time frame. To learn more about meeting agenda’s, check out How to create an effective meeting agenda.

Environment and climate settings

Meeting results will suffer when people are uncomfortable, can’t see or hear each other, or are hungry. So, take time to look at your meeting room:

  • Is the room bright enough?
  • Is the sound working and are background noises eliminated as much as possible?
  • Are the chairs comfortable?
  • Is there enough to eat and drink? (Or not, if you need to focus on a short meeting)
  • Can people see each other and the screen?

Active listening

As a meeting facilitator, it’s really important that you know how to listen to people. Active listening requires focus and concentrated effort. First of all, show interest using both verbal and nonverbal messages such as maintaining eye contact, nodding your head and smiling, saying ‘yes’ or ‘mmm-hmm’ to encourage people to continue speaking. Secondly, remain patient, neutral and non-judgmental. Pauses and short periods of silence should be accepted. Don’t jump in with questions or comments, give the speaker some time to explore their thoughts and feelings! Third, when you feel like the person is finished speaking, ask for clarification if needed, summarize the person’s message in your own words and give the speaker the chance to correct. This ensures the speaker that listened and understood.

Leading a brainstorm

Most people think brainstorm sessions are easy to facilitate. That’s not quite true. People usually brainstorm to come up with as many ideas a possible that might be a solution for a certain problem. Important things to remember during a brainstorm:

  • Don’t judge
  • Identify goals
  • Set a time limit
  • Avoid group think
  • Work together

Conflict resolution

When different people and personalities come together to discuss or decide, they will disagree occasionally and some sort of conflict will occur. In fact, conflict is viewed as part of the process for effective decision-making. A facilitator must learn how to harness the power of conflict in a positive way and must consider different personalities. To learn more, read our blog about how to handle different personalities in your meeting.

Meeting facilitator as timekeeper

During the meeting, the facilitator guides the group through the agenda and keeps an eye on the time, so the meeting facilitator also takes on the role of timekeeper. You don’t want to get stuck too long on certain agenda points because you won’t have enough time left to handle every other topic. So, during the meeting, keep an eye on the time and give a signal when people need to start wrapping up their discussion and move on to the next point.

Non-verbal communication skills

More than 50 percent of communication is nonverbal. A meeting facilitator needs to be able to read the group’s body language in order to understand and react to them. So, during the meeting, make sure to consider people’s non-verbal communication by paying attention to their body language, facial expressions, small noises. Be aware of people who look confused or lost, and rephrase questions or ideas.

Asking (the right) questions

Good questions stimulate great discussion. A good question is both answerable and challenging. It will ask for analysis and critical thinking. Think about your questions. Closed questions have only one correct, often short, answer that doesn’t really stimulate discussion. On the other hand, open-ended questions, using “why” and “how”, elicit discussion and sharing. There’s more than one correct answer, so people will start discussing with each other.  So, take some time to consider your question. Will it encourage people to think and discuss?

Consensus building

Consensus means that everyone has had an opportunity to share their thoughts and perspectives and that you’ve used this to come to a decision. Good facilitation will help the group from idea sharing to effective decision making. However, remember that consensus is not the ultimate goal. In the end, it’s all about the best solution for a problem.

Recording

Meeting facilitation involves knowing when to turn to a flipchart or whiteboard to capture what people are saying. By writing down ideas or discussion points, people feel like their ideas are being heard and valued. Make it easy for people to elaborate and discuss by summarizing and recording important aspects of the conversation.

Need a helping hand?

After reading this blog you’re already on your way to becoming a skillful meeting facilitator. That’s great! Now, let GAIKU help you. GAIKU is an easy to use web app that guides you before, during and after any type of meeting. It will make scheduling and structuring meetings easy, and will prepare and distribute your meeting minutes and action points in no time. Sign up for GAIKU and get the most out of your meetings!

Want to learn more? Check out our other blogs that might help you facilitate a meeting:


meeting personalities

How to handle different personalities in your meeting

Keeping a meeting on track can be difficult when you’re dealing with different personalities. When different personalities come together to discuss or decide, they will disagree occasionally. It might be useful to know what kind of personalities and meeting personalities there are so you can understand or handle someone better.

