Here's a way to add value to your next meeting: Drive home your company's strategic objectives while attendees are driving golf balls.

Businesspeople are passionate about golf. And you know that golf is a powerful reward tool in the insurance industry. But while a hosted round of golf on a great course is fun for the attendee, it doesn't always move the organization closer to its goals. Get a better return on your golfing investment by integrating conference themes directly into the golf event.

Let's look at ways to entertain and educate on those acres of green meeting space:

* What is the meeting's primary focus? Is it teamwork, motivation, customer satisfaction? Print the goal on golf balls, or place signs on tee boxes, long-drive, and closest-to-the-pin markers.

* Executives discover creative ideas when relaxed. Ask your sales force to reflect on ways to increase market share during the round. Then brainstorm afterward.

* One company I worked with recently designed a yardage booklet for the resort's golf course and included a business theme with each hole description. For example, hole 17 represented the dot in "dot-com."

* Set up an indoor driving range next to the meeting room. Attendees can stretch, process the material they've just been presented, get swing tips, and return refreshed.

* Borrow the theme of a compelling keynote speaker to frame your golf activity. At one meeting, for instance, General Colin Powell delivered an address to executives: The Leader's Role in Learning and Development. I structured a golf activity to blend with the conference and with Powell's theme. First, I created a title that echoed the talk: Learning and Developing Your Golf Swing. Then, I tied in Powell's message that real learning happens when individuals are given encouragement, opportunity, and guidance. Each attendee's golf swing was compared side-by-side with leaders of golf, like Tiger Woods and Greg Norman. Guests were treated to a digital computer analysis and received a take-home video of that analysis.

* Create a memorable and engaging golf experience that also weaves in your industry's hot issues. For example, is your company focused on the impact of technology? Technology has had a dramatic impact on golf, too. Has a new competitor emerged in your marketplace? The arrival of Tiger Woods sent his competitors back to the drawing board. Are human resource issues critical to your department at this time? Work-life balance, industry change, and communication can all be incorporated into a golf clinic. Include your home-office executives in the clinic presentation as well.

Adults get enthusiastic about learning when it appeals to their minds and hearts, their logic and emotions. Golf clinics can serve this dual purpose. People don't want to play average golf; they want to play great golf. Truly help attendees hit great golf shots and they'll connect with conference themes, too. Golf is that powerful!