Organising an all-day meeting, workshop, away day, brainstorm, training session?
It’s important to fuel guests’ minds and bodies to get the most out of everyone’s time. Here are our top tips:
1. Joining instructions – encourage everyone to have a minimum 7 hours sleep the night before… and certainly no early morning flights or long trains… get in the night before.
2. Send this relaxing playlist to everyone and ask them to listen to five songs the day before the session, picking out their favourite.
3. Start early… at the breakfast table. Encourage an early start, when everyone is well refreshed from their loooooooong sleep.
4. Do it over a family-style breakfast table (so much more sociable than a ‘buffet’) of gluten free porridge, fruit and full fat yoghurt, soft boiled eggs and avocado. Avoid cereals, heavy breads or fatty cooked breakfasts. Pro tip: Chuck in some tinned sardines in olive oil to really step up your brains performance for the day. If you need your coffee, choose one cup made of high quality beans, make it ‘Bulletproof’ by adding MCT oil (coconut oil) and if you can, blend with Kerrygold grass fed butter instead of milk.
5. Start as you mean to go on all day. Replace ‘tea and coffee’ with water (ice cold with lime, it’s so refreshing in the morning or hot, it helps with digestion); no one needs constant injections of caffeine throughout the day.
6. It’s a good idea for you to talk about nutrition at this point – why you’ve decided to fuel the team in the way you have and how important it is to get nutrition right at work, understandably a contentious and complex subject – so be prepared to debate!
7. And… break the ice. Get everyone to share their favourite relaxation soundtrack and why? Max 30 seconds each, keep it short and punchy.
8. OK breakfast done, time to kick off and you want to make it the most productive session EVER. I’ve sat in way too many a team day, all day meeting or training session where less than half the room is engaged. Be a motivational speaker for 10 mins at the start, ask for everyone’s involvement as if they were about to compete in the final of the Olympic synchronised swimming team event (or something like that).
9. Now, we know the temptation to feature planned breaks timed with your venue’s preferred tea & coffee top up times. Time to break with the norm. Better to have short sharp breaks of max 10 mins every 90 mins (but be prepared to flex on that based on the mood of the group). 10 mins is perfect for a comfort break, stretch of the legs, smartphone check and top up of water (go on, push the boat out and offer still & sparkling).
10. Why you shouldn’t drink tea & coffee – “Essentially our body thinks that some kind of emergency is happening, and it floods itself with dopamine, epinephrine, cortisol, and acetylcholine.”
11. Most venues recently introduced more healthy alternatives to tea, coffee, biscuits and cakes for those morning and afternoon breaks. One venue writes “During the afternoon, we tempt you with our famous taste break buffet consisting of sweet and salt, delicious extras and healthy snacks”. But, STOP and think for a second… do you really need them at all? If yes, go beyond the innovation that is the ‘healthy brownie’ or ‘energiser smoothie shot’. What your body really needs mid-morning is one big handful of… trail mix.
12. Trail mix I hear you say? We aren’t going up Everest! Well, you kind of are, you’re about to achieve great things, stretch each other’s imagination, capabilities or ways of working. You need full concentration from your guests. All of that requires protein. Make it yourself (or maybe ask one of your guests to do that). Or simply order it here at £1 per snack box it will keep you on the budget too!
Next up…. Lunch… everyone’s looking forward to lunch. But, we’re going to make you wait for a little. I’ll be back in a couple of days to talk about the rest of the day. You don’t need to wait until then to start introducing new ways to fuel your guests.