Avoid meeting sessions dull pitfalls routine (and blank expressions spreading across colleagues’ faces). Add some creative, out-of-the-box meeting ideas!
Meetings are an indispensable part of collaborative work: they help keep the team up to speed, provide fruitful brainstorms on new challenges, as well as motivate the crew. Or so we wish they would. In reality, more often than not these meetings are seen as a waste of time. It seems the two main culprits are:
An obvious remedy for this would be to prepare a set agenda and stick with it or, even better, do away with any meetings that aren’t strictly necessary. But is that a one-size-fits-all solution?
Since some professions and business sectors inherently require more regular updates and team interaction, the dislike for team meetings might not always stem from poor organization but rather sheer repetition and predictability: always the same thing the same rigmarole with the same people. So, this is where some creative team meeting ideas can come into play to turn it all around.
In this article, we’ve listed 10 out of the box meeting ideas to boost your team’s engagement and morale, for either in-person meetings or virtual gatherings.
A solid icebreaker is a great tool to lift participants to the same energy level and make everyone feel more at ease. Also, icebreakers truly don’t have to take up a lot of time and preparation: here are some examples of short and fun ‘openers’:
Firstly, begin a quick and simple activity to warm the team up and focus their attention. Set up a few questions (work-related or completely unrelated – your choice) in advance using an online app and give them about 5 minutes to respond.
Then let everyone learn the name of the cat that sometimes features in your background. After that, give people a few minutes to bring their furry friends to the camera or to find a photo, and those who don’t have any pets can show off a house plant or perhaps a hobby project.
Considering their popularity, business brunches may not seem much of an out of the box idea for a team meeting, but we simply could not overlook it. One should never underestimate the comforting and uplifting power of food and coffee. It often takes the form of a relaxed, informal team gathering, though it can be successfully incorporated into more detail- and information-oriented meetings too. Obviously, make sure the menu is fairly simple and give the team enough time to select their food and get settled. Otherwise, opt for a change of scenery and take everyone out to a café for a different energy to your brainstorming session.
Sometimes all it takes is a fresh face and a different perspective. Add some color from time to time by inviting a new specialist or a motivational speaker to share useful information and boost your team’s drive.
If you want to work on team building or perhaps wish to explore creative ideas for offsite meetings, then gamification tools, such as the Loquiz gamification platform, are your best resource. Nothing reinforces camaraderie like playful team competition – a scavenger hunt or a fun quiz game, for instance. There is room for a lot of creativity and adaptability as you can use various game formats for both real-world and virtual settings. If you have limited time for preparation, the generous range of ready-made templates is your friend.
Unfairly belittled as an ‘old people’s game’, bingo can be a great team meeting activity to raise extra cheer.
Likewise, we like the ‘autograph game’ version for in-person meetings. In this version, everyone is wandering around the room and collecting signatures of people who fit the facts listed on the bingo sheet.
For virtual meetings, it takes the form of an individual game where people earn bingo squares with any facts that fit them. Make it versatile and mix in work-related facts (“read the updated issue on e-mail security”, “learned a new trick on Office tools this week”, etc.) and leisure / irreverent (“read 2+ books last month”; “wearing pajama bottoms right now”, etc.).
A snowball fight is a unique interactive meeting idea to get everyone directly involved. It goes as follows: hand out sheets of paper and invite everyone to write a work question or issue, provided it can be formulated concisely enough. Then ask them to scrunch their papers into balls and throw them around the room for a bit, of course minding people’s faces and any fragile objects in the room. After the ‘fight’, everyone picks up a ball, reads the question and gives their opinion on it. Naturally, this can only be a light and entertaining activity with any questions people would like to ask their teammates.
Another out of the box team meeting idea that makes a good icebreaker as a mood meter, but works equally well as a fun way of giving feedback. If you or someone else is presenting a new concept, a policy, etc., why not mix things up a little and start the comment round with everyone finding a GIF that embodies their reaction?
Sharing our discoveries and revelations can be a bonding experience and of great practical use. Introduce “Today/This week I learned…” sessions towards the end of your regular meetings and encourage individual growth become team growth.
A quick mood meter: give everyone 3 to 5 minutes to set up a virtual background that closely represents them. Then, invite everyone to comment briefly on their choice. While it is most often used at the beginning of meetings, this out-of-the-box team meeting idea can also be useful towards the end to find out if anything remains unresolved.
Who doesn’t like a little pat on the back here and there for achieving something or having a great attitude? Acknowledgment is crucial, and all the better if it comes in the form of tangible perks (monetary or not). Whether it’s with surprise snacks and pastries or perhaps vouchers for food delivery, find a way to say thank you to your team for their efforts.
We’re sure that once you put these ideas to the test, you will never want to go back to the repetitive meetings that you knew before. Luckily, there are countless other out of the box team meeting ideas for you to give a try to once you’ve implemented all of these. Or even better – you can come up with your own to find the best possible meeting format for your team.
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