Hi there! If you're new here and like this article consider following us on twitter and our Meeting and Event Tips facebook page to keep up with our new content.

In a previous blog post we showed that boardrooms can take advantage of design and transcend function to become works of art. But what about the meetings that take place in these rooms? Is there any room for originality there? After doing a little digging we believe the answer is yes. We’ve found some truly unique meeting ideas that, though they might seem bit ridiculous at first, could serve as an inspiration to those look to plan meeting that transcends the usual PowerPoint presentations and paper shuffling.

Here they are:

Meeting Idea #5: Hold the Meeting Underwater

In October 2009, feeling the need for a more unique venue, the Mr. Mohamed Nasheed, president of the Maldives, held a meeting underwater. Here he is below signing papers in full scuba gear.

While this certainly might not be an idea any of our readers may replicate any time soon, for president Nasheed, it served his purposes admirably. The Maldives, so we found out, happen to be one of the the lowest lying countries in the world, and is likely to be submerged in the event of rising sea levels due to global warming. While we imagine it wasn't a very productive meeting in conventional terms, President Nasheed's choice of venue made a strong statement about the issues that concerned him and his country most.

Meeting Idea #4: Fall Asleep on Purpose

While it isn't unusual to see someone nodding out during a meeting, John Quincy Adams, while serving as a member of congress, abandoned all discretion and made sessions of congress his own private nap time.

Anthony Hopkins as John Quincy Adams in the Steven Spielberg film Amistad

While this hardly seems like an effective way to participate in a meeting, Adams wasn't actually sleeping, but he was listening to his political opponents whisper their plans and strategies from more than 50 feet away.

Unless you have superhuman hearing, this is generally a very difficult thing to do, but Adams, being a student of optics and acoustics  took advantage of a peculiar acoustic phenomenon whereby sound can bounce off a domed ceiling and be heard if you position yourself in the right place.

While you might be hard pressed to find a venue with unique acoustics such as the Old House of Congress Building, it doesn't mean that you shouldn't learn as much about a venue where you hold meetings as possible. Who knows what advantages could be discovered.

Meeting Idea #3 Meet on a seven person bike

Source: conferencebike.com

While the conference cycle may not be ideal for many kinds of meetings, it can be a great way to stimulate creative ideas in order to solve problems. Psychological studies have already shown that novelty (new venues, new situations) can lead to more creative thinking, which makes the conference cycle an ideal choice for creative problem solving with a small team.

Meeting Idea #2 Hug Dots

At Mensa, the high IQ society, meetings are often held where members play games, watch movies, discuss interesting topics and take turns speaking about their areas of expertise. Oh, and there’s also spontaneous hugging involved.

Hugging at mensa meetings is intended to bring members closer together. Some members, however, are very particular about other who invade their personal space. These individuals are encouraged to place red dots on their nametags to indicate that they don’t want to be hugged. Those who wear yellow dots can be hugged but you must ask them first, and those with green dots can be hugged at any time.

Source: discoverblogs.com

While this might seem like an absurd idea, reserved for the socially awkward, it does serve a purpose. It creates an environment where hugging strangers is more socially acceptable and thus more likely to happen while at the same time providing others who are less hug-friendly to protect their personal space.

Meeting idea #1: Have your Boss Appear in a Sitcom

This is exactly what Warren Buffet, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway did for his company's annual shareholder's meeting. The creators of NBC's The office, put together a five minute scene where Warren Buffet visits the Dunder Mifflin Scranton Branch office. While the clip is unfortunately under lock and key somewhere at the Berkshire Hathaway offices, Buffet also agreed to appear in a cameo scene in the actual show. Here he is in an interview for the replacement of the Scranton branch manager, Michael Scott:

While appearing in a sitcom isn't the most practical idea for most company owners, it may be interesting to do something similar to show to employees that their fearless leader has a sense of humor.


What other strange or outlandish meeting ideas have you come across?

Want to learn more about planning a meeting? Check out our new Event Planning Guide!

It's a fact: the best performing spaces on eVenues generate somewhere between $10 - $15k in new revenue per year. We looked into what set these venues apart from the others and realized that there were really only a few small differences. We've organized these findings into 5 easy to implement tips that should not only improve your eVenues experience, but also possibly lead to more bookings.

