Meetings Are Cool, Okay. We Swear.

Brace yourselves. Here comes the word. The big one. The queen of dirty words. The M-word. That’s right. Meeting.

Just hearing it can suck the fun right out of you. But what if it didn’t have to be that way? What if this staple in business culture could be productive and, dare I say it, enjoyable?

To achieve this, you’re going to have to make some slight adjustments to what you’re used to, but it’ll be worth it, promise. Let’s take a look at the worst parts of a meeting not only for those attending, but also the worst for the poor soul that arranged it. And while we’re at it, we’ll tell you the ways that HOWDO is improving that experience.


Meetings don’t have to suck

First, we have the big one, with which negativity lingers long after the meeting is over: Nothing is accomplished! No one remembers what decisions were made and often times, attendees leave irritated that they wasted valuable work time.

Before launching HOWDO, we knew one of its functions would be as a meeting space, and one thing was certain: The typical meeting needed to be re-invented. Not so different that progress wasn’t made, but not so boring that…well, progress isn’t made.

It’s no secret that the more senses you can appeal to during the learning process, the more information you’ll remember. But engaging your team takes more than just WordArt and sound effects in a PowerPoint. It needs to be meaningful.

NOTETAKING: This isn’t high school anymore

If you think back to when you were in school, when you had to remember something important, you took notes. Maybe etched a few doodles onto the corners of the pages. A tree with stars growing on it sitting right next to “the mitochondria are the powerhouse of the cell.” You have to wonder, when did we get so far from this method? While it would be extensive to write down every word spoken during a meeting, it would be nice to have a small, portable way to easily write down that awesome thing Susan just said or jot down the incredible idea you and Steve just came up with during lunch.

This is why we provide everyone in a meeting at HOWDO with Field Notes, a notepad that can literally fit in your pocket and allows you to remember the really important stuff. Don Draper wrote some of his best ideas on cocktail napkins. You, however, can change the world with a notepad that isn’t so large that you were overwhelmed trying to fill it, but small enough that you know to only write down the most important ideas.

DOODLING: Business Approved

But with a notepad so small, how are you going to engage your brain with the doodles of your high school days? Don’t worry, we have an answer, and it’s the HOWDOODLE. Sometimes you just can’t find the right words. So why not draw it out? Every setting at the HOWDO conference table has a blank coaster encouraging you to bring your subconscious idea forward. Even if you don’t deem yourself an artist, just watch. What will begin as one spot in the middle will somehow end up filling the coaster to its edges as a full idea. (Click here if you want to know more about how awesome doodling is for your brain). No matter what you doodle, the whole point is to get your brain going.

It’s not rejection, it’s idea storage

Ok, so the awesome ideas are brewing now. Moving onto one of the top reasons employees hate meetings: Rejection. We’ve all decided it is better to simply keep an idea to ourselves rather than to speak out and have it shot down. Granted, to be successful in any business requires plenty of ideas being shot down before the right one is presented. All we can do is help make the process of denial and approval a little more lighthearted.

In HOWDO’s conference room, you’ll see the back wall covered in white boards, magnetic and writable for your team to take over. There are custom stickies reading “DO IT,” “WILL DO,” or “MIGHT DO.” Assign a stickie to an idea, and take all of the uncomfortable awkwardness out of rejection, while getting some planning out of the way.

HOWDO isn’t like any meeting space you’ve been in before, at least not in Dallas. So we encourage you to check it out, take a tour, or bring your team in for a trial.

erik herskind