How We Retreat: Team Sparkspace’s 3 Necessities for the Perfect Staff Retreat

So how does team sparkspace retreat? Over the past 17 years in business and hosting thousands of meetings we’ve learned lots of best practices but it’s really our own personal experience meeting as a team that we’ve discovered the must-haves for staff retreats. Here’s sparkspace’s top 3 ...Read the rest

Be the Meeting Hero!

We’ve hosted thousands of meetings over the past 17 years here at sparkspace and throughout the years, we’ve seen what makes certain meeting planners stand out. The thing is, what the rockstar meeting planners do isn’t super complicated; anyone can do it! They do five ...Read the rest

3 ways to create a memorable meeting experience

Why is creating an “experience” so important anyway? We remember experiences. Studies have shown that we are more likely to recall information when it is attached to a sense, whether it’s touch, sight, smell, taste, or sound. We all know what it’s like when a ...Read the rest

3 Little Meeting Room Touches to Impress Your Clients

The environment during a client presentation can make a big impact on how your company is perceived. When you google “how to impress your clients during a meeting” every article and blog are the same. Know the client, know the company, be prepared, and have ...Read the rest

Simplify the Meeting Planning Process for Out-of-Town Venues

Planning an out-of-town event can be overwhelming. Researching hotels, organizing evening activities, and finding the perfect restaurant is a daunting task. So why not ask for help? Most hotels and conference facilities have coordinators or a concierge service to simplify the planning. We say take full ...Read the rest

4 Quick Activities to Encourage Cross-Functional Collaboration

Cross-functional collaboration is a big portion of the meetings we see at sparkspace. Sales & Marketing, Marketing & Finance, Finance and IT. We especially see these type of meetings with Columbus’s many fashion retail home offices like Abercrombie and Fitch, Victoria’s Secret and DSW. Collaboration ...Read the rest

4 Easy Hacks to Beat the Winter Blues at Work

Are the winter blues starting to sink in at work? This tends to be that time of year when energy levels go from high to zombie-like low. And why is this? Our theory is that when you get back to the office from the holidays in January, things feel ...Read the rest

Are You Prepared to Meet Differently?

You open up your calendar on Monday morning and you see that the colored blocks that dictate most of your day are meetings. Lots and lots of meetings. You sigh, grab your notebook, head out the door and into the mass of meetings that await you. You’re ...Read the rest

The BEST Team Experiences for Every Budget

The purpose behind planning any type of team experience is to provide the opportunity to share ideas, experience new things, and bond with the people you work with. This team experience doesn’t have to require extra dollars, either. Below, I’ve listed a few (very) simple suggestions to help ...Read the rest

The BEST Budget-Friendly Retreat Locations for 2017

“We can’t plan our team retreat offsite because it costs too much!” At least, that’s what you’re made to believe, and while it might seem like a hopeless battle, here’s the good news: It’s not. You have every ability to become the office hero AND refrain from spending ...Read the rest

Why Team Building Does Not Work

I don’t believe in traditional team building anymore. Why? Because it doesn’t work. I know this because I used to facilitate a ton of it. Traditional “team building” involves games and activities designed to (supposedly) help teams learn a concept or improve a skill — ...Read the rest

The 4 Retreats Every Team Should Take This Year

A once-a-year team retreat is great, but 365 days between retreats is an awfully long time, especially if you want to keep that “retreat spirit” alive in your team the other 364 days. At sparkspace, we believe you should have not one, but FOUR retreats each year. No, not ...Read the rest

How to Design a Memorable Staff Retreat

Designing the perfect staff retreat can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. I’ve provided 4 simple guidelines that will keep you on track when designing the best staff retreat ever! Location: Choose the Right Space In order for teams to truly disconnect and ...Read the rest

The #1 Thing to Remember About Your Next Team Retreat

How would you like to know the best kept secret to conducting the most successful staff retreat? Are you ready? Do you have your highlighters out? The #1 thing to remember is: You can’t do it all in one retreat There is not one magical team ...Read the rest

share the spark presents: THE OSU STAR HOUSE.

 Before I get into today’s (FIRST EVER) share the spark feature, I’d like to request that you simply take a moment to think about the word “homeless”. I want you to really think about it. Picture “homeless” in your mind. Now imagine that “Homeless” is a ...Read the rest

Sharing the “Spark”: A New Initiative!

