10 tips for planning town halls & executive briefings

Periods of uncertainty also create anxiety for employees. In the corporate world, town halls and executive briefings to address employee concerns directly are far more likely to be beneficial than comfort animals. Corporate event planners can play a vital role in organizing these interactive meetings.

Town halls vs. executive briefings

Town halls are informal meetings that date back to traditional town meetings in Colonial America. They are an opportunity for leadership teams to provide updates and address employee questions and concerns.

Executive briefings are more formal presentations to convey the direction of the organization and clarify the mission and vision during times of uncertainty.

Here are 10 tips for planning and organizing effective town halls and executive briefings.

1. Select the appropriate design.
If there is a lot of anxiety among employees, the highly interactive and unstructured format of a town hall is likely to yield better results. If there is confusion, an executive briefing will make it possible to convey more information. The trade-off is that question periods are shorter.

2. Determine the best platform.
Town halls and executive briefings can be offered in face-to-face, virtual or hybrid formats. If an organization has many dispersed locations, a virtual or hybrid meeting will ensure consistency of messaging. If you opt for a virtual or hybrid format, it is important to provide vehicles for interaction and a way for participants to obtain answers to their questions.

3. When possible, keep the group size small.
Smaller groups are likely to encourage more participation. If possible, cap the group size at 50 for each meeting. A series of meetings will make this achievable for small-to-medium-sized organizations. Another approach is to begin with a large meeting and move to breakout rooms for discussions and questions.

4. Send out save-the-date notices as soon as a decision has been made to host a town hall or executive briefing.
5. Provide an opportunity for employees to submit questions.

A short online survey via the company’s intranet is the fastest way to this.

6. Select a venue with excellent sight lines.
For example, wider is better than deeper.

7. If budget is a concern, invite employees to “brown bag it.”
8. Use video to ensure consistency in messaging to dispersed locations.

A video by the CEO can be deployed to remote locations via the company intranet or through the distribution of DVDs, thumb drives, etc.

9. Create a safe environment to encourage participation.
This is not the time for partisan politics or scapegoating.

10. Prepare a summary of key questions and answers and distribute it to employees as soon as possible after the town hall or executive briefing.

Source: http://planyourmeetings.com/10-tips-for-planning-town-halls-executive-briefings/

Why An Intimate Wedding May Be For You


One of the biggest decisions a newly married-to-be couple must decide is what size wedding they want to have. The big wedding is always a consideration because of the all-out partying that goes on with so many guests invited and because Hollywood usually shows the massive extravagant wedding, so that’s what people normally think of. But what may occasionally get swept under the rug is the thought of having an intimate wedding. At 3 West Club, we’re here to help you with your wedding day in any way we can whether it’s big or small. So, here, we’d like to bring up some of the positives of hosting an intimate wedding.
  1. You Will Spend One of the Best Days of Your Life with the People Who Matter Most to You
    1. By only inviting close family and friends, you will be able to share this beautiful day with them for years to come over and over again. With a big wedding, a lot of couples end up spending their whole day feeling like they’re running a production where they’re having small talk with everyone and their cousin and having less of a wedding.
    2. The Savings!
      This is a big reason a lot of couples lean towards an intimate wedding. They’re better able to keep track of their expenses and avoid going over-budget to stay less stressed all while keeping the lavishness of their day intact. On top of that, intimate weddings are environment friendly without even trying because less waste is being produced by so many guests and the venue itself.
    3. Don’t Forget To Splurge!
      If you do decide to host an intimate wedding, you likely won’t have to decide between the centerpiece you have always wanted and the centerpiece that will keep you under your budget. What we’re trying to say is: an intimate wedding will let you go all-out on the details and things you have always dreamt of instead of constantly weighing what you can get if you don’t get that and what you can’t get because you got that.
  2. Intimacy Leads To Shorter Timelines
  3. Whether you’re just way too excited to get married that neither nothing nor nobody will make you wait any longer than you have to or you just hate the idea of planning a wedding out from A to Z, a smaller wedding will let you tie the knot in three months instead of a year.
  4. Spare the Awkwardness
  5. 1. You will avoid the uncomfortable task of meeting all these people you have not seen/may not see again for another 10-15 years during your wedding.Instead, with an intimate wedding you will be able to focus on having fun.
    2. There won’t be any awkwardness when trying to explain to the people who are outside your circle of family and friends why they didn’t make the cut of 30 guests. It’s much more difficult to explain to them why they didn’t make the cut of 200 guests. They will have their feelings spared knowing it was an intimate wedding and nothing outrageous.
  6. Go Off the Beaten Path
  7. By hosting an intimate wedding and not having to pay for 200 guests’ dinners, you and your new partner in life can play with the idea of honeymooning somewhere unique. You can go somewhere you may not have been able to ever go if you were to host a massive wedding. Greece? New Zealand? Prague? Finland? Tibet? The options are endless!
Hopefully we shed some light on the upsides to hosting an intimate wedding—but remember—what you do for your wedding day is entirely up to you, not us. Go ahead and have that big wedding you’ve always dreamt of, or take some of the ideas above into consideration. Whatever you decide, we’d be ecstatic to help you plan it!

