Spark Creativity by Hosting Your Meeting Outdoors

Need to train a group or solve a complex challenge at your next meeting or event? Then consider moving your sessions outside.

Want to kick up the chance of someone learning something at your event? Bring that meeting outside.

For educational sessions, training and creative brainstorming, your inclination might be to host your meeting inside, in a calm and quiet room, where the participants can focus on the topic at hand. But research suggests quite the opposite.

Surprise ’Em

At first, you might think, “If we hold that important planning meeting outside, all the attendees will be distracted.” Brain science has shown that learning in an unexpected environment triggers the release of dopamine to the hippocampus, the part of the brain that creates memories. By holding an Educate meeting in an outdoor setting, you can help improve the ability of participants to retain what they learn.

Distract ’Em

Remember that distraction you were concerned about? Well, it can improve creativity. If a person is busily trying to work on a complex problem, a break provides the incubation period necessary for the mind to come up with possible solutions, according to Harvard research by Dr. Shelley Carson.

So if you’re planning an Decide meeting, then you might want to consider moving the setting outdoors or at least using part of the time for a meeting that way. For instance, you might hold morning sessions focused on discussing and defining a challenge, then move outside for a meditation session and lunch, for instance, before heading back inside to share possible solutions.

Relax ’Em

While outside, add a little exercise or quiet time. Exercise also can trigger dopamine and help improve brainpower. Relaxation recharges the brain, and fresh air can speed up that process.

Rather than the typical coffee and cookies break, you could prepare your attendees to tackle their afternoon Ideate sessions by sending them outside for a short walk or bike ride, followed up with fresh fruit smoothies.