General personality traits

One research, published in the 1980s by Robert R. McCrae and Paul T. Costa, Jr., states that five personality traits, known to psychologists as the “Big Five”, can give a scientifically accurate assessment of your personality. You can easily remember these personality traits using the acronym OCEAN:

Openness to experience

Openness reflects people’s willingness to consider new ideas. They are original, imaginative, daring, have broad interests and generally prefer variety over fixed routines.

Conscientiousness

Conscientious people are hardworking and want to complete the tasks they start and to follow rules. They are ambitious, energetic and like planning things in advance.

Extroversion

Extroverted people love to be around other people. They are seen as sociable, fun-loving, affectionate, talkative and they derive energy from social activity.

This corresponds with popular speech in identifying extraversion with lively sociability. However, Carl Jungs theory of extroverts and introverts is different. According to his theory, introverts need time alone to recharge and extroverts need time with others to recharge. Introverts are more comfortable being alone and by themselves. They attach great value to their “me time” and also tend to be introspective. At work, introverts like to work by themselves and come up with their own ideas before discussing them. Extroverts, on the contrary, are socially active, like to be part of groups, and love to go to places where they get a chance to interact. They hate the idea of being alone, leaving them alienated from their inner selves. At work, extroverts love working together, brainstorming and discussing with others.

Agreeableness

Agreeableness reflects how much people want other people to like them. They are sympathetic, kind, affectionate and likely to engage in pro-social behavior and volunteerism.

Neuroticism

People who score high on neuroticism worry a lot, are insecure, self-conscious and temperamental. This instability can cause difficulties in the workplace when people get angry or upset at others.

To test these personality traits, you can let your team do the the International Personality Item Pool, available online in both long and short versions.

Meeting personalities

Now, let’s take a closer look to specific meeting personalities and how you can handle them to have a successful meeting.

The rambler

Some people talk more than others. However, totally irrelevant rambling from a participant can have negative impact on your meeting. It can cause your meeting to take much longer and lose focus. Make sure there’s a clear agenda for the meeting with the topics being covered clearly displayed on a screen. When someone goes on and on about something and loses focus, you can call the attention back to the topic on hand.

The quiet one

On the other hand, some people have great ideas but never voice them. This is not desirable, you want to make sure all attendees are equally engaged. So, how can you help these participants with speaking up? Here are some ideas:

  • Give people five minutes to write down their ideas or thoughts in a silent brainstorm before opening the general discussion.
  • Shyer people may not feel comfortable speaking up in larger groups, so you can create smaller groups to let people discuss.
  • Another approach may be to talk to a quiet individual in private and discuss the importance of everyone’s ideas. Tell them you’d like to hear what they think and encourage that person to explain their (interesting) idea at the next meeting.

“Having a good leader during your meeting is key! The leader should make sure everyone’s engaged and that both extroverted and introverted feel comfortable saying the things they want and need to say.” Jasper Meerding – CEO at GAIKU

The multitasker

Did you know that 73% of the average meeting goer has brought other work to a meeting at least once? These people may be called attendees, but they are not participants. They are not engaged in the meeting. How can you solve this? Tell attendees to leave all possible distractions at their desk and tell them to only bring things that they really need. Also, limit the meeting to a reasonable length so people don’t feel like they’re losing time they want to be spending on something else.

The dominator

Also known as the Know-it-all. This person may think he’s in a meeting of one, and everyone else is his audience. When you feel like someone is taking over the meeting by talking all the time, make sure you start asking questions to other people in particular. Start asking questions like “How do the rest of you feel about that idea?” or “Okay, that’s a good point; may we move on to someone else?” The point is to help other people participate.

The negative one

When you keep hearing “this will never work” from the same person, you know you’ve got a Negative Nancy in your meeting. What to do? Sometimes it’s enough to make people aware of their behavior. The best way to handle this is by asking yourself if this person has a valid point. If not, confront them by giving positive feedback. You can talk to this person in private and ask them to think about their answer first. Maybe they’ve never realized that they’re being negative most of the time.

It can be difficult keeping a meeting on track with different meeting personalities. Start with structuring your meeting with an agenda and a time limit. This will give people little room for dueling personalities. When you’re facilitating a meeting it’s important to pay attention to who’s talking and that you can recognize things that are going wrong.

