Coming up with fresh and original ideas for meetings and events can be challenging and often exhausting, long before the actual work begins. If you’ve volunteered (or been volunteered) to plan the next “big event” for your company, school, or neighborhood, the challenge will be making the event unique and memorable. So how and where to start?
Don’t solo. Recruit some people you know to help “brainstorm” ideas and delegate tasks. That lessens the burden on you, and planning becomes a social event in itself!
Get inside their heads. Who’s going to attend? How well do you know the participants and how well do they know each other? If this is a small office party, or a family reunion, “getting to know you” has already happened. The trick here is to devise activities that will break up office or family “cliques” and “broaden the horizon”.
With larger, more open-ended events, like a neighborhood block party, community event or a company outing, the opposite is true. Some time and effort should be taken to “break the ice” and bring everyone together. Plan activities that require “teamwork” and interaction, and make sure the groups are diverse; a mix of friends or colleagues and also “new faces”.
The goal is to be creative in your planning. Think “out of the box”, and don’t be afraid to be suggest “outrageous” ideas. Seemingly “silly” suggestions can often lead to realistic and unique solutions and ideas. Creativity is, after all, making the seemingly impossible, possible.
Change the environment. Finally, change makes everything new. New faces mean new friends, and a different location or environment can invigorate what might seem routine. Change the Company or Office party from the familiar workplace or cafeteria environment to a park, Karaoke bar, or miniature golf range.