Source: http://www.intimateweddings.com/blog/20-reasons-small-wedding/
Picture credit: http://www.ajiroan.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/small-intimate-wedding-ideas1.jpg

7 tips for next-level team-building events



Team-building activities can be an essential part of creating a stronger bond amongst co-workers and an effective way of boosting productivity. There’s no reason to think of team building as something that only boosts productivity—there’s much more to it! This means that the idea of team building can potentially be taken up a level, giving employees and employers something more.

There may be some hesitation as to what this will entail, but it’s not something that should worry anybody who is thinking of organizing team-building events. There are some very simple steps that you can take to ensure that your workers get more out of their team-building day than normal. Why not give them a read in order to see if there’s anything that you might not have thought about before?

How to go about taking team building further

Taking team building to the next level isn’t too difficult and can actually be broken down into seven different steps. Some tips may be more valuable than others, but you should aim to reach all of them so that you can be certain that your team-building activities are taken to the next level.

Ask your workers for ideas

When it comes to planning such events, there’s no doubt going to be some disgruntlement from certain employees. Some will prefer outdoor team-building activities and games, whereas others would prefer to stay away from that and pursue indoor activities. Instead of deciding on something yourself, take it to the next level by getting some input from workers.

Get your workers to take a more active role in organizing

As an extension of the previous tip, actually get the workers to help you in organizing something. Even though it might sound like just an excuse to get help in what could be a rather laborious task, it is, in fact, a sneaky way of taking team building to the next level. It will almost be like a challenge they are given without even realizing it as they have to work together to actually organise the day out.

Ask your workers to document the day

It’s all well and good to arrange a day of team-building events, but there is always the possibility that it could ultimately lead to nothing. If the participants think of it as just a “day off” they might risk losing/forgetting all the positive contributions that they make that day and fail to bring lessons back to the workplace. In order to combat this, have each of them write down their experience.

Make them step out of the comfort zone

One of these days should involve a task that isn’t in the regular itinerary for the workers…really try to enforce this. For example, if they are used to being stuck in a boring office all day, arrange a sports day or a sailing activity. If they are normally outdoors, then bring them in for a task of chocolate making, corporate cookery or even pottery sculpting.

Test their knowledge

This might sound a little harsh, but there’s nothing wrong with making sure your employees are in top form when it comes to general and specific knowledge. If you are serious about taking the idea of team building to the next level, then it’s only fair that you get some sort of result. Carefully construct a team-building quiz with questions aimed at getting the answers you want to show what they really know.

Test their strengths and weaknesses

Ordinarily, team-building days are quite generic and your employees will discover their strengths and where they need to improve by themselves. However, you should deliberately organize an activity for which you know they struggle already to see how they handle the situation. The way they react could help you see for yourself where they currently stand.

Conduct a survey

Similarly to having employees write about the day, it’s a good idea to conduct a survey afterwards, just so that you get an idea about what the employees really thought about the events and whether there is anything you can do to improve and take it even further.

There are numerous ways in which team-building activities for adults can be taken to the next level. Those in charge of organizing such days should give these ideas some food for thought as they could prove worthwhile in getting the most out of employees. It will mean that you will also be tested since you will have to provide more creative input.

Nobody can deny that events such as team-building days can help to boost productivity, but that doesn’t mean that it has to stop there. Companies should always aim to take things to the next level, no matter what. So why not go down this route when it comes to team building? Your employees are worth it and it could prove beneficial all around.

Source: http://planyourmeetings.com/7-tips-for-next-level-team-building-events/
Picture Credit: http://www.floridaescaperooms.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/teambuilding-main-1.jpg

5 Reasons Why Meeting Face-To-Face Is Best



In most situations, having a meeting with someone in-person is the most effective and efficient way to communicate and get work done. However, in today’s business environment where many businesses’ functions span time zones--and even nations--meeting in-person isn’t always doable. This is where we get into face-to-face meetings where apps like Skype and FaceTime are pivotal, because seeing someone as opposed to just hearing them can make a world of difference.