Need a helping hand?

GAIKU is here to save your meetings! Our web app will guide you before, during and after any type of meeting. Sign up today!


VR meetings

How Virtual Reality could change your business meetings

The more we embrace new kinds of telecommunication media, the more we feel connected to people. And now Virtual Reality (VR) is here. Wearing a VR headset you can visit the most incredible places. Walk the moon, explore the Great Barrier Reef, stand on top of the Mount Everest, you name it. You will feel like you’re actually, physically there. VR is growing and its potential for meetings and events is huge. So how could VR influence your business meetings? What will VR meetings even look like?

More possibilities in a VR meeting

Think about your meetings and your virtual meetings. What a hassle with traveling, video and conference calls, right? With Virtual Reality you could just as easily bring serious business much closer to home. VR meetings have tremendous potential in the meeting industry. In fact, the VR market is expected to grow to $407 million and 25 million users by 2018. This upcoming technology will make its way into your office before you know it!

Just like your favorite video conferencing and collaboration tools, VR meetings might some day save you a lot of time. You’ll have the experience of meeting in person without the hassle of traveling and changing workplaces. You can meet your co-workers through Virtual Reality while working in your living room. Meet in a virtual office that can mimic any place you like, and feel like you’re meeting in person. That sense of presence is a good thing. This might make a conversation much easier. Depending on the content of your meeting, VR meetings could potentially be a great way to communicate in your company or team.

How could VR meetings work for your business?

Co-create on another level

Some businesses have been experimenting with several virtual conferencing centers. VR meetings might not replace video or conference calls, but they do provide other functions that most office collaboration tools don’t offer. You can work together on one document. Create things together. Draw on a virtual wall or table together. You can co-create and interact, so you may have white boards on one wall, and a shared document on another.

Eye contact

Something else that VR meetings will provide that video calls don’t, is eye contact. Participants in a VR meeting will not actually look each other in the eye, but it will seem like that. Some virtual-reality companies are now experimenting with technology that tracks the movement of the eyes. This would allow the goggles to better track user’s’ eye movements and mimic even more realistic eye contact. In video conferencing, by contrast, a participant may think that he or she is making eye contact, but in fact, to the other person they appear to be looking down. If you do want it to look like you’re making eye contact, you’ll have to look into the camera during your video call, but then you wouldn’t see the other person’s’ face. In VR meetings it would feel like you’re looking each other in the eye. This could really make a big difference in communication.

Arm movement

What about arm movement? These movements can support the things you are trying to say, but these cues are often missing in most telecommunication tools. However, they can be incorporated into VR meetings. Some Virtual Reality headsets are able to capture arm and hand movements and make the avatar imitate them. This could really help you communicate better in virtual meetings.

Time saver

VR meetings could save businesses a lot of time. Think about time spent on traveling, setting up tables, chairs, providing drinks, etc. VR meetings could cause a major decline in commuting and you won’t even have to think about setting up an actual room. This could really save you a lot of time and money.

Are you ready for your first VR meeting?

What do you think? How could VR meetings change your business?


no-meeting day

Get things done! Introduce a No-Meeting Day

Do you feel like you have too many meetings? You can’t get things done? Meetings often cause disruptions in your day. Sometimes it’s hard to get uninterrupted time to do work. When people are interrupted during work, it could take them about 20 minutes to get back into their working flow and be focused again after attending a meeting. What to do? More and more companies are looking for organizational solutions to this ‘meeting problem’, including banning all meetings one day every week. Companies like Facebook and Asana, have introduced a ‘no-meeting day’. One day per week, for example every Wednesday, there will be no meetings at these companies. And they are seeing great results. Every team member knows not to schedule meetings on that day, unless absolutely necessary.

Why would you implement a no-meeting day?

The goal is to give everybody a large block of time to do focused, heads-down work, without having to fit it in between meetings.

