I’m especially excited about writing this article. Why? Because I am going to be making fun of myself. Last weekend I held my first annual Big Pow! Global Takeover Summit in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Some of our people work remotely, and I wanted everyone to have a chance to get together, share ideas, and spend some time getting to know one another and do all those other things that conferences and annual meetings are designed to do. So I arranged everything.Now as I have already pointed out, this was my first attempt at an annual meeting. And as all of you know, I spend an enormous amount of time making fun of people who do things poorly. So, in the spirit of inclusion, allow me to tell you some of the things I did for our first meeting that you absolutely should not do when you run your own meetings. Self-mockery, engage!
Call Your Meeting “Big Pow! Global Takeover Summit”! Seriously, me? Are we listed on the S&P 500? Are we in the Fortune 500? The only globe that we might be reasonably expecting to take over would be an actual decorative globe. And they even had one in the hotel we were in, right there in the middle of the library, and I still didn’t take it! Stop lying to yourself, Jeff.
Completely Forget to Offer Bathroom Breaks! Thankfully nobody died as a result of this oversight, but they easily could have considering how clueless I can sometimes be. “Here’s a great idea – give people free bottles of water, then engage them in an intense three-hour business discussion. And then – wait for it – don’t let them go to the bathroom. They’ll totally focus better that way!” Fortunately someone made the suggestion three minutes before anyone’s bladder exploded, and so it all worked out.
Forget to Make a Dinner Reservation! A company actually hired me once to write and film a video for them about the importance of making reservations when meeting with business clients, and I totally blew this one. Thankfully there are a lot of homes in Lake Geneva that don’t see much use in the winter, so we broke into one of those and had a delightful dinner with whatever leftovers they had in their freezer.
And there you go! I have learned from my stupidnesses, and knowing is half the battle. Hope that helps you the next time you schedule a Regional Domination Blowout with your occasionally hungry and bathroom-minded employees.
P.S. We didn’t really break into someone’s house for dinner. Turns out their back door was open. People in Lake Geneva are very trusting.