Tag Archive for: meetings

 

 

There’s nothing like a new year to provide the hope and inspiration we need to truly rock out at life. Chances are, you’ve come up with a list of resolutions that will help you become the best version of yourself at home or in business. Perhaps you’re planning to exercise more, eat healthier, send thank you cards to clients before the special occasion, spend more time with your family, or even learn to play an instrument. But what if you had new years revolutions instead of resolutions?

Imagine if you or your team, have new year’s revolutions versus resolutions? What would they be? In the spirit of a fresh start, we’ve put together 7 resolutions that will serve you better with a rock star mindset of revolutions that will lead to higher employee satisfaction and efficiency, and a better experience for everyone involved. Especially your customers or fans.

7 New Year’s Revolutions for a Better Workplace

Maybe, you’ve got a great team. They work hard, get along fairly well, and are all committed to one another’s success. Or maybe, you have a bunch of employees that strive to do the least amount of work possible, put up with one another because they have to, and would literally step on a colleague to get ahead.

No matter which scenario resonates (or anything in between), you have the opportunity to tap into the new year’s mindset and create real change within your organization. Just remember that a culture of teamwork begins at the top. If you want to see rock star results, you will have to take different actions.

  1. Improve communication

Look at any struggling team and you’ll see poor communication at the root of the problem. Encourage your band members to listen better, communicate with empathy, be honest (but not hurtful), and be open to people who may think and communicate differently. A lot of the time the work doesn’t get done or done correctly because of poor communication. As the band leader it starts with you being 100% transparent with your dreams, goals, or vision and making sure everyone understands that.

  1. Create a safe environment

Are your team /band members comfortable thinking outside of the box? Are innovative ideas met with gratitude and honest consideration or with scorn and dismissiveness? You have a treasure trove of wisdom within your department… but only if you create a safe space for employees to share their brilliance. Will every idea be a keeper? Not at all. But you never know what you’ll get when you encourage them to share. Remember Steven Tyler’s dare to suck band meeting principal? All of the band members are challenged to bring their worst ideas to the table and then they build off of them. It created some of the best ideas and music. So maybe you throw the box away, and by doing that there are no boundaries to the limits or ideas and creativity from your team. That’s a Revolution.

  1. Give better feedback

There’s always room for improvement. No matter how well your team is doing, there are always tweaks that can be made to make things even better. However, without specific, actionable feedback, your comments will do nothing more than offending your team members. Let them know exactly what they could do better (and how), and don’t forget to point out what they’re already doing well. With a Rockstar mindset, all feedback is positive. By taking action, even if it’s in the wrong direction, with positive feedback we will know when and where to turn around. Then we will know what direction we need to go. But if no action is taken then no feedback can be given. Do nothing, get nothing. That’s a Revolution.

  1. Accept feedback

You have to crave feedback. Beg for if need be. That you’re a band leader or band member. If you can’t take constructive criticism, and get defensive and angry when it’s provided to you, why would you expect your employees to react any differently? There’s a level of vulnerability that you need to show as a leader when it comes to feedback. When a team member comes to you with a problem or concern, put your ego aside and hear them out. Sure, their opinion may be completely unfounded… or it could be something you truly need to work on. The great thing to remember is that there is almost always more than one way to solve a problem. And the bottom line is it doesn’t matter if it’s your way, or a new way as long as the work gets done, gets done on time, and gets done correctly.

  1. Take responsibility

Much like taking feedback, you can’t expect your team to accept responsibility and own up to their mistakes if you don’t. Take ownership of your decisions, even if they have a less than perfect outcome. Seeing the maturity you exhibit will inspire your team members to stop pointing fingers and do the same. It’s wasted energy. Own it. Use it for an opportunity for growth or learning, and then move on. That’s a Revolution.

  1. Foster trust

When you or one of your employees says they will do something, does it get done? Being able to trust your teammates is one of the most important aspects of teamwork. If one person doesn’t do what they agreed to do, the entire operation could fall apart. Hold yourself and your team members accountable and you’ll foster a culture of trust. This all comes full circle. But having great communication, embracing and begging for feedback, giving everyone permission to speak freely when they don’t agree or understand something will also make sure that everyone has each other’s back, and help hold each other accountable to make sure the work gets done. Remember Steve Jobs of Apple used the Beatles as his business model. He said, “they were four young guys who kept each other’s negative tendencies in check, they balance each other and the total was greater than the sum of the parts.”

