A business friend of mine, Nancy Nachman, founder and president of The Meetings Concierge recently wrote a blog on her website that I asked if it would be OK for me to share on this website and she agreed. It's called "Brain Breaks" and talks about alternatives to the normal, every day meeting breakouts. I hope you enjoy the article and consider the options Nancy talks about if your meeting situation allows. This is what she had to say.
“Next time you plan a meeting and need breakout meeting rooms, rethink your strategy and schedule walking brain breaks instead. Why? Science has proven that walking and talking stimulates the brain more than sitting still and after all your job is to stir up creative juices and get people thinking differently. You’re spending loads of money to bring people together. Surprise your guests by changing up breakout meetings that will encourage people to think outside the box and help retain content by taking a walk outdoors to breathe in some fresh air and enjoy your surroundings!
Set up some game rules before mapping out the course. Here are some ideas to ponder.
Work with the hotel to map out safe and easy directions for walking around the hotel area.
Set a start and end time so everyone begins and ends at the same time.
Serve the break after the walk when everyone is ready for a treat.
Provide reusable water bottles for everyone to take on the walking break.
Have a leader for each group present goals and intentions prior to taking off on the walk.
A group member can present the group’s outcome and ideas generated on the walk.
Inform everyone in advance to wear comfy shoes and dress accord to the weather.
Many experiences show that during and after exercise, even very mild exertion, people’s brains perform better especially in terms of retaining information and memory.
One of my favorite writers is Henry David Thoreau who said this about walking:
“Methinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.”
Stop wasting money on breakout meeting room rental space and go for a free walk around the block to stimulate the brain. You’ll get much more out of your participants so that your organization meets goals for training and establishing new ideas that can be put to work immediately. Everyone wins!”
Nancy Nachman | The Meetings Concierge
I've had the pleasure of working with and knowing Nancy for a number of years throughout my meeting planning career. Her knowledge of the hospital industry and hotel sales in general is incredible. If you need help sourcing your meetings and/or negotiating your hotel contracts, I highly recommend you give Nancy an opportunity to partner with you to help make you and your organization SHINE.