Let’s take a look at the advantages that come with a no-meeting day:

  • Stay focused without getting interrupted
  • Get things done. You can start executing stuff that was on your to-do list and get organized because of that. You get to check more work off your task lists than any other day of the week.
  • Avoid disruptions to creative flow. A no-meeting day allows everyone to be ‘doers’ and ‘makers’ and stay in a creative flow. Including managers.
  • Create bigger blocks of time to concentrate on bigger projects that keep getting pushed aside.
  • Reduce stress, knowing that there is an entire day for you to think about and work on those bigger projects.

Since no-meeting Wednesdays have become a regular occurrence at Asana, they’ve noticed that their productivity has increased. Looking at the number of tasks completed and work accomplished, Asana has experienced the real benefits of this change. No-meeting Wednesday is now an integral part of Asana’s culture, and a day everyone looks forwards to. Getting things done is truly rewarding!

Now, you might think: Why would this help if more meetings are just scheduled on other days of the week? It’s not about how many hours of meetings you have, it’s about how many hours of uninterrupted time you have to spend on other work. To get things done.

Some businesses even go as far as only having meetings one day a week. “Mad Meeting Mondays”, you could call them. This is especially useful for companies with employees who like to work flexible hours, from different locations, on a variety of projects.

But maybe taking one day off from meetings each week may seem more realistic for your company.

Alright, are you convinced?

If you want to implement a no-meeting day in your company, we recommend adding the no-meeting day as a recurring event in everyone’s calendar. It will serve as a gentle reminder for everyone to keep those days free of meetings.

Of course, sometimes it’s really necessary to schedule a meeting on a no-meeting day. Make sure to state clear rules about the exception of scheduling a meeting on this day.

How do you feel about introducing a no-meeting day in your company? Have you introduced a no-meeting day in your company already? We’d love to hear how it worked out for you.

And when you do have a meeting, try to make it a good one. GAIKU is your perfect meeting guide. With GAIKU you’ll save a lot of time and hassle during your local and virtual meetings. Sign up and start improving your meetings!

Also, take a look at how to plan an efficient meeting because good preparation is key!


slide deck

How to create an awesome Slide Deck for your next meeting

Have you ever been to a meeting where you almost fell asleep because of the boring slide deck? We bet that really put your energy and engagement on a low level. Unfortunately, this happens a lot. A great amount of text and no visuals. That doesn’t ask for engagement at all. Let’s change that!

Are you going to a meeting where you need to present something? Make sure to create a slide deck that will keep your audience interested in what you have to say. The best slide decks guide attendees through the information, and will keep them engaged and focused.

However, it’s not easy, especially if you have a lot of information to share with attendees. Next time, use the following steps to create a slide deck that will WOW all attendees!

Create an outline first

Before you start working on your slides, create an outline first. You will save a lot of time when you create your outline first, before you start creating your slides. What is your main message? What are you going to say, and in what order? Are there key points that can be supported by visuals? After you’ve done this, take a look at your outline. Does the flow make sense? Does it include everything you want to say?

Create graphics and visuals

Once you’re happy with your outline, find or create graphics and visuals to support your outline. This is really important. One study showed that only about 10-20% of learning recall was retained after a spoken lecture without visuals, while 65% was retained from an illustrated lecture. Just like with the graph below, seeing “illustrated lecture” outperform “spoken lecture” gets the point across immediately and will increase the odds that you’ll remember this information.

Create your slides

When you’ve created all your content, you are ready to open your slide deck program and put everything together.

First of all, create an agenda slide, showing what you will discuss. You’ll give your audience an idea of the topics and it will help them remember the most important things that were presented. It positively primes attendees as to what they would be getting out of your presentation – the key takeaways.

After this, you can create your other slides, using the outline you’ve made. This should go relatively smooth because you already defined your outline and searched for great visuals to accompany your text on each slide.

Use large fonts and limit the words in your slide deck

Seeing a long, solid block of text will make attendees feel like they’re at the bottom of a mountain. This will really encourage people to stop paying attention. Your slides are there to support your presentation with words and visuals, so don’t put large pieces of text on your slides. If you put a lot of words on a slide, you’re asking your audience to split their attention between what they’re reading and what they’re hearing. That’s really hard for a brain to do. Think about the power of three: put a maximum of three points on each slide, less is more! Limit the words and use a large font.

Also, don’t put important text at the bottom of your slides. Some people might not be able to read it because of people sitting in front of them.

