AGMs and business conferences and the like may not always be the most glamorous affairs, but they are important for not only bringing key members together and highlighting the issues of the day, but getting employees engaged in the mission, short and long-term goals, and the company as a whole. So whether your solution is a great MC, an inspiring guest speaker or range of Starstills lifesize cutouts , it’s time to get creative. Fail to do so and you could be about to repeat the following scenario....
Before you even open the email, the subject line makes you cringe. Is it that time already? Slowly, deliberately, you move the mouse over to the email and click, closing your eyes at the last moment. You take a few calming breaths, trying to centre yourself, doing your best to come up with a suitable excuse: a forgotten doctor’s appointment, or maybe a looming deadline. But deep in your heart, you know you won’t be able to get out of it, so you gradually open your eyes and read it. It’s time for the annual all-hands company meeting. *Yawn*
After all, is there anything more boring than gathering with all your bosses and co-workers in a corporate auditorium or a bland hotel ballroom, listening to speech after speech about performance metrics and core competencies and sales projections? It’s the same every time…. you get stuck at a table with three people you’ve never met and Marv from accounting.… you get to choose between a small grilled chicken breast or an even smaller overcooked steak, with four cooked carrots and 8 green beans.… you try to keep your thoughts together while loud generic techno music plays loudly during a supposedly inspiring PowerPoint presentation about just how amazing the new mission statement is.
The big day has arrived. You take care to avoid eye contact and stare at your smartphone as you walk over to the hotel. In the lobby, you’re directed to the Pokey Oak Ballroom down the hall. You make a quick stop to splash some water on your face, determined to make the most of this meeting – hoping that it goes quickly and without incident.
At the door to the ballroom, you stop briefly, and then you walk in – eyes to the floor, making your way to the tables where you finally find your name. You sit down, take a sip of water, and pull out your phone again to while away the time until the presentation begins.
You’ve just read your umpteenth Twitter post when you hear the announcer over the PA system: “Ladies and gentlemen, the Chairman of the Board!”
Yes, you’ve been here before – universal disengagement and it’s only just begun.
But what if, rather than the same old programme, you notice something very unusual: lifesize cardboard cutouts of celebrities surround the hall; the music between the keynote speakers is live – and actually quite good; first-timers are being introduced to different parties and areas of the organisation; there is a bunch of cool, relevant workshops being run throughout the day; and there are dozens of stuffed goodie bags waiting to be handed out once the day is complete.
Suddenly, your entire perception of the event has changed. No longer are you worried about a dull and drab corporate meeting. Now you’re ready to play your part in a dynamic occasion, where all the guests are not passive entities but actual participants, tuned in and ready to listen and contribute.