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Create Participant Experiences

 

Everyone wants a happy ending for a team event. One of the largest stumbling blocks is not the strategy, budget or environment – it is ourselves. The stress of being the central pin holding the project together combined with the pressure from stakeholders and our own concerns can lead us away from our ultimate aim: to create participant experiences that lead to results and success.

Here are four ways to lower your stress while creating participant experiences:


 

1. Visualize the People

What’s in it for them? How can you meet their deepest needs? 
Worry less about your performance, and imagine the participants experiencing the event in the most optimal way. In this scene, what are people thinking, feeling and doing? While participants are having this positive experience, what are the event leaders doing?


 

2. Facilitate the Process

Our job, as facilitator is to lead people through a process. We need to design a series of activities that tap into their collective intelligence, stack up all the insights, and lead to their ultimate desired result. To enable this journey, the facilitator needs to help the participants to visualize the destination, the milestones, and the results generated along the way.

 

3. Set the Conditions

To make this process run smoothly, we need to set certain conditions. At the start, we need to make people feel welcome. Personalized signage, mood music, well briefed hostesses, welcome packs, open set up the room, event visuals, fresh fruit, flowers, nibbles, support materials… All of this together, creates the invitation to participate.

 

4. Model the Behavior

The behavior of participants will reflect the precedent that you set – if you are nervous, they will be nervous. So if you want them to be centered, open and dynamic – that is what you have to be. Be the way, you want them to be.

As a facilitator you are setting off a chain reaction. The conditions you set and the attitude you take are the foundation for your program. By focusing on creating participant experiences, you can ensure that the team will produce the actions and results that you all seek.

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