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Ignite April May 2017

A fresh resource for people who plan and manage meetings, events, business travel, promotions and incentive programs. Providing you with inspiration, guidance and great ideas.

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April | May 2017 | Ignitemag.ca | 33 Products, trends and sparks of genius to up the ROI on your next program business meetings & events by Connie Jeske Crane Yet, in an industry all about connection and sizzle, event planners can struggle to engage introverts. So, how can we please these attendees? We talked to two industry experts who shared a few simple strategies. Oh, and extroverts won't complain about these either: 1 Understand it's about helping introverts recharge Contrary to stereotype, introverts can be socially adept, strong leaders. But they're wired differently. An introvert, says Beth Buelow, founder of The Introvert Entrepreneur in Tacoma, WA, "is somebody whose energy is depleted by high stimulation environments." 2 Create quiet spaces Provide areas where introverts can retreat to at break time, says David Gouthro, president of The Consulting Edge in Vancouver. "Just a number of chairs gathered around, or a couple of couches for people to have a more comfort- able conversation." Have some fun with it: Buelow has seen "highly sensitive lounges" featuring ham- mocks, eye masks and ear plugs. "You could put yourself in this little cocoon and stay there for 20 minutes." 3 Schedule breaks While it's tempting to pack in as much content as possible, if you don't provide ample session On the quiet side Six Steps to Creating Introvert-Friendly Events Bill Gates. Albert Einstein. Rosa Parks. Steven Spielberg. What do they have in common? One thing these outstanding achievers share is a personality trait—they're all introverts. And recently, thanks to books like Susan Cain's Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking, we're learning more about them. Famous names aside, we have a better sense, for example, that introverts are numerous and valuable in our organizations. They're often visionary leaders, keen analysts and highly creative—with insights worth capturing. breaks, Buelow says introverts will be tempted to skip. "We just get exhausted and stop being able to get the value everybody has worked so hard to provide." The concept of breaks applies during sessions too, she says. "For the pre- senter, to be comfortable with leaving silence in the presentation so people can reflect in the moment is very helpful." As for social activities, Buelow advises plan- ning a range of options to suit different person- alities—and not forcing attendance. 4 Design introvert-friendly feedback loops into sessions Since introverts like to think before they speak, Gouthro suggests:

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