  1. Reward the behaviors you want to see

What do you want to see from your team? Do you want them to support one another? Contribute their fare share and pick up the slack (on occasion) when a team member is having a difficult time? Do you want them to focus on the goals of the team in addition to their individual goals? Whatever you hope to create more of, you’ll want to positively reinforce. Rather than only rewarding those who excel in carrying out their personal responsibilities (customer service goals, sales goals, production goals, etc.), reward those who support their fellow team members. And remember there is a fine line between reward and celebration. You always want your team to be in the spirit of celebration. It fuels and gives the motivation to go on. Not just the number one songs or the big wins, but the top ten’s and the top fifties, the small wins too. Trust me on this one the more your band celebrates, the more successful, the more fuel, the more momentum, and the more fun you will have.

Fostering a culture of teamwork starts at the top, but should include everyone equally. Exhibit the characteristics and behaviors that you want to see from your employees and band members and they’ll be working together in perfect harmony. To finish the quote from Steve Jobs, he said “and that’s how I see business, great things in business are never accomplished by one person there accomplished by a team of people.” If you need some outside help to create the high-performance team you’ve always wanted, or a band that constantly rocks, Marvelless Mark will get them rocking out together and playing in unison. There is a deeper dive into these revolutions in my latest book, Opportunity Rocks!

So, stop with the resolutions and start creating some revolutions. Here’s to an amazing new year! Cheers!

Imagine you are on top of the world. You’re playing all the big stages with sold-out stadiums, your fans can’t get enough of you and the crowd goes wild!

Then one day it all stops.

Your tour dates are canceling one by one and new ones aren’t booking. The next thing you know you’re back in garage band mode.

Alright, you’re probably not an actual rock star. But 2020 grounded just about every one of us. There you were, creating raving fans in your business, growing your organization, focused on the future when everything changed. Overnight, business dried up, clients canceled, and the market became a chorus of frightened crickets. Business plans you started the year off with, were worth no more than the paper they were printed on.

Thankfully, we are now entering a new year, a time to wake up our inner rock stars and take to the stages of business once again.

How do great leaders and top producers “find their way back?” The same way great band leaders get their bands out of the garage and back on tour.

Unleash Your Inner Rock Star

The past year has sent many businesses back to the drawing board. Without a steady stream of clients, many organizations have gone into crisis mode, cutting back on “non-essential costs” (which aren’t so non-essential after all), furloughing employees, or laying them off. They have gone from offense to defense.

While this may be necessary for a short period of time, the problem with operating from a defensive angle is that a business tends to get stuck there. While it sounds counterintuitive, it can be easy or “comfortable” to be in crisis mode. After all, you don’t have to take responsibility for your situation and you can dip a toe in, but never dive in fully.

What rockstars on stage and rockstars in the office know, is that in order to succeed, you need to be all in. Failure is not an option and you must commit to doing everything in your power to hit your goals and thrive. Now is not the time to hide in the garage sitting on speakers and drinking a beer. Now is the time to reinvent, repackage, and “get back on tour”… whatever that means to your business.

Drive Change

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said “Change is the only constant,” and he couldn’t have been more correct. If 2020 taught us anything, it was that we need to be able to adapt. From setting up home offices overnight to conducting all meetings and trainings through Zoom, we have been forced to accept the “new normal” and adapt accordingly.

But what if the key to success wasn’t just adapting to change, it was driving it?

Take Madonna as an example. The “Material Girl” is one of the most successful and highly-paid women in the music industry. She’s stayed relevant over multiple decades to a fan base spanning generations. She didn’t do that by following trends and adapting to change. She did it by creating change. Madonna considers herself and her art a work-in-progress and that’s exactly how you should look at your business.

How can you use your creativity to be at the forefront of your industry? Challenge yourself every day to do things differently. Don’t just ride change, drive it.

While the “noise” of competition has moved to a virtual platform, that doesn’t make it easier to stand out. It actually makes it harder. What are you doing to set yourself apart from the competition and become a household name?

Do you think Sting, Madonna, Elvis, or Rihanna earned their single-name status by doing the bare minimum? No! They sang louder, played harder, and more unique than anyone else. Now it’s your turn. Figure out what people say about you when you leave a room (or a webinar). Is this how you want to be remembered?  What they say is your brand. Find what makes you different and memorable, and then lean into it with everything you’ve got.

As you begin 2021, remember that now is your time to get out of the garage and back on tour. Don’t let a setback affect your comeback. Unleash your inner rockstar and take your industry by storm!

With the recent passing of rock legend, Eddie Van Halen, I’m reminded of one of my favorite songs “Best of Both Worlds.”

Wondering what a Van Halen song has to do with the future of events? Everything.

While the world may be headed towards another COVID-induced quarantine, it’s safe to say that someday, life and business will be back to normal. We’ve all become accustomed to working, learning, and networking from behind a computer screen. But eventually, the threat of COVID will pass, we’ll be safe to gather in crowds, and live conferences and in-person meetings will once again reign.

