“There is no try, only do,” Yoda said to Luke Skywalker. My mom would tell me, “You’ll never know until you try.”
In the meetings industry, there seem to be a lot of hard and fast rules when planning a meeting. There are times, however, when it makes sense to try something new.
A couple of years ago, I was in charge of planning SPINCon, the conference for senior level meeting planners. One of the speakers had a presentation that involved a wheel of leadership qualities handout and he wanted to somehow integrate that into the room setting. Working with the hotel, we came up with a spoke-like floorplan. The center of the room was the “hub” and the tables splayed out as the “spokes” of the wheel. We had seating on both sides of each spoke, which allowed people to easily interact with each other. The speaker loved it and the participants loved it!
Not everything will work that well, of course, but I highly recommend thinking through the situation to determine if it’s plausible. If the answer is “yes,” go for it! Our stakeholders come together for one primary reason: to learn from each other. It is our duty to facilitate that process the best possible way. Sure, you may have some people who don’t like change—until they try it. Being open to new ways of doing things helps you be a better leader. It shows that you have vision and are not afraid to put yourself out there. Yes, you are going to have failures, perhaps even some big ones. Lessons in life, learning experiences, teachable moments, whatever you want to call them, they are the foundation of our growth. Without them, there never would have been a Thomas Edison, a Steve Jobs or a Michael Jordan. Or, Yoda. Get out there and do!