Use humor, but don’t overdo it

It’s a great idea to incorporate some humor and fun in your presentation. This will keep your meeting lively and attendees will stay more engaged. However, don’t overdo it. You don’t want to draw the attention away from the important information. If you overdo it, a slide with excessive effects can become a distraction from the central point rather than a support for it.

So, when you decide to use humor in a presentation, use throwaways. This might include a funny meme, gif or video on its own slide that you can quickly skip past.

Use a theme for your slide deck

Ultimately, you want to create a central take-away for every attendee to remember once the presentation is over. You can do this by using a theme.

One very effective way to use a theme is the ‘loop’. Start off your presentation with a question or statement regarding a certain theme. This opens the loop. At the end, return to this and answer the question or involve your audience. This closes the loop. By creating and presenting a theme at the beginning of your presentation and repeating it at the end, you increase the chances that participants will remember the key point. This opening and closing with the same theme will end your presentation on a strong note while giving you the chance to repeat the key takeaway.

Check if your slide deck works offline as well

Make sure you always have a copy of your presentation that can be used completely offline. It may save you from a horrible presentation experience! You can’t always trust the Wi-Fi connection.

Well, we hope these steps will help you create an awesome slide deck that won’t put attendees to sleep and will keep everybody focused and engaged. Please let us know if you have any other tips!

 

Are you planning a meeting? Make sure to read How to plan an efficient meeting. Also, sign up for GAIKU to improve your meetings!


too many meetings

How to decide if your next meeting is necessary

The problem: you’re invited to a meeting that could have been an email or question on chat. We’ve all been there. You feel like your time is wasted. Very often meetings are scheduled unnecessarily. “Let’s schedule a meeting” has become the default response to a lot of business issues. Of course, a meeting can be the right answer in many cases, but it’s not always the right solution. Next time you want to schedule (or attend!) a meeting, take some time to figure out if you really need this meeting or if there are other, less time-consuming ways to handle the situation.

So, how do you decide if a meeting is necessary? Harvard Business Review knows a thing or two about meetings. They suggest that, in order to decide if a meeting is necessary, you should ask yourself the following questions:

is this meeting necessaryAs you go through this decision tree on how to decide if a meeting is necessary, here’s what you should consider at each step:

Have I thought through this situation?

Sometimes it’s tempting to schedule a meeting when you don’t have clarity about what you’re doing on a project. You might feel like scheduling a meeting but you don’t have a clear purpose for this meeting. This would only cause you to waste your own and your coworkers’ precious time. In this kind of situation, it’s often better to set aside some time for yourself to do some strategic thinking. You can evaluate different aspects of the project or situation yourself. Once you’ve done your own strategic thinking, then you can move onto the next step of considering whether you need to hold that meeting.

Do I need outside input to make progress?

If you find yourself in a situation where you have thought things through and you know what needs to be done, then start on your to-do list and do the work that needs to be done. You don’t have to schedule a meeting in this situation. However, if you need clarification, input, answers to questions and/or feedback from others before you can jump into action and make progress, continue on to the next step.

Does this necessitate a real-time conversation?

So, you have thought things through and you realize you need others to make progress. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to schedule a meeting. If you need answers, feedback or input, but they don’t require a two-way conversation, send an is this meeting necessaryemail. Especially when you’re looking for feedback on written documents. It’s much more efficient when everyone involved can look at these things on their own when they have time and then send you their feedback or input. However, if you feel like the situation does require a real-time conversation, then you can consider other communication channels.

Does this require a face-to-face meeting?

When you need a real-time conversation but don’t necessarily need to see the person you want to talk with, you can consider a few options. An online chat can help you get answers to quick questions, or for more in-depth conversations, you could schedule a video call or phone call. This will save you time going to and from the meeting place and waiting for each other. However, if you do need a face-to-face meeting, go schedule your meeting and make it count!

So, if you answer “no” to any of these questions, then a different course of action could be taken. We hope this will help you decide if you really need to schedule a meeting. It may save you and your colleagues a lot of valuable time! If you do end up scheduling a meeting, make sure to read this blog and plan your meeting efficiently.

