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Jill Stone

Your Meeting Matchmaker Fairy Godmother

Get the Conversation Started

in: Event Planning Advice

In person meetings are making a comeback. As many people are “getting back out there,” there is some trepidation; people are feeling less confident about the social interactions to come.

Help your attendees get the conversation started with these effective and fun ideas!

  • Q&A: By beginning a conversation with a surprising question, things are sure to be more interesting, such questions can also lead to further bonding. Provide pre-printed cards with various questions and have guests grab one or more on their way into the meeting room. They can then pose their question(s) to other attendees – enlightening conversations are sure to spark! Here is a list of team builder questions to get started.
  • Fun Facts: Add a line on the registration form asking people to include a fun fact about themselves. Include their facts on their meeting badge as way to get the convos started. Another idea is to have assigned seating at tables, include individual postcards for each fun fact of the table members in the center of their table, provide time for the table to go through each fun fact and guess who it belongs to.
  • Coffee Klatch: Take your coffee, and/or tea, station next level. Here are a couple of ways to launch coffee conversations. One way is to write different questions on paper coffee cups, the second ideas is to supply cups printed with various subjects and allow people to choose the topic they wish to discuss. Either way, coffee talk with happen!
  • It’s a Sign: Get your vendors involved by creating signs printed with the words “Ask me about . . .” then allow the vendors to write the question they wish for attendees to ask them. For example, they can inform others to ask about products or services. Even more engaging, consider using the fun fact idea here as well, the vendor may wish to be asked about a recent award they won, or about an interesting historical face about their business, etc.
  • Kid Around: How the questions are delivered to attendees can be done a more fanciful manner via capsule vending machines – an amusing nod to childhood carefree ways!
  • Post It: An inexpensive and easy option is to write the questions on colorful sticky notes and ask guests to “wear” their questions and seek answers.
  • Air Mail: Supply colorful paper, ask attendees to write a question on their chosen piece of paper. Supply instructions on how to create a paper airplane, have a station set up with team members that can help attendees fold the airplanes, or print templates on the paper you supply. During the event, choose people to throw their airplane in the meeting space and whomever it lands closest to answers the question.
  • Everybody In: It’s simple, but effective. Ask everyone to answer the same question, for example, “If you were stranded on a desert island, name a (Fill in the Blank) would you wish to have with you?” You may ask which book, album, food, drink, animal, you name it – get creative!

Successful meetings create ways for attendees to get to know each other, to find new connections and new friends. Now, more than ever, with all the physical distancing we’ve experienced, humans are craving interaction and bonding, help make it so!

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