4 ways to beat the afternoon slump in meetings

According a recent survey by Hilton, one in three people feels drowsy during the 2pm to 4pm period. C&IT asks event planners for tips on beating the post-lunch slump.

One in three delegates admits to falling sleepy after lunch (©iStockphoto.com)
One in three delegates admits to falling sleepy after lunch (©iStockphoto.com)

Eating the right food

Caroline Medcalf, events director, NYS Corporate

"We like to proactively avoid the post-lunch slump by serving fresh, light lunches.  We hate beige food! Breads and quiches and other classic hotel fare are too carb-heavy and leave delegates feeling sluggish. We recommend a lunch of salads, fish, pulses and fresh fruit. We would also advise planning your event so that the afternoon session includes stand-up activities or energizers. Afternoon coffee breaks are also a perfect time to serve slow release energy foods, such as nuts, seeds, oat cakes and flapjacks."

Choose the right speakers

Rob Brazier, director at Rapiergroup

"Key note speakers from outside the business can provide a new perspective from their own corporate environment, and it’s something different for delegates to keep them energised. But it’s not just about choosing the rigt speaker, you have to present it in the right way. We like short and concise presentations with minimal text. Story telling through rich and different formats such as video, augmented reality, and animation will also help to keep people engaged."

Fun icebreakers

Neil West, client development manager at Involve

"Traditionally icebreakers are used at the start of the day, but there’s no reason you can’t use the same concept during the afternoon slump to get people engaged again. At a recent meeting, we used a deck of about 25 cards that each represented a magnified perspective of part of a bigger picture. As a group we had to describe the detail of our card, decide where it fit in the ‘image timeline’, and then put all the cards face down in one consecutive line. The objective was that as you turn each card over in succession, the perspective should zoom out. It’s a great exercise for helping with communication, understanding different perspectives and taking a broader view; which was relevant to us since we were working on company strategy."

Spicing up a debate

Charlie Hepburn, director of Vivid Event

"The traditional presentation mode, where someone talks at an audience on stage is dying and we’re definitely seeing more interactive with the audience in terms of speaker position in the room and engagement. One way we get an audience enthused is to put ‘a plant’ in a meeting during a presentation to argue or debate with the speaker. People are far less likely to lose interest in an action-packed debate with different arguments than a speech."

More:

State of the Industry 2016: Meetings back on the agenda

State of the Industry 2016: Top 5 Corporate Challenges

State of the Industry 2016: Top 5 agency challenges

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