Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Importance of Play (in Meetings)

It’s important that meeting professionals take ownership of how learning is delivered at events. Participants respond to events in different ways and there are many tools to improve these experiences. Incorporating play is one way to enhance your participants’ experiences, and
their learning.
After setting through hours of sessions for multiple days, incorporating a change of scenery and a change of focus, will help attendees continue to learn, but in a different way. Breaking a larger group into several smaller groups allows more sincere, honest conversations and a chance to connect on a different level. Add to that opportunity a relaxed, casual atmosphere where attendees are focusing on play and the fun—and learning--really begins!
The types of play I include at my clients’ meetings and events incorporates a local  experience. For example, when a group is in Sonoma, they may be engaged in a wine blending activity where they break into teams. The best tasting wine –as determined by a proper winemaker—wins and that blend is bottled and the group takes home bottles of the winning blend—complete with custom label. When a group is in Los Cabos, attendees are encouraged to break into smaller groups and choose a thrilling activity such as zip-lining, ATV, horseback, or to ride, feed, and kiss (yes!) a camel. (I know, not your usual first choice for an activity in Cabo, but a unique and memorable experience nonetheless.)
Just as there’s always room for dessert, there’s always time for play. It’s important to carve out time in every agenda for play to truly see results of the classroom learning. Play opens the minds of the young and old alike and brings theories and concepts to life through practical use. It also facilitates cross team/function relationships and team bonding that is priceless.

I’d love to hear how you incorporate play into your experiences.

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