The Ten Types of Meeting Attendees

Thinking about eating another stale muffin? We feel you.

Thinking about eating another stale muffin? We feel you.

As seasoned corporate meeting planners, we're accustomed to seeing (and sometimes being) "that guy" at events. Let's take a strategic look at how to make the most of our valued attendees:

The Front Row Sleeper (self explanatory) directly correlates to The Guest Speaker, AKA the name in the largest font on the agenda regardless of his/her impact on the meeting. If you want a captivated audience, it's crucial to think about the kind of content they will crave more than the 3:15pm coffee break.

The Miserable One usually shows up in great spirits until something goes wrong for them. And then something turns into everything. Their room isn't ready, their bags are late to their room, their meal requests are not honored, their name is spelled wrong on their badge... What damage control tactics do you employ to ensure no attendee feels like just another number?

The Loudest Talker may not always have the best ideas, while The Mute may turn out to be the greatest listener. The trick is to strategically place different personalities to set up teams for successful collaboration.

The Hopeless Wanderer consistently goes to the wrong room first, or the right room late. Did they even bother to look at the agenda on their meeting app? Wait, do you have a meeting app?

Queue the eye rolls when The Irrelevant Question Asker reveals he hasn't quite grasped the purpose of the meeting. This is where the value of pre-meeting conversations comes into play, preparing participants with meeting objectives long before they enter the room.

The One Who is Freezing Cold and Wrapped in the Bedspread From the Hotel Room. Why are meeting rooms always freezing? Why are there always muffins and fruit salads for breakfast? Is Powerpoint the only way to present ideas? After years of predictable environments, it's time to start questioning the conventional and making room for new concepts.

Anyone can forgive The Excessive Cell Phone User for responding to an important email on his phone, but odds are he's texting the person next to him to make fun of the keynote speaker. Boredom is a virus that spreads quickly. What do your attendees want, and how will you deliver it?

And lastly, there is The Daydreamer, despondently rethinking the purpose of their life mid-meeting, wondering if this is really all there is... This is the worst case scenario and unfortunately a reflection of how undesirable your meeting agenda happens to be. How do you want each participant to feel when they walk away from your event?

Have more to add? List them in the comments section below.

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