I just got off a customization call with my client, whom I will be speaking for this upcoming fall. They are so excited! I am excited! The one thing I could sense in their tone during our discussion was the combination of excitement and some nervousness about coming together once again. This group hadn’t held an in person gathering in over a year and a half. They interviewed countless speakers for this event because they wanted someone who could help create an experience of celebration and recognition. They selected me because they felt my speech would create a fun and optimistic experience for their team while also equipping them with tools they need to move forward in the most positive direction.
To help calm their nerves and offer some encouragement, I shared a few insights to help them come together and create an amazing experience for their team.
1. Don’t over think things. Have you ever laid in your bed at night trying to turn off an overactive brain? When we overthink things, we actually create more stress for ourselves and those around us. Overthinking will zap the joy out of the celebration. You don’t want that. You do not need to achieve perfection in your first meeting back because there is no such thing as perfect event. In over 25 years of speaking to thousands of groups I have never once seen an event run 100% perfectly. The key to having the best event possible is to be flexible, address challenges as they pop up in a calm and efficient manor, and enjoy yourself. Your attitude will set the tone for the event.
2. Keep it fun and make it valuable. If this is your first back together event, be sure to create a fun, memorable, and valuable experience for your group. I think everyone is needing a little mental break from all the challenges they have endured over the past year but they also need new tools and strategies to work effectively in the current environment we are working within. It is more important now than ever to be able to maintain a positive attitude regardless of the circumstances. My job is not to tell you to be positive and share a few funny stories, anyone could do that. My job is to teach you how to stay positive in any situation and then give you the practical tools you need to take charge of your own attitude every day. And yes, of course we will laugh as well. When you are able to take control of your attitude you are not only able to make a positive difference in your own life but in every single person you interact with lives.
3. Be smart. If you watch the news for even a minute you know we still aren’t out of the woods with Covid-19, safety is and should always be the highest priority. Create a safe environment by following the most current and best safety practices for in-person meetings. So, if your group is sitting auditorium style, let everyone know to skip 2 or 3 seats to create some healthy distance. Have hand sanitizer easily accessible. Work with local cleaning and sanitation company who are experts in creating and maintaining safe environments for events. Clearly communicate with your team what steps you are taking to provide a safe environment so they feel comfortable attending your meeting and also share what they can do as individuals to keep themselves and those around them safe.
4. Make the best of it. Communicate to your team that as an organization you are adopting a new attitude and company culture so that you are prepared for whatever may come next and it all starts with attitude. What if things change? You make the best of it. What if we have to move our event from in-person back to virtual? You make the best of it. There are positives in any situation your job is to identify those positives and then build on them. Look for the opportunity not the problem.
Let’s be real, life is and will never be short of things to complain about. Things are always changing and change doesn’t always necessarily work in our favor. So what can you do? You can complain about things or you can make the best of things. Complaining only makes things worse, have you ever heard someone say, “I faced this unexpected challenged and after I whined and complained and made myself and everyone around me miserable it magically fixed itself”? Making the best of things may not change the situation, but it will change you and how you deal with that is happening.
Even if you have to do a hybrid event, where some attend in-person and some watch virtual, you make the best of it. If things change last minute, you make the best of it and that is the key to not only meeting your goals but exceeding them.
This simple, yet powerful attitude helped me sustain a successful business during a time when my industry completely shut down – no meetings, no events. In fact, in almost every state it was illegal to even have an event. Instead of complaining, I made the best of it. We built a creative and visually interesting studio in my home and created one of the most exciting and memorable virtual presentations on the planet. That is no exaggeration – just ask anyone who attended one. While everyone was basically getting burned out on virtual meetings, I was creating an experience that was different than everyone else and actually got people excited about attending a virtual session. How did I achieve this – by making the best of it! Most groups had me open and close their virtual sessions because I was able to set the tone for their entire day and then give them something to look forward to at the end of the day. My favorite compliment was when groups told me they had double the attendance for the second session and they actually had people asking to be on the virtual call instead of avoiding “just another zoom call”.
I hope this short blog helps you to start the process of creating an unforgettable experience for you team. If you would like more information on one of my keynotes or to learn how I can create a customized experience for your team feel free to email my booking office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to email me as well with any questions at email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you!