While most of your planning likely addresses what happens inside the meeting room, that doesn't mean breaks should be an afterthought. Meeting breaks provide the opportunity for attendees to interact outside of the day's curated sessions, and what happens there can make the meeting memorable. Attendees also need mental rejuvenation to process what they've learned and recharge for the next session.
To optimize your attendees' productivity, you should establish comfortable and stimulating break environments. Following are tips for creating brain‐boosting breaks at your next meeting.
Embrace Relaxed Connectivity
Attendees will look forward to having free time during breaks, so create a separate space to accommodate this. A recharge station away from the main meeting space will allow attendees to both charge their devices and mentally unwind.
Design a small lounge area with comfortable chairs and ottomans centered around charging tables. Configure furnishings close enough so that guests can engage with others, but with enough space to allow for private reflection. Attendees will appreciate the connected break space and feel re-energized to tackle the next session.
Traditional conference seating is anything but comfortable. Instead, incorporate seating options in soft textures and soothing colors to channel the Danish "hygge" lifestyle trend.
Green velvet sofas paired with faux fur throw pillows and plush area rugs can help soften the room and provide another layer of comfort. Use warm and natural light to enhance the setting and accessorize with organic elements for a tranquil design. Creating an atmosphere where your attendees feel relaxed will allow for productive breaks between meetings.
Nothing boosts energy and engagement like a little friendly competition. During meeting downtime, consider hosting a fun team‐building activity that will allow attendees to interact beyond the work‐related sessions.
Plan to have a wide variety of activities, from simple ice-breaker games to more challenging obstacle courses. Attendees will love the chance to take their minds off the meeting for a moment of fun. Offer communal seating for an intimate fireside moment in the break area, so attendees can continue socializing after the fun has stopped.
Putting thought into the downtime of meeting breaks can improve the entire experience for attendees. By following these tips you can ensure attendees will feel refreshed and ready to conquer the day.
Kevin Dana is executive director of marketing and product development at CORT Events, an event furniture company.