Source: https://hbr.org/2015/03/do-you-really-need-to-hold-that-meeting


sprint review

5 ways to improve your Sprint Review

In scrum, during each sprint, the scrum team strives to create a potentially shippable product increment. At the end of every sprint, there will be a sprint review. The sprint review is an informal meeting which the development team, the scrum master, the product owner and the stakeholders will attend. The team gives a demo of the product and will determine what is finished and what’s not finished. The point of this meeting is to receive a lot of valuable feedback, by presenting working and tested software to stakeholders. It is the most important moment in the scrum framework to receive feedback from stakeholders. This feedback is used to update the product backlog. Result: an updated product backlog that will define the product backlog of the next sprint. The sprint review may last up to 4 hours in 4-week-sprints.

Having a great sprint review could help you a lot during your next sprint. However, we’ve discovered some worst practices that could happen during sprint reviews, that could have negative consequences.

 

What’s going wrong during Sprint Reviews and what to do about it?

Stop calling your Sprint Review a Demo!

Your sprint review is so much more than a demonstration. However, a lot of scrum teams keep calling their sprint reviews a Demo. Of course, you are giving a demonstration of your product during the sprint review. The goal is however not to give a demo; rather, the goal is to inspect and adapt the product. If you think the sprint review is only about giving a demo, you’re missing the whole point of a sprint review.

Boring Sprint Review!

Where’s all the fun? One mistake that’s often made is that the sprint review becomes a boring meeting, while it should be a party, because it’s a demonstration of what the team has accomplished! Stakeholders and end-users are usually attending this meeting, so make sure to show them the value of the product increment that has been completed the past few weeks. Good sprint reviews showing the value of the product will never be boring! Because everyone is interested in seeing the value of the product. Also, make it more fun! Why not organize a dinner or lunch directly after the sprint review?

The Product Owner suddenly acts as a client?

Another mistake that is often made is the product owner acting as a client during the sprint review. Or, the team treats the product owner as a client. For example, the product owner sees the software for the first time during the sprint review. This is not how it’s supposed to be; the product owner is a part of the scrum team so it would be a waste of time and would only cost more delay to postpone his/her feedback until the sprint review. A good product owner would be more active in giving feedback during the sprint. In fact, the best sprint reviews are facilitated by the product owner!

The demonstrated software isn’t working

Sometimes during a sprint review, a scrum team will demonstrate software that is not yet working and hasn’t been tested. That’s not the point of this meeting. If the product increment isn’t finished at the end of the sprint, the sprint didn’t deliver any value. It’s really important that the product is finished, according to the ‘Definition of Done’. This is what makes the process Agile. So, the only metric to measure progress is the amount of working and tested software. That’s what needs to be shown during the sprint review. Make sure you are well prepared for this meeting by testing your software. Also, don’t use a PowerPoint to demonstrate the software. Demonstrate the actual software.

How to receive feedback during Sprint Review?

The sprint review is all about feedback. So treat all feedback as welcome feedback, especially from stakeholders. Let’s make it active and engaging! You can try to use the Happiness Metric as a way to collect feedback. It works as follows: Put five categories or smileys on the wall from really happy to really sad. Ask stakeholders to write their feedback on a sticky note and hang it under the category that best expresses their happiness. This way you’ll have clear feedback, combined with a measured value of the stakeholder happiness.

Well. Are you ready for your next Sprint Review?

Make sure it’s worth everyone’s time!

Want to learn more about scrum? Check out these related articles:

GAIKU to the rescue!

GAIKU is your perfect meeting guide. It’s a web app that actively guides you before, during and after a meeting. GAIKU will be especially useful for scrum, different templates are created to facilitate all scrum meetings. Sign up today and improve your meetings!


meetings

Infographic: Meetings. What's going wrong?

We spend a lot of time in meetings. Still, people see meetings as the #1 time waster at work. What’s going wrong? Check out our infographic below.

 

meetings

Sources:
http://blog.lucidmeetings.com/blog/fresh-look-number-effectiveness-cost-meetings-in-us
http://www.effectivemeetings.com/meetingbasics/meetstate.asp
https://www.atlassian.com/time-wasting-at-work-infographic

 

Want to learn more? Check out 6 meeting problems and how to overcome them.