A simple Google search will introduce you to a world of definitions for the word, “spark”, but what does this word actually mean to you? If you were to try and describe it to someone who had never heard it before, how would you define ...Read the rest

Well, this is it. You made it through all 52 tips! An entire year of reading the Best Meeting Ever Blog. As a THANK YOU I’ve compiled all 52 tips into one location for your convenience. Please use this resource for your own personal use, or share ...Read the rest

Best Meeting Ever Tip #52: How to Have the Best Meeting Ever

The cold hard truth about meetings is that “bad” meetings can actually impact our economy. Unproductive, boring, irrelevant meetings cost companies lots of money and suck up everyone’s time. Don’t believe me? Check out the link below which shows the mind-blowing impact of bad meetings ...Read the rest

Best Meeting Ever Tip #51: Motivating TED Talks For Any Meeting

Managers, leaders, supervisors, etc… are always trying to find ways to motivate their teams. We are constantly asked “do you know someone who speaks on motivation?”, or “Do you have any motivating webinars or videos?” Well, I’ve researched dozens and dozens of TED Talks and ...Read the rest

Best Meeting Ever Tip #50: Top 3 Things the BEST facilitators ALWAYS do

We definitely see a wide array of meetings here at sparkspace, whether it’s a yearly retreat, a team building event, a personal development day, or a problem solving meeting. With such a wide variety of meetings we also see quite a range of facilitators — ...Read the rest

Best Meeting Ever Tip #49: Top 3 Things To NEVER Leave A Meeting Without…

We can have meetings all-day every day, but what is the purpose of all these meetings if we’re not taking anything away from them? How’s your team being held accountable? Make sure your next meeting is the best meeting ever by including the top 3 things ...Read the rest

Best Meeting Ever Tip #48: Benefits of Walking Meetings

sparkspace is located downtown Columbus and in the past couple years we have observed an increasing amount of outside walking meetings. Men and women in their business attire and tennis shoes briskly walking in a group down the sidewalk in the midst of a conversation is becoming ...Read the rest

Best Meeting Ever Tip#47: How to Encourage Meeting Participation

It’s every facilitators dream to have full meeting participation and engagement. Is this possible? Is this something we have control over? YES! You set the tone and expectations of your meeting, and you have more control of participation and engagement than you think. Below are ...Read the rest

Best Meeting Ever Tip#46: Do you have a Plan A?

Do you have a Plan A? This may sound like a silly question, but it happens. Are agendas created and sent out? Are materials printed? Are your ice breakers prepped and ready to go? Having your Plan A complete ensures your meeting will be efficient, productive, and organized.

A Few Promises About My Upcoming Book

I’m almost an author (meaning I’m almost finished writing my first book). I’ve ALMOST written a book at least three times in the past (meaning I never really started). This time is different, though. I’m actually about 75% done with the first draft. If all goes ...Read the rest

Best Meeting Ever Tip #45: Have A Plan B

When planning a meeting, having a Plan B is not something we always think about. We’re normally just so excited to have Plan A wrapped up and ready to go that we completely forget about “What happens if Plan A fails?“.  I’m here to tell ...Read the rest

Best Meeting Ever Tip #44: DIY Ice Breaker Exercise

Okay, so last week’s blog post on DIY Team Building Exercise was so popular that I’m doing one more…but this time it’s a DIY Ice Breaker Exercise. There are probably a million ice breaker exercises, but for some reason we have a hard time figuring ...Read the rest

I’m Done With Zombies (And Politicians)

It’s Spring and I’m in the mood to change my mood. A few weeks ago I cleaned out my closet and gave away half my clothes, including my varsity jacket. That was a great physical purge that really boosted my mood (still does every time I walk ...Read the rest

Best Meeting Ever Tip #43: DIY Team Building Exercise

I’m consistently asked what team building exercises do we offer here at sparkspace? Now….we do provide some great tools, games, and resources, but most of our suggestions are ice breakers, not team building activities. Today I’m going to share a simple, yet powerful team building ...Read the rest

How A Control Freak Learned How To Delegate

As an entrepreneur (read “control freak”) I’ve never really known how to delegate. That’s not a good thing, but I am getting better. Nothing helps build skill better than a taste of success, though, so here’s a little story about how I’m learning how to delegate. ...Read the rest

Best Meeting Ever Tip #42: Encourage Doodling In Meetings

Have you ever had a boss, supervisor, or colleague encourage you to doodle during their presentation or meeting? I’m guessing…..probably not. Doodling isn’t one of those activities that’s looked on in a positive light, and it is certainly not encouraged. When I’ve spoken in front ...Read the rest

My Top 10 Highlights From START by Jon Acuff

About once every six weeks I post my version of a book review, which is really just the top 10 passages that I ran over with my highlighter when I was reading it. If I share a book with you, it means it resonated with me ...Read the rest

Best Meeting Ever Tip# 41: Need an Assistant?

