Maybe you’re not always what you eat but emerging studies do bolster the theory that eating the right foods can have a big impact on how your brain works. This becomes evident at corporate meetings and conferences where attendees are usually served high carb and white flour foods in breakfasts, lunches and snacks. The result? A quick sugar rush, followed by a sharp crash, often leading to unfocussed, sleepy and all-around cranky participants.
As Andrea Sullivan, president of BrainStrength Systems states, “For a long time, we’ve focused on what we should not eat. This shift is about focusing on what we should eat to produce desired results.” Rather than the traditional meeting menus, the goal should be to provide foods which aid the brain in learning and improve attention skills. In the article, Ms. Sullivan goes on to describe the benefits of a more balanced offering; “eggs are rich in choline, which aids healthy neurotransmission and enhances our ability to pay attention, form new memories, and make decisions.”
That doesn’t mean cutting out sweets altogether though. Instead, it’s about providing healthier choices with foods that enhance your program rather than work against it. Dark chocolate, for example, has been proven to have a positive effect on cognitive performance even for hours after consumption. Although the lower costs of the sugar-laden foods are attractive for keeping within your budgets, when you look at the overall cost of its effects, are you really getting such a good deal? After all, what good does it do to fly someone in, pay for their lodging and participation, only to have them zone out after a sugar buzz, and subsequent crash?
Instead of pastries and cinnamon rolls, try serving quiche, whole grain breads and some fresh berries. High protein salads with light vinaigrettes are a great alternative for lunch. So are salmon and mackerel, both of which contain the fatty acid, omega 3, proven to rev up your thinking power. For snacks, serving nuts, yogurt, and fruits will prove more effective than a sugary cookie or cake.
Although it’s not anything we don’t already know in our personal lives, carrying that thinking into the business meeting arena may show returns much greater than a snazzy presentation or a captivating guest speaker can ever provide. Besides, how likely will it be that your attendees will remember your message if they’re too busy trying to stay awake?
Tags: Attendees, Attention Skills, Boosting Brain Power, Brain foods, Choline, conference participation, Conferences, Corporate Meetings, Dark Chocolate, Desired Results, Eggs, Flour, guest speakers, Meeting Planners, Ms Sullivan, Mso, Neurotransmission, New Memories, Orphan, Positiv, Snacks, Style Definitions, Style Name, Sugar Rush, Sweets, Times New Roman
Speaking of neck support…Travel pillows are not a new invention for the weary traveler, but how many are made of memory foam, come with a drawstring for a more customized fit AND have a pocket for your mp3 player? It’s the perfect combination for getting sleep on the plane when the passenger next to you snores louder than a lumberjack with a chainsaw.
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Over the past couple of years, economic conditions and the state of the business world have created a corporate culture for many companies where a fun and relaxed atmosphere was “outlawed”. Any resemblances of fun or enjoyment were viewed as lack of focus or dedication. In the end, employee morale suffered and stress levels rose to new heights.
More and more, research is proving that FUN can actually be a good thing for the overall health of a company. As Maureen McKeon quotes in her article How to get from good to great – the shocking truth, “an increasing body of research demonstrates that when leaders lighten up and create a fun workplace, there is a significant increase in the level of employee trust, creativity and communication — leading to lower turnover, higher morale and a stronger bottom line.”
For event and meeting planners, fun translates into greater participation and increased overall satisfaction from attendees. After all, who wants to sit all day in a cold, sterile meeting room listening to one monotonous session after another then lunching on the infamous rubber chicken? Instead, try spicing things up with exotic locations, fine dining, and a bevy of recreational activities to keep the “juices flowing”. Hosting a corporate function on a cruise ship might just be an ideal, economic way to inject FUN into a stale program and create excitement before it even begins.
It’s time to put the fun back in FUNction and remember…nobody ever complains when they’re having a good time!
Tags: Bevy, Business World, Corporate Culture, Cruise Ship, Dirty Word, Economic Conditions, Employee Morale, Employee Trust, Fine Dining, Having A Good Time, Juices, Mckeon, Mdash, Meeting Planners, Meeting Room, Recreational Activities, Relaxed Atmosphere, Rubber Chicken, Shocking Truth, Stress Levels
When many people start planning meetings at sea they forget to remember that the meetings are as much for the company as they are for the participants. The participants are usually the main focus of the meetings at sea, so they should certainly never be forgotten in the shuffle. Here is how participants might view the value of a meeting at sea:
Tags: Advantage, Amazing Place, Cruise Liner, Cruise Ships, Focus, Fresh Coffee, Many People, Meeting At Sea, Nbsp, Office Routine, Participants, Pools, Poor Idea, Sea People, Shuffle, Spinning Room, Sunrise, Sunset
Many meeting planners get to go on company sponsored incentive cruises as one of the perks of the job but it is also often the product of the belief that a meeting planner does need to be present for meetings or events to be well executed. Here’s what a meeting planner on a cruise should consider doing to feel and actually be useful:
• Meeting with the concierge/host/hostess and restaurant managers on a frequent basis. It might be worth stopping by and making sure that all is well and that guest requests are being met. In some cases it might be possible to take a small portion of the load off the staff and look like an all-star by fulfilling very complex or complicated requests.
