A new report commissioned by the Professional Convention Management Association Education Foundation offers 39 science-based ideas that meeting planners can use to improve their meetings.

Published for the PCMA Education Foundation by The Meetology Group, a U.K.-based consultancy that specializes in the science of meetings, the guide pulls together practical advice from academic research on improving group dynamics and interaction, inspiring innovation, and maximizing performance at meetings. Jonathan Bradshaw, CEO of Meetology, is pictured at left.

“Rather than make assumptions about what matters to attendees and how they can perform better at meetings, this guide gives us some groundwork needed to help understand what truly matters to them,” said Liz Erikson, chair, PCMA Education Foundation. “This investigation uses leading thinkers from around the academic world to analyze those assumptions and deliver real ideas based on proven concepts of what can lead to more effective meetings and more engaged participants.”

The Appliance of Science: 39 Ways to Improve Your Meetings” outlines ways to transform the face-to-face meeting environment, dividing the 39 ideas into six categories.

• Mental: Boosting brain performance and managing emotions. Tip: Meditation aids mental performance by reducing stress and sharpening focus.

• Social: Building rapport, influencing, and persuading.  Tip: Making attendees laugh can dispel tension and unify the mood and behavior of the group. 

• Space: Creating an ideal meeting environment. Tip: Smells can affect mood, behavior, memory, and enjoyment.

• Wired: Technology innovations in meetings. Tip: Use smartphone technology to help attendees navigate their way around your meeting venue.

• Physical: Maximizing physical wellness through diet and exercise. Tip: A protein-rich breakfast like eggs, cheese, yogurt, or fish will give the brain and body more fuel.

• Bizarre: Other weird-but-true research findings. Tip: Doodling can increase the level of recall for attendees.

The complete report is available from PCMA and will be discussed byJonathan Bradshaw, president and chief executive officer at The Meetology Group, during a session at PCMA’s annual meeting, Convening Leaders, on January 15 in Orlando.