Here's the breakdown:

1. How the right photos can lead to 2 to 3 times more bookings
2. Increase booking conversions by choosing the right venue contact
3. Often away from your desk? Be sure to set up booking notifications via cell phone
4. Why venue reviews are important and how to get them easily
5. Make it easier for customers to find and view your venue profile page

How the right photos can lead to 2 to 3 times more bookings

Did you know that having professional photos on your profile can lead to a higher rate of booking? Industry studies have shown that great photos can lead to 2 to 3 times more bookings than the market average. While hiring a professional photographer is a great way to go, we've provided some simple guidelines for photos that will make your venue's profile stand out from the rest.

Include photos with people in them  - Photos which include people in them can help the customer visualize their meeting and ultimately book the space. Not only that, but photos showing the venue in use shows that the space has been rented out before. This can also lead to a significant boost in trust in you and your venue.

Show the entrance/exterior to the meeting room or site -  Venue renters want to ensure the venue looks nice and accessible from the outside so they can make a good first impression on those who are attending the meeting or event they plan to host.

Make sure that your image is cropped to the correct dimensions and is high resolution - Ensure that your photo is taken with a camera that has at least 8 MegaPixels of resolution. Many of the latest cell phone cameras have 8 MegaPixels and above. After you take the picture, be sure to use an image editor like IrfanView to crop and resize it to the optimal 600x377 pixels. By doing this you'll ensure that the photo doesn't get automatically re-sized when it gets uploaded, and thus could look skewed.

Show pictures with different room configurations - Showcase the versatility of your space by providing pictures of varying room configurations.

Avoid timestamps on photos - Timestamps date photos so that any profile more than a year old may get less bookings because the customer isn't sure whether or not the photos are out of date.

Increase booking conversions by choosing the right venue contact

When it comes to customers renting out venues, quick response time after a booking request is made is extremely important. Even a few hours delay can mean a lost booking.

Chances are, however, renting out your rooms is not your main business. You want to ensure that the right person from your organization handles the bookings. When choosing your venue's primary email contact, be sure to pick the person who will be able to respond most quickly. This person could be an office manager or receptionist, the director of sales and marketing or catering manager for a hotel, or sometimes the venue owners themselves. If you know you won't be able to keep track of the venue bookings yourself, but still want to receive booking notifications, you can add yourself as an alternate contact so that you can still keep tabs of bookings while concentrating on other matters.

Finally, if you have a group email address like "team@example.com" you can ensure that several people see the booking notification so that if you feel hesitant to assign booking responsibilities to any one person, you can make it a team responsibility. Basically whoever sees the booking notification first in the group email list will take care of the booking.

Often away from your desk? Be sure to set up booking notifications via cell phone

Quick response time. This is what our customers want when working with a venue. The problem is, you're busy. You don't have time sit beside your email waiting for that booking request to come in. That's why we've set up automated SMS texts to alert you right away when someone books your space...before they start looking elsewhere.

Setup is easy. Just login to eVenues, and from the Dashboard click the "Edit" option from the “Venue” menu.

From there, scroll down to the bottom of the Venue profile and input the cell phone number with which you'd like to receive SMS text alerts, and check the box below the field:

Why venue reviews are important and how to get them easily

According to a major e-commerce site, 80% of their customer reviews are 4 out of 5 stars or more. This means that if you get reviews they're likely to be quite positive. Not only that, but reviews have been shown to double or even triple online purchase rates. Because of this, we've made it super simple for you to get reviews from customers who rent your space.

Getting reviews is very easy. All you have to do is go to to your venue management dashboard (Click "Manage your space") in the top right corner when logged in and then click Venues → Reviews:

Once you're there click "Get reviews" on the left hand side. You should see this dialog box pop up below:

Type in the email address of the customer who rented your venue and add a short note if you like. The customer will receive an email like this:

Once they click the link, they'll be directed to a simple review form (pictured below). The great thing about this is that there is no login or signup required!

Make it easier for customers to find and view your venue profile page

Some of our most successful venues in terms of bookings are those that have their own website and link to their eVenues profile page. They are busy and realized eVenues can save them a ton of time handling the questions, scheduling, and payment all in one place.

While a simple link can work, we thought we'd provide you with an attractive and eye-catching link banner that is really easy to install on any website. First click Venue Manager dashboard and then go to the top menu and go to "Rooms" in the menu bar and click link banner.

You should then see a variety of banners to choose from as well as the HTML code needed to put the banner on your site.

We hope that you've found this lists of tips and tricks helpful. Please feel free to bookmark it and use it as a reference!