Meetings + Events

The power of gathering people

room space calculator

Find out how many people will fit in your room or what size room you need for your number of attendees.

Step 1
Choose a Room Layout type:

Step 2
Enter one of the following to determine the other:

Room Size:

sq.ft.

Capacity:

NOTE: This is a starting guideline only. Accuracy for your particular event cannot be guaranteed.

look_for_new_issue

On the Quiet Side

Six Steps to Creating Introvert-Friendly Events

By Connie Jeske Crane

Bill Gates. Albert Einstein. Rosa Parks. Steven Spielberg. What do they have in common? One thing these outstanding achievers share is a personality trait—they’re all introverts. And recently, thanks to books like Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, we’re learning more about them.

Famous names aside, we have a better sense, for example, that introverts are numerous and valuable in our organizations. They’re often visionary leaders, keen analysts and highly creative—with insights worth capturing.

Yet, in an industry all about connection and sizzle, event planners can struggle to engage introverts. So, how can we please these attendees? We talked to two industry experts who shared a few simple strategies. Oh, and extroverts won’t complain about these either:

1 Understand it’s about helping introverts recharge

Contrary to stereotype, introverts can be socially adept, strong leaders. But they’re wired differently. An introvert, says Beth Buelow, founder of The Introvert Entrepreneur in Tacoma, WA, “is somebody whose energy is depleted by high stimulation environments.”

2 Create quiet spaces

Provide areas where introverts can retreat to at break time, says David Gouthro, president of The Consulting Edge in Vancouver. “Just a number of chairs gathered around, or a couple of couches for people to have a more comfortable conversation.”

Have some fun with it: Buelow has seen “highly sensitive lounges” featuring hammocks, eye masks and ear plugs. “You could put yourself in this little cocoon and stay there for 20 minutes.”

3 Schedule breaks

While it’s tempting to pack in as much content as possible, if you don’t provide ample session breaks, Buelow says introverts will be tempted to skip. “We just get exhausted and stop being able to get the value everybody has worked so hard to provide.” The concept of breaks applies during sessions too, she says. “For the presenter, to be comfortable with leaving silence in the presentation so people can reflect in the moment is very helpful.”

As for social activities, Buelow advises planning a range of options to suit different personalities— and not forcing attendance.

4 Design introvert-friendly feedback loops into sessions

Since introverts like to think before they speak, Gouthro suggests:

• Giving attendees a few minutes to jot down thoughts. “When you start the conversation, there’s more for the introverts to work with.”

• Having tables come up with questions together “so it’s not just one person leaping up.”

• Using technology like keypads to capture feedback.

5 Facilitate interaction and networking

At large events, Gouthro advises nudging attendees into small group breakouts. “Sometimes it’s good to have opportunities that are semi-structured for people to network.”

Buelow adds that humour and intentional icebreakers can help too: “OK, turn to your neighbour and share something.”

6 Appreciate different styles, but avoid labels

Not a fan of labels, Gouthro believes people really fall along an introvert-extrovert continuum. It’s more effective, he says, to focus on intelligent meeting design and fostering engagement, while staying aware of different personalities.

Your planning team offers a great opportunity here, he adds: “Try having a balance of styles on that team so those kinds of things are automatically addressed through the perspective of the planning group.”

Did You Know? 

Introverts…

• Make up about one-third to one-half of the workforce.

• Get their energy more from being alone, whereas extroverts recharge by being with others.

• Tend to prefer work environments with less stimulation (i.e., reduced lights, noise and social buzz).

• Enjoy socializing but also need alone time to replenish their energy.

• Like to prepare their thoughts before speaking in public.

• Prefer to talk in small groups or one-on-one when networking.

• Enjoy using tools such as LinkedIn to network and stay in touch.

Source: Susan Cain (www.quietrev.com)

other articles in this section

Meeting Trends 2019

Dialled In

MPAHT Signs The Code

Holographic Magic

Light Touches

Screening Room

Attendee Survival Guide

Oh Canada!

Supporting Roles

Breaking Down the Barriers

Tour Guides

Happiness Matters

Deals on Meals

You need a ‘Workation’

Pop-Up Events

Green Event Trends

Risky Business

Tee Time!

On the Quiet Side

The Next Generation

First Aid Facts

How to Get your Productivity back

A Sense of Taste

RFP 101

Ignite your Panel Discussions

Stay-Put Strategies

Words of Wisdom

Copyright Knowledge

The Power of Hindsight

Liquid Assets

Grape Escapes

Icebreakers!

Geofencing Technology

Social Media Smarts

Online Registration

Master your MC Smarts

Demographic Shift

Ignite your Hiring Skills

Responsible Food Management

Save your Event from Disaster with Forward Thinking

You’re Virtually There

Event Music

Taking a Constructive View of Negative Feedback

Boosting Numbers for Less-attended Events

Team Mentality

Beyond the RSVP

Langdon Hall, Cambridge, ON

Site Selection Smarts

A Green Seal of Approval

Get to know Natalie Wilson, CMM, CMP

Swamped by short RFP turnaround times?

Meeting Room Design

Embracing Hybrid Meetings

Beyond the Schmooze

Learning by Experience

E-clutter Management

Ignite Your Power of Persuasion

Animal Ambassadors

The Lanyard Problem

Is it time to beef up breaky?

Green Key Meetings

Ignite your Budget Carving Skills

Industry Ethics

Planning Accessible Meetings

Google+ for Event Planning

Short Lead Times

Pinterest your Event Ideas

Guidelines for Ont. Business Event Planners

A Reason to Smile: Developing Guidelines with TICO

TICO, As I See It

Identity Crisis! Ontario Planners as Travel Agents?

Armchair Site Inspections

Planners as travel agents?

Hybrid Meetings

Green Meeting Venues

Virtual Familiarization Trips: FAMTripTV

Independent Meeting Planners

Certification in Meetings Management

Ignite your Delegating Skills

Green Meetings

Event Planning: Lessons Learned

Planning a Low-Budget Event

Boost your Event Attendance

Familiarization Trip Etiquette

Meeting Planner Entrepreneurs

Career Recognition

Tips for Successful Meetings

That's Entertainment!

Recipes for Teambuilding Success

Cover Up!

Got the Social Media Blues?

Online Event Registration

The Wi-Fi Movement

Ignite Your Inner Entrepreneur

A 10-Step Plan for your Best Corporate Holiday Party Ever!

Speaker ROI

An Event to Remember

Green + Lean Meetings

Cool Ways to Promote Teamwork

Site Selection Considerations for the Meeting Event Planner