Business meetings can quickly become dull and repetitive, which can make them less effective. Adding a bit of fun or unexpected activity to the mix can get meeting participants enthused and add a spark that can boost creativity and jump-start brainstorming and productive discussion.
Rather than standard coffee, tea and donuts, add some fun to meeting snacks by doing something different, like hosting a build-your-own taco bar or ice cream station. This kind of unexpected and whimsical approach will be a pleasant diversion that lets colleagues mingle and relax before diving into the meeting topics.
Draw names for door prizes to get everyone's attention. Use fun giveaways like a paid vacation day, a prime office parking spot or even office logoed merchandise like t-shirts or coffee mugs. Draw several names throughout the course of the meeting to keep everyone's attention and maintain high spirits.
If you have a small enough group, ask participants to come to the meeting prepared to tell a quick, clean joke before the start of the meeting. Vote on the best one and give that person a kitschy prize like an oversized candy bar or a bag of gourmet coffee. If you have a large group, draw names to pick the joke teller.
Take it Outside
If you have pleasant outdoor space around your work environment and the weather permits, hold a meeting outside on occasion. Everyone will benefit from the fresh air and change of environment. Encourage a brown bag lunch or potluck snacks and drinks to change-up the setting.
Combine a meeting with a team-building field trip. Hold your meeting at a bowling alley and then bowl a few games or go to a miniature golf course, conduct your meeting in the snack bar, then play a round of golf.
Pass the Gavel
Change-up the meeting dynamic by letting different participants run the meeting. This works best if you're following an agenda, and the slight change-up allows everyone to take a turn in a leadership role and alters the flow of the meeting.
For long meetings, take regular breaks. Play a quick game of Pictionary or 20 Questions to reset brains and give everyone a mental break. Hold a doodling contest where everyone has 60 seconds to draw an imaginary creature or see how many words he can devise using the letters in the company name.