Tell your attendees what it is that they are going to be asked to solve.
Tell them that in a preliminary email Or two.
Tell them that when they arrive
In writing. In big letters. Maybe with some cartoons/graphics. (Perhaps not in rubbish videos with awful sound quality. #justsaying)
Respect their intelligence and their time by keeping the self-serving, boring, pointless introductions to 15 seconds instead of 15 plus minutes.
When the pizzas arrive, let people eat them before they get cold and cardboardy
Have icebreakers that connect to the challenge(s) that are being set (“your favourite toy when you were 10″? Seriously? FFS)
Give them time to chew over which challenge(s) they might like to try to tackle, and what skills they might need. So that they’re not being asked to pitch while ice-cold.
Run the meeting on decent facilitation principles (pro-tip, top-down talking at people is not facilitation. Nor is a horse’s arse. Sorry, “shoe”.)
Sorting by birthday is fine if you’re trying to getpeopel to talk to someone they don’t already know, but not if it is just a pretext to re-arrange people who wil l then address the whole group. FFS.
Still, G&Ts were liberated, so not all is lost.
Oh god, oh god, it was so diabolically bad. Heart-breakingly so, when the issue is so important. People were defo voting with their feet before me, and by tmrw afternoon, fuggedaboudit – judges will outnumber punters.
(This was LA/Quango bad. For real appalling you need to get progressive social movement organisations from the smugosphere together. That, that shit is epic, and topic of next blog post.)