One of the challenges thrown at business authors is to adapt the expertise, theories and tactics contained within their books to different industries, usually in the form of op-ed pieces or lengthy blog posts.
The following is both. I wrote this for Pow! on a rainy Sunday back in March, but it just ran last week in SuccessfulMeetings.com (and in the Successful Meetings magazine). You can link over to the post here...or just enjoy in below, courtesy of yours truly, author of both the book and the article:
Surprise: The Secret to More Memorable Meetings
But it doesn't need to be this dire, because the element of surprise is the antidote to stale, stuck meetings. Not only do surprise tactics wake up a moribund crowd, but they bring attention to your company, product, panel discussion, or event, and more importantly, ensure that attendees talk about you and your event long after the physical gathering is over.
You don't need big budgets to pull these off, either; in the world of surprise, little things mean a lot, and guts are more important than bucks. Here are a number of tricks and tips to delightfully surprise your meeting's attendees, and create Pow! moments that will get them talking, keep them motivated, and ensure they remember.
1. Beat the Clock
2. The Best Booth Giveaway Ever
3. Taking The Mountain To Mohammed
4. Hidden Agendas
5. Mismanage Expectations
6. Break The Dress Code
7. Power Pointers
These are just starting blocks. The end results depend on your imagination, risk tolerance, and sense of adventure. But no matter what tactic you choose, the goal of any surprise is to generate what I call "Euphoric Shock," that moment that expands the boundaries of delightful extremes and is the difference between "Holy Jeez!" and "Who Cares?"
And trust me on this, whatever business you may be in, I guarantee it'll work better with a "Holy Jeez!"