The question is will we ever return to meeting face to face entirely, or have virtual events brought about a change in the way the world works?

The Benefits of a Virtual Event

Anyone who has attended a conference or training from the comfort of their home, while wearing a pair of electric guitar pajama pants and Gene Simmons slippers, can attest to the benefits of a virtual event.

(Am I the only one wearing those?)

Virtual events rock because:

  • They are convenient to attend. And your ability to go is not hampered by location.
  • They require no travel (and no travel budget).
  • There’s no need to wear PPE or sit 6-feet away from your closest neighbor.
  • They are less expensive to host which translates to a lower cost for attendees.
  • Attendance is not limited to the venue’s capacity.
  • With today’s technology, it can be easy for even the least tech-savvy attendee to have a good experience.

When run properly, a virtual event can achieve the same desired outcomes as a live, in-person event.

 

The Benefits of an In-person Event

The more traditional route, in-person events have been going on since the days of the cavemen… although probably with less PowerPoint. You’re likely familiar with the benefits of an in-person conference, training, or tradeshow:

  • Being away from the office and family responsibilities allows attendees to immerse themselves in the experience and focus solely on learning.
  • Amazing networking occurs in the hallways between sessions. Relationships are forged, deals are made, and careers are catapulted.
  • The energy in the room is palpable and attendees can’t help but get swept up in the excitement.
  • The change of scenery can provide an opportunity for attendees to see more of the country and get a little break from the daily grind.
  • Swag bags offer the opportunity to showcase brands and products.

In-person events are a powerful way to rally the troops, introduce new products or ideas, and prepare your attendees for the future.

 

What is a Hybrid Event?

There will come a time when a vaccine is widely available and it’s once again safe to gather. When that day comes, there will be many people eager to jump on a plane, gather in a meeting room with thousands of their future friends, and have the full “in-person live event” experience.

Of course, there will also be those individuals who aren’t ready.

Whether due to residual fears about the virus, the inability to travel due to finances or logistics, or just the realization that

working in your PJs is awesome; there will be some people who are not ready to attend in-person events.

In order to host a killer event that caters to all potential attendees, you’re going to need to embrace the hybrid event structure.

A hybrid event is held in a venue and welcomes in-person attendees, AND live-streams the event so people can attend from wherever they feel comfortable. A hybrid event is truly the best of both worlds.

How do you make your Hybrid Event a Success?

Now that you’ve embraced the hybrid event model, how do you create a thrilling experience that will leave your attendees wanting more?

Always include your virtual audience

There’s nothing worse for a virtual attendee than paying your attendance fee and then being forgotten. Utilize games, live polls, and Q&A sessions throughout the event to engage your virtual attendees.

Consider your content

 

Content must be entertaining to keep everyone engaged, but it must also be presented in a way where the virtual attendees don’t feel like they are watching a bootleg concert. Make sure that any visual content you create translates across the different platforms on which attendees may view it.

 

Offer breakout sessions

Your attendees don’t just want to engage with the speakers, they also want to feel like they are in the room with their peers. Smaller breakout sessions allow in-person and virtual attendees to chat and learn from one another.

Hire an experienced MC

No matter what type of event you create, you don’t want to play on-stage host while making sure everything runs smoothly on the back end. You also don’t want to rely on the organization’s leadership to keep the troops engaged and the event flowing smoothly.

In order to create the best possible event for your attendees, you’ll want to hire an MC who excels in presenting in-person and virtually. Marvelless Mark Kamp has over 25 years of experience delivering electrifying entertainment to audiences around the world (and on the computer). He will ensure that your event creates a rockstar experience for every attendee, whether they are in business casual or Gene Simmons slippers.  He’ll help you provide the best of both worlds.

The show must go on.

After months of pandemic-induced quarantine and a slow-down to business as we know it, many organizations have switched their focus from surviving this crazy year to thriving during uncertain times.

Do you are one of those businesses who understand that you need to adapt to current circumstances and find a way to keep your organization moving, growing, and rocking?  Do you realize that to do this you need to keep things fresh and exciting? These two words have never once been used to describe online meetings, virtual training, or team-building exercises done while your team members are nowhere near one other.

Most virtual meetings are boring, attendees are disengaged and distracted, and the event is quickly forgotten.

Until now.

There’s a way to keep your meeting attendees focused and enthusiastic (even when they are working remotely)? It’s called virtual or online gaming. If you are planning a virtual event, and you actually want your employees to enjoy it and benefit from it, incorporating online gaming is the way to go.