• Distribute promotional material and/or schedules. If there are materials that need to be distributed or messages that need to be sent, then it might pay to get on top of those chores as early and as frequently as possible.
• Ask what else needs to be done. You might be feeling like a fifth wheel, but if you want to be invited back on the next corporate cruise then you probably need to seem as useful and as busy as possible.
• Stay out of sight and out of trouble. If there is truly little to do other than enjoy yourself then do so in a quiet manner and do not stay in any one place too long as it may make you seem as if you have nothing to do. This is certainly not the impression that you want to give.
Tags: All Star, Belief That, Chores, Concierge, Corporate Cruise, Cruise Planners, Fifth Wheel, Frequent Basis, Guest Requests, Hostess, Incentive Cruises, Job, Meeting Planner, Meeting Planners, Out Of Sight, Promotional Material, Quiet Manner, Restaurant Managers, Small Portion, Wheel
Planning meetings is a tried and true practice that evolves in large jumps more often than it does in small increments. The cruise meeting is a great example of this as it is an entirely new format that is barely a few decades old. Despite that many meeting planners do not truly understand the difference in planning cruise meetings, such as:
Tags: Activity Directors, Boss, Concierge, Cruise Liner, Cruise Ships, Cruises, Decades, Disappointment, Group Cruise, Increments, Massages, Meeting Planners, Meeting Planning, Minute Requests, Mixers, Participants, Personal Training, Perspective, Restaurants, Top Brass
When meetings between different departments, groups, or even entities start to become less productive then it is time to try some new techniques. Here are the top four ways to break through meeting roadblocks:
1. Consider a change of venue – Sometimes the same meeting places will produce the same results. This is especially true whenever the meeting is held at a non-neutral venue. Consider moving a meeting to a neutral venue if there is even the slightest possibility that the big deal is being held up because of some psychological slight regarding the demand that one party meet on the other party’s turf.
2. Consider a change of time – Some people are morning people, others are decidedly not morning people. If the meeting is being held in the morning then there is a possibility that mental juices are not flowing as fast as possible or that attitudes are not what they should be.
3. Consider a single-sided table – Sometimes a single-sided table reduces the subtle subconscious tendencies to view those sitting on the other side of the table as adversaries. Instead, everyone should be facing the same direction looking at a whiteboard or other presentation device to work as cooperative problem solvers.
4. Add an espresso shot or go with a half-decaf blend – If the meeting is seemingly held up by a lack of energy then give the coffee an extra boost of espresso. If the meeting is getting a little too serious, consider mixing decaf in with regular coffee to give the participants a little less edge.
Tags: Adversaries, Attitudes, Change Of Time, Coffee, Cooperative Problem, Entities, Espresso, Juices, Lack Of Energy, Meeting Places, Moving, Neutral Venue, Participants, Presentation Device, Problem Solvers, Roadblocks, Tendencies, Turf
Tablet computers have been around for roughly two decades in one form or another, but they are starting to get a lot of attention thanks to the iPad. Many meeting planners are starting to wonder whether or not tablet computers might be a good match for their business needs. While some tablets might be a good match for business needs, the iPad might not be a good fit for all offices given its media-centric and hip image. Of course, some offices might be the ideal location to use the iPAd, especially if Macs are used throughout the office and already handle the scheduling chores. Failing that, look for a tablet that can:
• Handle easy input and possibly even handwriting recognition. In most cases it is more important to take quick notes for later, so be sure that the note taking capacity is very fast.
• A capacitive touch screen is very important for many reasons so do not look for any tablet without touch screen technology. Multi-touch is highly preferred.
• Battery life is also important as is the method of charging. If an app has a battery life that won’t last the day then there is going to be more than a little bit of trouble. If it can synch and charge at once, then the problem might not be so bad. WiFi synching is also a very desirable trait.
• Don’t forget the apps. A professional scheduling app that links to Exchange is very important because just about every third party professional scheduling app does the same. Exchange is where data is exchanged if you will forgive the pun.
• Don’t forget the apps! A tablet without apps that prove useful is just a hunk of metal, silicon and plastic.
Tags: Apps, Attention Thanks, Battery Life, Bull Battery, Capacitive Touch Screen, Chores, Decades, Desirable Trait, Handwriting Recognition, Hunk, Ipad, Little Bit, Match, Meeting Planners, Pun, Rsquo, Silicon, Tablet Computers, Third Party, Touch Screen Technology