Meetings No 29
Intro
The Metaverse: A Digital Reality
Atti Soenarso ponders the emergence of ‘metapresence.’
Cover Story
Time Spent in Offsite Meetings Is Even More Valuable
In a time of growing disruption and increasing pace of change, we all have to absorb more information faster than ever.
Psychological Meetings
The Delusion of Powerlessness
Hans Gordon on overestimating our abilities and the futility of predicting the future.
The Art of Reading and Writing
Bye, Bye Powerpoint – A Lesson to Learn from the Amazon Success Story
Amazon has found a way to effectively harness the silent power of introverts and sifting out bad ideas in the process.
Radar
Association Day at IMEX 2022: Where High-Value Insights Meet Real-World Recommendations
A chance for association professionals to review and discuss the steps needed to meet the challenges of a world reshaped.
Hybrid Events
Moving From Virtual to Hybrid Events
Hybrids will likely see widespread adoption as F2F meetings re-emerge from the pandemic for a number of reasons.
Intermission
The Stuff Galaxies Are Made Of
You are dancing, ever vibrating, cosmic energy. We all are. We have no other choice.
Distance Meetings
Everyone Should Be Allowed to Participate in Distance Meetings on the Same Terms
Why KTH lecturer Jens Edlund has opted out of hybrid meetings altogether.
Sharma
47 Rules to Lead the Field in Uncertain Times (Important)
Robin Sharma enthusiastically shares that what makes us human is our ability to invent. And to endure. And to overcome.
Kellerman
I Have a Feeling We’re Not in Kansas Anymore
Roger Kellerman on facing a world where old rules no longer apply.
classifieds
news
key highlights
Move Over Covid, the Business Travel Industry Tackles
New Considerations on its Continued Road to Recovery.
hotel news
Scandic’s largest hotel to date opens in Copenhagen
- Nordic spa and chef from Michelin-starred restaurant.
Award
Helsinki Airport
Best Airport in Northern Europe.
Stockholm is number one
Corporate Knights
inaugural Sustainable Cities Index ranks 50 global cities.
15-18 November 2022
International Aviation Conference
lands at MCEC bringing $4.7m to Melbourne’s economy.
hotel news
Scandic
to take over Hotel Opus in Horsens, Denmark.
business intelligence
mci group
drives the digital evolution.
hotel news
Historic Scandic Holmenkollen Park
reopens in new attire.
business intelligence
Vienna on top in the 2021 ICCA ranking:
Austria Center Vienna sees clear upturn in conferences.
At Takina 2025
Wellington makes history
winning digital preservation conference.
Links
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Time Spent in Offsite Meetings Is Even More Valuable
Today’s workforce lives in a time of growing disruption and uncertainty, where the pace of change is only continuing to accelerate. We’re all being asked to absorb more information faster than ever.

Consider some of these key stats related to corporate meetings during the pandemic era, compiled from various surveys by AI company Otter.ai:

  • The remote work model has increased weekly meeting time by 10 per cent, resulting in three additional weekly meetings per employee.
  • The number of meetings attended by a worker on average rose by 13.5 per cent.
  • The researchers found a 20.1 per cent decrease in the average length of meetings.

Fundamental Changes As a keynote speaker who trains executives to adapt to change and uncertainty every year, it’s become clear that many meeting and event formats haven’t evolved to keep pace with the future of work. We need a way to make sense of emerging business topics and technologies more rapidly through formats such as micro-learning, as opposed to the full-course curriculum.

I believe this will be the case in the future, whether meetings are held virtually or in person, as the pandemic has caused fundamental changes in how we interact.

I’ve launched a new methodology for exploring and discussing the impact of breaking topics dubbed Pop Future. It provides a blueprint for making future trends, innovations and business concepts more approachable and simpler for audiences of all backgrounds and skill levels to comprehend and deliver in a radically shorter time by using cartoon animations, illustrated infographics, short film skits, interactive games and other forms of artistic expression to boost engagement, learning and retention.

As corporations are getting back to meetings, some top-line items to think about as attention spans shrink, time spent in offsite meetings is even more valuable, and meeting agendas continue to be compressed, whether online or in-person.

“It’s become clear that many meeting and event formats haven’t evolved to keep pace with the future of work”

Explainer Videos Insider tip: It often takes as little as 30 seconds for a key concept to click in audiences’ minds when you find the right story to tell or an analogy that helps an otherwise complex concept make sense in an everyday context.

Quick-hit videos of no more than three to five minutes in length can often help you hammer home the impact of what might otherwise seem like dry topics, such as cybersecurity or the future of data science, in a more rapid and user-friendly fashion.

Interactive Games and Activities Listening to a speaker address a topic from the stage can be informative, but most of us learn best by doing, and experience is often the most effective teacher. Think less talk, more action:

Pepper your schedule with more learning exercises, brainstorming activities and creative challenges. You will keep audiences more active and engaged, and you’ll also provide ample chances for them to network, make new connections and learn from others’ ideas and approaches.

Short Films and Documentaries Zzzz, huh, wha? Oh, sorry, I must’ve dozed off during that dry corporate reel. Trust me: There are 1,001 ways to get important information on your new marketing program or five-year strategic plan that doesn’t have to come off like a canned infomercial. Music videos, comedic skits, behind-the-scenes looks, making-ofs, getting-to-knows, crowdsourced commentary, game show parodies.

When you’re trying to raise awareness or support for an initiative, don’t be afraid to think differently in terms of approach. Just be sure to lead with a strong hook, whether in the form of humour, urgency, impact, etcetera. Remember: Today’s audiences are increasingly tuning out anything that seems even the least bit skippable.

“Look for more opportunities to have presenters speak with audiences, not at them. Conversation is a two-way street”

Contests and Challenges Rapid-fire brainstorming sessions. Shark Tank-style innovation programs. Strategic planning activities that challenge you to role-play your way through real-world scenarios that may unfold in the future and impact your business.

Again, think of how you can weave more opportunities to learn into your event schedule and incentivise more audience participation by incorporating a healthy sense of competition and good sportsmanship into these programs.

Promote Two-Way Dialogue Look for more opportunities to have presenters speak with audiences, not at them. The conversation is a two-way street. Possible options might include interactive town-hall-style presentations or panels full of audience polls and questions served up on the fly to participants.

Alternately, they can take the form of call-and-response activities, online group exercises and app-based polls or surveys. However, you tackle the challenge: The fewer time presenters passively present to viewers, and the more they engage in active real-time discussion, the more engaging programs will be from the audience’s perspective.

Let Visuals Tell the Tale No matter how engaging a presenter is, graphics, animations, videos, illustrations and other visual representations can communicate ideas faster than words.

What’s more, no matter how poetic you can wax in conversation, imagery is often far easier to grasp and understand at a glance and can promote more rapid learning and better retention by serving as a helpful form of mental shorthand.

My advice: Leverage charts, graphics and illustrations wherever possible to simplify ideas, make otherwise dense concepts more approachable, and give viewers a quick, easy entry path into any topic.