What is Online or Virtual Gaming?

Online or virtual gaming can be incorporated into your virtual training, team-building, or product development events, or used as standalone activities to reward your team for a job well done. These games can be broadcast on any platform and be 100% content-driven and customized. Here are a few ideas:

  • Virtual Golf Tournaments
  • Virtual Casino Games
  • Rock Star Bingo (this isn’t your grandmother’s bingo!)
  • Trivia
  • Corporate Feud (with customized questions for your organization)
  • Virtual Escape Rooms
  • Blinko
  • Wheel Of Knowledge
  • See more options at irlevents.co

 

Since these games are often just software programs that get launched during the virtual meeting, it’s essential to get assistance from someone with experience and the tools to take the stress out. That means a full digital show production with a green screen, production operator, executive producer, chat monitor, an engaging host or emcee, and everyone you need so you can focus on the rest of the meeting and enjoy your own event.

How Can You Get the Best Experience from Online or Virtual Gaming?

If you hadn’t yet noticed, technology issues are a big challenge in our current reality. With new platforms popping up every day, Problems are bound to arise.  In small, friendly meetings, most attendees just shrug off technical problems with “these are the times we live in,” and talk quietly amongst themselves while everything is sorted out, however, in a larger or more professional setting, a tech issue could send your attendees in search of a mid-afternoon snack, and your event off the rails.

Tech challenges are one of the reasons why you need to have an experienced virtual emcee at the helm who won’t freak out when your platform does. If a tech disaster strikes, and you aren’t able to load a program, your emcee knows how to keep the attendees entertained and engaged while your tech team can search for answers.

Even without tech challenges, an emcee is there to makes sure the event runs smoothly, keep everyone on time, and maintain high energy and engagement throughout your corporate conference. They are the virtual glue that holds your meeting together.  Please don’t leave this role to the sales manager or CEO who has better uses for his or her time… not to mention no experience!

Marvelless Mark Kamp is a digital emcee/virtual host who can make your event a success. He’ll have your meeting attendees rockin’ in their home offices and participating as if they were all in the same room. Don’t you want to maximize the retention of the content and increase the level of experience of your virtual meeting or corporate conference?  Contact him today to find out how he can make your online event unforgettable with virtual games and gameshows.

 

While virtual presentations have become a way of life in our current world, some online experiences are falling flat for attendees.

Your goal for an online event is the same as for a live event… create an experience that your attendees won’t soon forget. Yes, you want to deliver content, and you also want to deliver it in a memorable way that will leave a lasting impact on the people you serve.  If you’re planning a virtual event for your organization, there are ways to ensure that your guests are not only engaged but wowed.

5 Ways to Make Your Virtual Event Fun and Engaging

While your goals are the same, the way in which you achieve those goals is vastly different. A virtual event doesn’t mean your presenters can “phone in” their performance. In fact, the energy level of an online event will have to be even higher than in-person in order to transfer to an audience at home. It’s not difficult to feel the hum of energy at a live event, just think about the last time you went to a rock concert or a hockey game. You’ve probably never felt that excitement watching a live music performance or a game while sitting alone in your living room.

What used to stand in your way at an in-person event (room temperature, seat comfort, access to the restrooms, and food choices), has been replaced by comfortable bunny slippers and the draw of a television strategically placed in your attendee’s home office.

The great news is there are several techniques you can incorporate into your virtual events to raise the energy level.

Green Screen

Let’s face it; most speakers don’t have the most interesting backgrounds. Your presenters may have even upgraded their home office or studio with draping or a classy backdrop. Sure, it’s better than looking at a blank wall or their kitchen, but will it bring the energy you need to get your attendees fired up?

A green screen allows the presenter to dazzle your audience with exciting visuals that change frequently to keep them on their toes.

Music

Music is powerful. From the spine-tingling notes of a classical piece to the heart-pounding excitement of rock-and-roll, the music we choose can affect our emotional and mental state. A good virtual presenter can craft the perfect playlist to guide your attendees through their journey.

Props

Everyone learns differently. While some need to hear a concept to take it to heart, others have to see it in action before they can absorb the information. Props can be used to demonstrate a point, add humor to the presentation, and give the audience a visual cue to really capture a concept.

Humor

There’s nothing quite like humor to drive a point home and to keep us engaged. Audiences love to laugh and humor breaks up the monotony of dry content. Incorporating humor into your event will go far in making it a memorable experience for everyone.

Interactive Activities

Even the most fascinating presentation can be a challenge to focus on when you’re sitting behind a computer screen. Sitting still, all alone in your home office or living room, can make anyone tired and disengaged.

How do you remedy this?