 

Start improving your meetings! GAIKU will be your perfect meeting guide for better results in less time. Sign up and stay updated!


conference room names

How to pick inspiring Conference Room Names

Names are important. Names embody the identity of the person, place or object that carries them. So, even your conference room names can have a great impact on how your employees or clients see your company or experience the meetings that are held in those rooms. Would you rather spend 2 hours in a conference room called “Meeting Room #3,” or in a meeting room called “Fleetwood Mac ‘n Cheese”? We think the answer is obvious. Companies that don’t invest time in picking creative names for their meeting rooms are missing a huge opportunity to show off their personality and culture. Creative meeting room names will make meetings more fun or inspiring for clients and employees and they will bring some positivity to the workplace. We’ve pulled together a few ideas to help you get started.


conference room namesWho are you?

The names of your meeting rooms or conference rooms are often experienced as a reflection of your company’s values, culture and personality. So, before you name your meeting spaces, remember that employees and clients are invited to these spaces, and that the names of these meeting rooms can have impact on how they think about your company. Because every brand has a personality.

How can you use this to come up with creative meeting room names? Think about your brand as a person. Who is he/she? Is this person rebellious? Caring? Is your brand sleek and modern like Apple? Or creative and aspirational like Pinterest? Once you have a few key descriptions of your brand’s character, you can use these words to help you identify conference room names that fit your company’s personality.

Pick a theme

Great conference room names have one thing in common. They reflect a (relevant) theme. One way to pick a theme is to tie it back to your brand. Like Twitter, who names the conference rooms after birds. Having a relevant theme like that will help to connect people to the company, they feel like they’re part of something bigger, a larger story.

What about naming your meeting rooms after your company’s values? Courage, Honesty, Teamwork, Energy, Humility are examples of what could call your conference rooms. This way, you are using conference room names to reinforce what is important to you and your company.

If you want it to be a bit more fun, pick a theme based on your company’s inside jokes or references. Does everyone in the office love Game of Thrones and talk about this show constantly? Then maybe naming your meeting rooms after Game of Thrones houses is not such a bad idea. Because “Jasper and Arjen are having a meeting in House Targaryen” sounds pretty badass, right?

Make it a team effort

Naming your meeting rooms might seem like just another task, but it’s a great way for group activity. Engaging employees in this activity makes sure all your employees are given a voice and feel like they are represented in the company. They will feel involved, inspired and it’s also a lot of fun. If you already picked a few themes for your rooms, it’s a good idea to let employees vote on themes or brainstorm on names around your themes.

Examples of creative conference room names

Let’s take a look at some examples for your inspiration. These names will definitely bring you some positivity before you even start the meeting.

Facebook has several themes going when it comes to meeting room names.
One theme is “Star Wars + Drinks”:

  • Brewbacca
  • Jar Jar Drinks
  • Darth Jager
  • Dark and Stormtrooper
  • Use the Four Loko
  • Mai Tai Fighter

Hubspot is another company that’s taking their conference room naming seriously.
One theme they have is names of people that inspire them:

  • Guy Kawasaki
  • Seth Godin
  • Steve Jobs
  • Marc Benioff
  • Mark Zuckerberg
  • Gail Goodman
  • Warren Buffett

Now take Etsy. At Etsy they’ve also been creative in naming their conference rooms.
One of their themes is “Music + Food”:

  • Johnny Cashews
  • Lil Kimchee
  • Red Velvet Underground
  • Soy Division
  • Bon Bon Jovi
  • Sushi and the Banshees
  • The Rolling Scones
  • Wu Tang Clams

What do you think? What’s the coolest or most inspiring conference room name you’ve ever heard of? Let us know!

Want to learn more about meeting rooms? Check out how to Create the perfect Meeting Room Environment.

How can GAIKU guide your meetings?

GAIKU is a web app that’s created to guide you before, during and after any type of meeting. GAIKU checks availability, records your meeting minutes, notes, and stores all information for you to trace back your meeting history. Also, GAIKU will help you distribute your meeting minutes, action points and will help you schedule and plan a follow-up meeting. That sounds great, right?

Sign up today and start improving your meetings!

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