I met with a group of seasoned administrative assistants today and when asked “If you had a magic wand that could fix, help, or eliminate one of your biggest challenges/tasks, what would it be“? , one of them cleverly said “I’d have my own assistant!” She ...Read the rest

Why I Finally Gave Away My Varsity Jacket

This weekend I cleaned out my closet. This wasn’t just any cleaning, this was basically a closet transformation. Inspired by the book, The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up, I took everything out of my closet and piled it on my bed. Then I held each ...Read the rest

Best Meeting Ever Tip #40: Two Big Benefits of Video Conferencing

With all the advancements in technology and the increased use of Skype, face-timing, and and other visual apps, why are we not using video conferencing more often? Is it a hassle to set up? Is it too much to ask of your team or clients? ...Read the rest

Go Acoustic More Often

My friend and frequent collaborator, Whitney Bishop, was recently telling me about a weekend trip she was planning with her husband. It involved driving to a remote location in Kentucky and attending a concert in the middle of nowhere. She also promised her husband she would be leaving her ...Read the rest

Best Meeting Ever Tip #39: Team Building vs Team Bonding

Last week I wrote my blog post on Team Bonding Activities Your Team Will Love, and I received some questions on the difference between team building and team bonding. So here’s the follow up!

My Next Big Thing (Maybe Yours, Too)

Helping people discover, activate, enhance, and multiply their Ordinary Superpowers is what I'm dedicating all of my energy and resources to right now.

Best Meeting Ever Tip #38: Team Bonding Activities Your Team Will Love!

Popular question at sparkspace: "What team bonding activities do you recommend?" Well, here are a few of our favorites here at sparkspace. Some we've actually done, and some are on our list for upcoming staff events. Hopefully this is a helpful resource when planning those meetings that revolve around team bonding.

The Magic Of Being Part Of Something Bigger Than You

Last week’s post, I Want To Be Part Of The Magic, Don’t You? resonated with more readers than I expected. One of the responses I received was the letter below from Michael Mitchell of Water4, a charity venture that empowers local entrepreneurs in tough parts of the world to ...Read the rest

Best Meeting Tip #37: How to Stay Positive During “Not-So-Positive” Meetings

It can be hard to focus on the positive, especially when meeting topics are not always rays of sunshine and rainbows. There are meetings that are geared towards budget cuts, layoffs, decreasing sales, departmental decline, etc. These topics do not lend themselves to a “positive” vibe.  So ...Read the rest

I Want To Be Part Of The Magic, Don’t You?

There have been many times in my life when I wanted to be a part of the magic, but chickened out for one reason or another.

Best Meeting Ever Tip #36: Shut Down The Meeting Chatterbox

We've all been in a meeting with that one person who answers every question, responds to every point, and totally dominates the conversation with their thoughts, opinions, and chatter that seem to have no ending point. Here's how to stop them.

Best Meeting Ever Tip #35: Meeting Laughs

Okay, so this isn’t my typical blog post, but I do enjoy a bit of comic relief and I ran across these “meeting” clips on YouTube and they are pretty hysterical, and I believe, pretty accurate in some cases.

You’re Overqualified. So What?

We have a rare full-time job opening at sparkspace. As part of our recruitment process I shared the job description with my network, including a post on my various social media accounts yesterday. One of the comments a friend of mine made really jumped out at me.

Best Meeting Ever Tip #34: Who Should Attend Your Meeting?

Some of the typical things we think about when scheduling a meeting are: “What is the purpose of this meeting?”, “What topics will be discussed?”, “What solutions and/or decisions will be made during this meeting?, and “Who should attend this meeting?”. The latter of these thoughts, “Who ...Read the rest

What Will You Do In 2016 Just For The Joy Of It?

Now is the time of year when we all think the most about the future. We make plans for the coming year, set goals, and make our resolutions. As you ponder your immediate future, I have just one question for you.

Best Meeting Ever Tip #33: Technology Etiquette

I’ve been trying to come up with a post on technology etiquette and how to manage all the technology we see on a day to day basis. With all the smart phones, access to email, social media, and the constant urge to be updated, it ...Read the rest

My Top 10 Highlights From Big Magic

About once every six weeks I post my version of a book review, which is really just the top 10 passages that I ran over with my highlighter when I was reading it. If I share a book with you, it means I loved it and recommend it. But you read the highlights and decide for yourself if it's a book that resonates with you.

Best Meeting Ever Tip #32: Food & Beverage Trends

There’s always the newest and latest trends when it comes to food and beverage, but what about your next meeting? What are you providing during your meetings and holiday parties? Are you on trend? According to the Nations Restaurant News, here are a few of ...Read the rest

We Lost $202 Million, But Gained So Much More

Thats what we would have in our bank account if we hadn't lost the lottery this weekend. I know the exact amount because I saw it on a billboard at 4pm on Saturday. We were on our way to spend the night at our cabin. My wife said, "We should buy a ticket!" We both agreed that the little country gas station we pass on the way to our cabin is exactly the kind of place that would sell the winning ticket...

Best Meeting Ever Tip #31: Celebrate the Small Wins

We live in a society that loves to celebrate. We celebrate birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, holidays, etc., but what about work celebrations? Of course we have the boss's birthday, promotions, and end of year celebrations, but what about celebrating the small wins, achieved goals, and team successes? Below are a couple reasons why we should take the time to celebrate the "small wins" during your next meeting and throughout the year.