Just as it’s usually a good idea to leave religion and politics out of all discussions, these hot-button topics should probably be avoided to ensure happy meetings. (SMERF meetings excluded, of course.)
This week, Catholic News Service released Pope Francis’ top 10 tips for a happier life. Upon further review, Smart Meetings has adapted the pope’s list with a few tweaks to present 10 tips for happy meetings.
Live and let live.
Remember that you’re not going to make everyone happy. That grumpy person in the corner came to your event with a bad attitude; it has nothing to do with running out sliders and coconut shrimp during appetizer hour.
Be giving of yourself to others.
This is a given for meeting professionals. When someone needs a cab you better have the number on speed dial. Also make sure you know the Wi-Fi password because this question is going to come up often. And if the room is too cold be prepared to give up your jacket.
Proceed calmly in life.
When the fire alarm goes off, you must lead attendees to the exits, not cuss because your keynote speaker is only two minutes into her speech. When you are asked for the 50th time to adjust the temperature in the General Session, calmly walk toward the hotel engineer you have stationed at the thermostat.
A healthy sense of leisure.
Take advantage of the latest trend that features exercise breaks between sessions. Golfing and boating are also great for groups even if the word leisure is not in your event vocabulary.
Sundays should be holidays.
OK─so many events begin on Sundays, which means planners should always serve wine and champagne at opening functions since wine is considered holy water and champagne is the holiday beverage of choice.
Find innovative ways to create dignified jobs for young people.
The millennials are making their presence felt big time. Put someone young and cute at the entrance to welcome attendees in hopes of making everyone believe that they won’t run into the same old people as last year.
Respect and take care of nature.
For those who need a little more information on sustainability, consider signing up for Smart Meetings’ webinar on July 14. The topic is “Effective Tips to Strategize and Organize a Green Meeting.” Always do your part by recycling the wine bottles from your hotel room every morning before heading to the General Session.
Stop being negative.
No coffee, no problem. Bring out Bloody Marys and Screwdrivers during breakfast and no one will remember that they had to drink decaf for their third cup of coffee.
Don’t proselytize; respect others’ beliefs.
If someone doesn’t want to participate in the CSR project leave them alone. Honestly, they will ruin everyone else’s enthusiasm to give back.
Work for peace.
Every planner strives for a civil meeting, but remember that peace is always proactive and dynamic. You want people to get along, but you don’t want things to be boring.
Peace out! Hope all your meetings are happy meetings.