Make your audience work! Using interactive elements where your audience needs to stand up, move, and do something will keep them awake and interested.

The even better news is you don’t have to do all of this by yourself.

Hiring a Virtual Presenter

Just like live speakers and entertainers, all virtual presenters are not created equal. Many speakers made the shift to virtual events; few really understand what goes into a successful virtual presentation.

In order to make your event stand out, you need a virtual presenter with character, personality, and enough energy to make your attendees feel like they are back in a conference hall, rocking out together.

You need Marvelless Mark for your next event.

 

“Marvelless” Mark Kamp has more than 20 years of experience as a speaker, entertainer, and Las Vegas headliner. This has given him a unique perspective on the event industry and an array of tricks to pull out of his hat.

Mark knows what it takes to keep your audience fully engaged. He uses a $15,000 back-up band in the form of a multimedia presentation with videos, high-resolution photos, music, stimulating visuals, and cartoons. He harnesses the raw power of rock-and-roll to keep your attendees on the edge of their seats… until they jump out of them. He encourages the audience to drum to the beat, using items they can find on their desk and teaches them how to use hand cues and signals to communicate with him on video.

If the visuals from his green screen backgrounds and props don’t wake up the audience, his branded jackets certainly will.

You need your next event to be a success and that means you need Marvelless Mark Kamp as your go-to virtual presenter.

When you think about how to improve teamwork in the workplace, holding meetings may be the last thing that comes to mind. Employees usually want fewer meetings, not more. But, when done properly, meetings can help to create a culture of teamwork, inspiring your employees to work together, lean on each other for support, and push each other to do great things.

Just like a rock and roll band, your employees need to play together to make successful music.  As Marvelless Mark® tells his clients, the music doesn’t happen without everyone’s participation.

Meetings give you the opportunity to foster trust and companionship among your staff. They provide a safe place for employees to air grievances (and brainstorm solutions), create a feeling of camaraderie, and get to know each other on a different level.

How to incorporate teamwork into your regular meetings

There are several things you can do to improve teamwork through your scheduled meetings. You can:

Include team building exercises

You don’t have to climb walls in the middle of the woods to foster teamwork among your employees. There are exercises you can do at the beginning of your meetings to get team members working together and thinking as a group. These can include Follow the Leader, creating a story as a group (one word at a time), or for you rock stars, throw on some music, start a band and have everyone jam out on their air guitars. It may seem silly, but play allows people to loosen up and work together.

Play Show and Tell

A big part of working as a team is knowing who your teammates are and what they like to do. Do you remember playing Show and Tell in school? You brought something in from home and had the chance to tell the class a little bit about yourself. Encourage your employees to do the same. They are all individuals with interests and experiences outside of the office. Sharing those with the team will help them bond.

Celebrate team successes

Who doesn’t like to celebrate? After a great gig, you can bet that the rock stars will be partying hard on their tour bus, congratulating each other for a successful show. It’s not much different at work (though there are fewer groupies). People want to be acknowledged for the work they do. When you acknowledge what a team has accomplished together, you encourage them to work in harmony to reach their goals and fulfill the company’s vision.

Create teams to tackle challenges

If your company is facing a difficult time or must overcome a setback, put employees together in teams to brainstorm and work on solutions. When an employee is responsible for solving a problem by his or her self, it puts a great deal of pressure on them and can stifle their creativity. However, when a team is responsible for coming up with a solution, the pressure is off, the creativity is flowing, and the team will uncover ideas that no one would’ve thought of alone. It’s like a jam session where musicians play off of each other to create new music.

Host a “fake” meeting

Now this one may sound silly, but wouldn’t you love it if you walked into a meeting that you were dreading… and the only thing on the agenda was pizza? Throwing the occasional fake meeting will improve morale and give employees an opportunity to chat and get to know each other on a personal level. Chances are that at some point they’ll even start talking about work and some problems might get solved because there is no pressure on them to do so.

Here are more tips for hosting an effective meeting.

In order for your team to create rockstar results, they need to play together as a band. Fostering teamwork among your employees will improve morale and increase your bottom line.

“Good music comes out of people playing together, knowing what they want to do and going for it.”          – Keith Richards

Mark Kamp® aka Marvelless Mark® works with organizations who want their teams to achieve immediate rock star results. A Keynote Speaker/Entertainer/Author, Husband, Father, and child of God, his primary message, “Opportunity Rocks®” gives attendees a fresh new perspective on Sales, Marketing, and Employee Performance. Fun and engaging, Mark combines the success secrets of your favorite rock stars with just the right amount of entertainment to transform your employees into business rockstars. Learn more at www.OpportunityRocks.net.