Everyone is familiar with the troubles and frustrations with telephone conference calls. Someone is doing something else while “on the call” or has the call on mute and doesn’t respond when called upon. And of course, the dreaded roll call to start off a call with the frustrating “Is Nancy here?” [Nancy is], “Is Alex here?” [Alex isn’t] etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

This is where face-to-face meetings come in.

1. You must “be at the meeting”
With face-to-face meetings, there is no way someone can multitask or put the call on mute because what they are doing/focused on can be easily seen by everyone else who is on the call. The saving grace here is that there is no roll call to be done, because everyone who is on the call can be seen immediately from the get-go.

2. Body language is rampant
Spring boarding off #1, each person’s body language is evident while in the meeting. As anyone will attest to, it is much easier to get your point across in nearly every situation if you can be seen. Humor comes across as funnier, seriousness and promptness are far better received, and friendliness is more apparent, because inflection can only go so far.

3. The material is obvious
What “material” is referencing here is the medium in which information is being passed through. Documents can be visually seen and clarified between parties and, depending on what app you choose to use, screen sharing can be extremely helpful in coordinating information and documents.

4. More participation
When on a conference call, like it or not, there is bound to be at least one person who is being quieter than they should be. This could end up leading to poor assumptions or decisions being made on a lack of information or insight that that one person may know. If that person would have spoken up, a whole different decision could have been made. Whether it be anxiety, unfamiliarity, or cautiousness that keeps that one person from speaking up over the phone, this lacking participation must be avoided at all costs. Face-to-face meetings almost force people to participate because they can see everyone else and adjust themselves to (what is hopefully) a welcoming group of coworkers. Now, no one can sit in the corner and be ignored.

5. Time savings
With fewer disruptions and more inclusion in terms of people and information, there is a greater ability to breeze through the meetings and, likely, a greater urgency to do so. This fifth point isn’t really its own reason but more of a final compilation of the previous four. Nevertheless, it’s worth explicitly noting as another pro to face-to-face meetings.

So when you’re looking to have your next in-person or face-to-face meeting, consider one of our spaces here at the 3 West Club to allow you to do so!


Ideas parlayed from: https://www.forbes.com/sites/ellevate/2015/02/20/why-face-to-face-meetings-are-so-important/#19c8b0f5aee9
https://timemanagementninja.com/2012/10/5-reasons-why-meeting-face-to-face-is-best/

Who are your meeting stakeholders and why are they so important?



In order to plan an effective meeting, you need to understand why it’s happening and what would make it successful. That’s where your meeting stakeholders come in.

Simply put, stakeholders are any group that is affected by the meeting. They tend to fall into two groups:

1. Internal stakeholders
2. External stakeholders


Internal stakeholders

Internal stakeholders are people who work within your organizational structure. They can be your events team, co-workers, your boss, your boss’ boss and/or the board of directors.

Internal stakeholders are the ones who can tell you about:

The meeting’s history
Its purpose
What it should achieve
Who it’s for
What’s worked in the past
What hasn’t worked in the past
What should be different this year
What success would look like


If the event is new and there’s no history or if they can’t articulate what success would look like, ask them:

Who are we trying to attract?
What will they get from this event that they can’t get anywhere else?
How do you want people to feel while they’re on-site with us?
What do you want them to do after this event is over?


That information should give you a good idea of what your stakeholders’ main goals for meeting are, which in turn will help you create S.M.A.R.T. objectives and calculate the ROI for your event.

External stakeholders

External stakeholders are people that you don’t work with, but who have some relationship to the event and can be positively or negatively affected by its outcomes. They can be your sponsors, exhibitors, vendors, paying attendees, association members, speakers and industry thought leaders, among others.

Historical data from surveys, testimonials, sales numbers and past marketing campaigns can help you identify what your external stakeholders like, dislike and what they hope to achieve by participating in your event. That information will influence:

The content of your meeting
Your marketing and communication strategy
Your sales strategy
The participant’s onsite experience


Not all stakeholders are created equal, however, that’s why you need to prioritize their goals and objectives.

Source: http://planyourmeetings.com/who-are-your-meeting-stakeholders-and-why-are-they-so-important/
Picture Credit: http://blackseatourism.net/new/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Stakeholders1.jpg
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