The Chicago Cubs finally won the World Series again, lifting a curse that many believe caused the team’s 108-year losing streak.
Billy Goat Tavern Owner William Sianis was asked to leave the Cubs’ Wrigley Field during Game 4 of the 1945 World Series because the odor of his pet goat, Murphy, was bothering fans. A miffed Sianis said the team would never win a World Series again, which proved to be true—until now.
Since the curse has officially been lifted, meeting planners can find inspiration to fight off their own event curses from the team’s strategies. In true baseball spirit, here are five tips for lifting the curse of underperforming events.
Don’t Invest in One Top Speaker
Since winning the World Series (or even a little before), the Chicago Cubs received praise for its innovative strategy to build an offense from within. This went against the conventional baseball strategy of investing in pitchers because the Cubs realized they aren’t always reliable. Learn from this strategy by not simply investing in one key speaker who could fall short, but instead, investing in a couple different speakers who can speak to different topics and engage a wider variety of attendees.
Change Points of View
Great professional sports teams have a bonded group of players who understand the needs and roles of each member—a key strategy that corporate groups can benefit from as well. Start a meeting off by having each attendee place their business card into a bowl, and then have everyone draw a card and assume the persona of the person whose name is on their chosen card. Ask questions and create discussions that give attendees a chance to answer from the point of view of that colleague. For more tips on changing it up, check out Captain Sully’s tips.
Incorporate Game or Exercise Breaks
During a meeting break, lead the group in a 15-minute workout—yoga, Zumba, a dance off to upbeat music or even a scaled down baseball game that will help get the group reinvigorated. Similarly, offer game booths during a break that challenge people mentally or even physically. A quick game of beanbag toss will always boost attendee spirits.
Offer a Professional Massage
Reinforcements are key in sports and in meetings. Setting up professional massage stations at an event helps engage attendees and helps them relax and reboot for the next session. Even just a quick five-minute neck rub can get attendees back on the field again and achieving their best in no time.
Use Toys to Spark Creativity
The seventh-inning stretch in the form of a song or ketchup-and-mustard race on the field adds momentum for fans and players alike to finish out the game. Similarly, several hotels offer creative boardroom setups to help spark attendee creativity. For instance, Anaheim Marriott offers a Lego setup for groups, with a Lego-decorated table and even a human-size Lego throne that serve as icebreakers at meetings.