Happy Friday and Welcome to August! Along with the school break and vacations, the summer months often bring business meetings and conferences. While many times these are interesting and beneficial, sometimes they just drag on and on. If you find yourself at a conference that is starting to drag, here are a few exercises you might try to regain your focus.
THINGS TO DO DURING A DULL CONFERENCE
- Pass the Note – make a note and address it to “Larry” making sure no one at your table or close to you is actually named “Larry.” Give it to the person next to you and ask him/her to pass it along. Try with different names and see which name gets passed the furthest.
- Assign the Cast for “Harry Potter and the Deathly Conference”- you are cast in the roll of the young hero Harry Potter, look around the room and cast the various roles of good guys (Ron & Hermione) and bad guys (Draco & Valdemort).
- Guess Age and Weight – make a list of people around the room, then guess their age and weight. At the end of the day check with each one check the accuracy of your estimates..
- Life is a Musical – imagine that this conference is a musical, and then decide which one fits best – West Side Story, Guys & Dolls, Camelot, Sweeney Todd, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog, Little Shop of Horrors?
- Take Advantage of the Question & Answer Time to Ask Those Burning Questions You Always Wanted to Know the Answer To But Have Never Found Anyone Who Could Provide a Good Answer – like “What Exactly is a Balk?” “What Happens if PH Isn’t Balanced?” Or “If a Product Kills 99.9% of Germs, How Nasty is that 00.1% That it Doesn’t Kill?”
- Pain Points – when the afternoon rolls around, eventually your eyes start to get heavy. Combat the fatigue by finding the best places to pinch to keep yourself awake – for starters try the back of your knee, the inside of your elbow and your ear lobes. Once you have found the best places for you, try on the nearest person to who has a bobbing head.
- Water Bead Races – most meeting rooms have water pitchers and they always tend to “sweat.” Pick two water beads on the pitcher and watch them race to the bottom. Cheer loudly for your favorite.
- Bathroom Breaks – keep track of people who leave for bathroom breaks. At the end of the day present awards for shortest, longest and most frequent.
- Mind Control – practice mind control on the person sitting in front of you. Concentrate, stare at the back of his/her head and see if you can get them to scratch his/her head, take a drink of water or cluck like a chicken.
- Mentos – Always make sure you have Mentos with you for long meetings, then at break time look for someone who just opened a soft drink and plop a couple of Mentos in the can or bottle. This one is best done if the person will be several seats away from you.
- Mint-ball – most meeting rooms have a glass at each chair and some sort of mints around. Take a mint and if you can toss it into a glass one table in front. Once you have mastered this, try two tables up, then three; so how far you can go.
- Pen Sculptures – there are usually pens on the tables, gather as many as you can and use them like Lincoln Logs and see what you can create.
- Cell Phone Wave – call someone else who is at the conference, preferably on the other side of the room. When the phone is answered stand up look around and then wave at the other person profusely. You get extra points if they will stand up and wave back.
- Bonus Team Activity – this one is a great team builder that works if your training is at a hotel. During the break choose teams, then go through the hotel and see which team can collect the most “Do Not Disturb Signs.”
Thought for the Week
The man who is too old to learn was probably always too old to learn. ~Henry S. Haskins