The lure of fresh air and the sounds and smells of the summer season can make your employees want to get out of the office. Consider indulging them by conducting a summer-themed meeting, outdoors if possible and if the weather is nice. Even if it's cold or rainy, you can still bring in some of the more popular aspects of summer including the outdoors, competition and entertainment.
The Blue Angels
Design your meeting around the theme of the Blue Angles. The Blue Angels are a group of Navy pilots who perform stunt maneuvers while flying. They perform tasks that many feel are impossible. As the manager, you can emphasize this concept to your team. Focus your meeting on achieving goals or tasks that might seem impossible, pointing out that they only appear impossible to those without the skills necessary to complete them. Decorate your office or meeting space with photographs of the Blue Angels at air shows around the country, performing challenging tasks. Give each of your employees a badge with a photograph of one of the Blue Angel's planes with his name on it, announcing him as an "honorary Blue Angel" who must perform what seems impossible.
Use the Summer Olympics as a theme for your business meeting. During the meeting, you can create a competition for your employees. Create between four and eight competitions for your employees to compete in that emphasize skills used in the office. Some examples could include the employee who makes the most phone calls in a day, the employee making the most sales in a week, and the team with the most orders completed in a day or a week. Start the meeting by presenting each employee and team with a flag with her name or the team's name on it. Hang plastic versions of gold, silver and bronze medals on the wall. At the end of the competition, hold another Olympic-themed meeting where the medals are awarded. Equate each medal with a prize such as gold is a $25 gift card, silver is $20, and bronze is $10.
Outdoor Cocktail Parties
Business meetings do not have to be inside a conference room or inside a building at all. Hold a summer-themed business meeting outdoors. Set up a table with an assortment of sodas, liquors and mixers for cocktails. This type of meeting should be held outside of regular working hours, or avoid using real alcohol to keep employees drinking on the job.
If your meeting will be held off the clock, invite employees to mix their own drinks and socialize. Offer appetizers such as small hamburgers, chicken and beef kabobs, and fruits to add to the outdoor cocktail party theme.
For the first half of the meeting, organize one or two social-mixer games as employees drink and eat. These could include presenting a list of unknown "fun facts" about employees on your team and challenging each employee to find out which fact applies to which coworker. Another game could include a list of colors, finding someone who has a piece of clothing in that color and writing down the employee's name. Award small prizes for the employees who complete these games accurately.
The remainder of the meeting can be similar to any other team meeting, but by having it outdoors in the fresh air, it will help employees relax and feel less contained.
- summer #2 image by krynio from Fotolia.com