The meeting is a universally necessary part of the modern professional life. From inventory managers to business owners, there is a constant need to meet in person with clients, coworkers and inter-industry colleagues. Each of these meetings requires a meeting place and, let’s face it, there are usually snacks. The vast majority of business meetings occur in enclosed offices or conference rooms and the snacks are usually high in carbs, sugars, and fats.
There are great traditional reasons for both these facts, but some traditions are meant to be broken. The modern professional has already accepted the awesome healthy power of bicycles and sushi instead of town-cars and steak, why not innovate a healthier version of the classic meeting as well? Here are five great tips to make your next meeting healthier for everyone involved while still allowing you to give presentations and hold group discussions.
1. Meet Outdoors
Most office buildings do not have windows that open, and for obvious reasons like huge swinging glass windows and being fifteen stories up, but this does limit the amount of fresh air available to the professionals working within. Instead of booking the conference room, consider holding your next meeting outdoors. There are dozens of quiet and relatively private natural locations in any city, from the botanical gardens to restaurants with secluded outdoor seating. There might even be a rooftop garden on your building. You may be surprised how happy your clients will be in the open air instead of inside.
2: Serve Healthy Horderves
When meetings are catered, and they often are, you may have noticed a special love for breads and greasy baked goods. From the cream-cheese bagel to the jam or ham filled kolache, meeting foods tend to be high in calories. This is because thinking and problem solving burn calories so a good business meeting is literally hungry work, but it doesn’t have to be unhealthy. To make a change, try stocking your next meeting with a healthy selection of lean protein and fruit based horderves instead of the classic bagels and doughnuts. If they are tasty and helpful to important meeting brain-work you may have just started a healthy and delicious new office trend.
3: Walk and Talk
Walking meetings are not just for Aaron Sorkin shows anymore. For small meetings between four or fewer professionals, bring your tablets and take the meeting to the hallways or park trails. Walking stimulates the brain, enhancing both memory and creativity while your feet move. Conducting your meetings on the go is a great way to stay healthy, encourage creative thinking, and incorporate a few nearby locations into your meeting agenda. This will not only get your collective blood pumping, it will improve the quality of the ideas generated and literally cause everyone to think about things from a new angle.
4: Play Ball
It’s entirely possible that your employees, coworkers, or clients might not understand the healthy meeting methods initially, and that’s okay. As the meeting planner, you have the power to not only introduce the new trend but make it fun for everyone. Whether you’re in the park or a spacious conference room, consider bringing a nerf ball to the meeting to get your fellow attendees involved. Use the ball to designate who’s talking, reward good ideas, and in general get everyone interacting and moving. You might even consider a little chair swapping for fun and to emphasize a few points.
Active professionals can end up living in and out of meetings. Where and how these meetings take place will inevitably shape their quality of life and physical health. Make the meetings you plan healthier and more stimulating for colleagues and clients alike with a few healthy meeting methods.