Think about the last time your team came up with a BRILLIANT IDEA - where was it?
Was it in a meeting or perhaps on a retreat?
Those are the most likely answers because a recent experiment proved the best brainstorming occurs face-to-face, not over video chat or on the phone.
Not only does a face-to-face meeting generate the best ideas, but this experiment conducted by IMEX and the Meetology Group showed that individuals who came together face-to-face were able to brainstorm the most ideas, ideas of better quality and ideas that were more diverse.
How much better is face-to-face? Twenty-nine was the highest number of ideas generated in-person by an experimental pair, which was 50% higher than the phone brainstorm and 70% higher than the video chat.
There's a lot to be said about this data. IMEX's CEO Carina Bauer suggests if a company or organization needs to generate a lot of high-quality, exciting ideas, it needs to bring staff or customers together for an effective and productive brainstorming session. It seems the outcome of the interaction will outweigh any other channel.
Because it's so imperative for people to be connected to work, at home and socially, technology in face-to-face meetings is non-negotiable. Speakers have said goodbye to the days of asking participants to turn off their cell phones.
Instead, speakers and conference organizers are saying...let's use apps, personal devices and social media to make face-to-face meetings more dynamic and interactive. Here are impressive ways that meeting technology can improve face-to-face interaction:
Streamline Q&A - A leadership forum is great for individuals to share ideas and express their opinions. But some individuals in the group may feel timid about addressing certain issues. Organizations are encouraging participation from otherwise timid employees by having them text their ideas or concerns anonymously. It encourages an open discussion among the group when there are options to speak up or text in with responses.
Collaborative whiteboard - Organizations are trading in flip charts for interactive experiences. Each participant uses a tablet and connects to a laptop with the interactive whiteboard program, Smoothboard Air installed. Everyone is able to see the same screen but also collaborate live and add their ideas with their own tablet.
Gamification - Elizabeth Henderson, MPI member and an executive-level director for Meeting Change, suggest choosing a gaming experience that will fulfill what participants want to do most: learn, compete, collaborate or problem-solve. Organizations using gamification as "a journey" for their meeting are choosing games that will help them achieve measurable goals and assimilate the overall story and meeting objectives.
Additionally, to get your participants excited about tools such as games or collaborative white boards, integrate appropriate social media platforms that will further the story. Participants want an outlet to express their ideas or experiences. Whether you're debating on an app, tablet or social media platform, choose one that is most appropriate for the meeting objectives and the audience composition. Remember, you want to keep their attention and boost interaction that already has a large potential to produce the most high-quality and diverse ideas for your organization.