Guest blog by Joanna Hillier | Conference and Events Sales Manager at Ovolo Hotels
We’ve noticed a trend in conferences getting shorter and shorter. It seems business owners want to minimize the time their delegates are out of the office… some have been known to squeeze a half yearly updates into an hour or two! But how much do we think the attendees get out of those bite-sized catch ups?
At Ovolo Woolloomooloo we’ve created business-friendly boutique spaces that focus on effortless meetings and promote a sense of fun. Our motto is if you’re going to get people together, make it worth their while!
Our meeting rooms are practical yet attractive – no boring white walls to stare at – we’re all about 6m-long corkboards and sliding whiteboard walls to hide away technology at those moments when you need to encourage a human connection.
And when the meeting is over it’s all too easy to send delegates off for drinks and a fancy meal on the company credit card, but what about making the most of that social time too?
At our in-house cocktail venue, Alibi Bar guests can try their hand at molecular mixology and get some of Sydney’s best cocktails as the end reward. Forget old school recipes and weathered shakers, this cocktail making session is like an excursion to Willy Wonka’s Factory with everything from edible lipsticks through to liquid nitrogen on tap!
So, when you’re planning your next bite-sized conference remember that any meeting, get-together, or presentation needs to be worth attending. Here are our six fail-safe tips to ensure your mini-conference is packed full of flavour…
1. Choose an inspiring space
You only have a limited time to engage your delegates. Get a head start by planning your event in a creative environment.
2. Make it easy for people to get to, while taking them out of the office
Getting your staff or clients away from their usual environment is a key factor in ensuring they are engaged from the start. Make sure they are “disconnected” from their everyday, to fully engage in your presentation or workshop.
3. Functionality is key!
Ensure the venue you’ve chosen is functional and has all of the equipment needed – no point in wasting time playing around with substandard AV.
4. Provide adequate sustenance
The basics don’t have to be boring…
Whilst a delegate needs to feel energised and refreshed to focus, you can have fun with your catering without blowing the budget. At Ovolo Woolloomooloo we stock a bottomless Banana and Nut Bar … Go Nuts, these Bananas are on us! This ensures event meetings on the tightest of schedules can snack on the go.
5. Keep to your agenda
Plan your briefing or workshop well in advance. Have a clear agenda and let the room know it! Make use of the walls and post your schedule up for the room to see. Tick off items as you go- everyone likes to see you’re making progress and the end is in sight ?
6. Include some stimulating socialising
By planning your bite-sized conference at the beginning or end of the day means that clients can enjoy a pre or post activity in conjunction with the main session. For early morning presentations and briefings, have the delegates meet for a walk in the park or a yoga session to get them inspired and ready to soak in your message. Acro Yoga anyone?
For late afternoon presentations, arrange a social event where delegates can reflect and network together. A cocktail making session is a fun way to integrate the typical “post-conference drinks” into an activity all can enjoy – and yes, mocktails are available!
With some careful consideration, you can plan worthwhile bite-sized conferences that will leave delegates feeling energised and motivated – and you’ll be saving time and money too – bonus!