by Matt Alderton | February 19, 2018
For many meeting attendees, coffee breaks are a welcome chance to squeeze in some extra networking in between breakouts. For introverts, however, they are a surefire excuse to feel awkward, according to Sharon Fisher, CEO of Play With a Purpose, an interactive learning company.
"Studies show that 40 to 50 percent of meeting attendees are introverts, yet the majority of meetings are designed for extroverts. One thing you will never hear introverts say is, 'Coffee breaks are my favorite part of the meeting,'" Fisher tells Successful Meetings Senior Editor Andrea Doyle. "One of the first things introverts or shy attendees will do is pull out their smartphone during a break."

To shake up your coffee breaks in ways that will engage all attendees -- including introverts -- consider organizing activities during them, Fisher advises. Ideas, for example, include "Walk-the-Wall" activities like an "I'm Daydreaming of…" room. 

"Here, attendees can doodle on a wall about their dreams and aspirations," reports Doyle, who says another idea from Fisher is "creating a 'flash learning mob' where passionate conversations about your sessions and content can take place."

One final idea: Gamify your coffee break by encouraging meeting participants to network to earn points. Doing so makes it easier for introverts to meet their peers by giving them a built-in ice breaker.

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Questions, Comments, Suggestions?
Contact Successful Meetings Editor in Chief Vincent Alonzo with your "How To" ideas.