Dave’s Fables: A good learning/meeting environment is often hard to find!

presentationNothing will replace quality, face-to-face communication. It is still the best means to connect with people, motivate, and modify corporate culture or team member behaviors. 

For the better part of two decades, I have been standing, teaching, sharing, and most importantly, observing individuals in all kinds of learning environments. I know what it takes to deliver an effective message in a timely manner. 

Limited service to full service luxury hotels, resorts and event houses, are all fighting for meetings, both large and small. You would think that meeting space providers, especially the major brands, would know that the technological requirements are increasing, as are consumer expectations. Yes décor of the meeting space itself is important, but for many it is not the brass and glass we are looking for … it’s the hard and soft technology offerings and conveniences that will set you apart from your competition.

What is not acceptable in today’s world of meeting space?

  • Charging for Wi-Fi in the meeting space.  I think I will have my meeting in your lobby … where it is free.
  • LCD projectors are only acceptable if hung from the ceiling – the consumer should never be able to make shadow puppets or scorch their retinas. 
  • Projection screens should come down from the ceiling or be permanently wall mounted – forget the old tripod screens with the one leg that sticks out, just waiting to trip someone.  My grandparents used that technology to show their vacation slides – it is so old school.
  • Smaller board rooms or breakouts – go with a flat panel or plasma screens.  If you have the old-square-200 pound televisions on rolling carts – call Goodwill.
  • If the consumer has to turn the lights out so the audience can see the presentation – it is time to upgrade your LCDs.
  • If your LCD projector requires the presenter to modify their computer’s resolution – fire your AV Company.
  • If you are using the rolling table with the black skirt, that was originally designed for an overhead projector, stop it … it went by the wayside along with the mullet hair-do.
  • Flip charts are designed to write on – easels are designed to hold signs … if you put a flip chart pad on an easel … wrong on many levels.  If the colored markers you supply, promote euphoria (brain damage) when you smell them – change brands.
  • Pens are important – don’t cheap-out with pencils – especially not the half-size golf pencils.
  • Water pitchers on the table take up too much space and they sweat. Try this – have someone put one on your desk, an hour before you arrive to work, and see how you like it.  They now sell water in bottles … line them up everywhere, and the people will love you.
  • The wall covering in the meeting – masking tape needs to stick to them.  If my breakout posters start falling halfway through my program, rest assured, I will use thumbtacks.
  • If your banquet chairs (stack chairs) give participants “rock bottom” in less than 1.5 hours, it is time for some new stuffing.

So if you’re tired of paying top dollar for a meeting room that doesn’t live up to your presentation – demand better!  Hopefully the meeting planners of the world will get the message, if more of us speak up.

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