In My Backyard

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In My Backyard

Generally our summer plans include a trip out of the country, and the experiences of discovering new people and places offer a good dose of adventure and inspiration. We all benefit from the opportunity to step away from our routines and return home with fresh ideas. This year, though we ventured out of the state, our schedules and family commitments meant staying closer to home. I found myself missing the adventure and was reminded of this while watching the trailer for the upcoming film Eat Pray Love where Julia Roberts exclaims, “I want to marvel at something!” If you read the book, you know she did just that, as she traveled the globe.

Well, here I sit in the middle of one of the most beautiful cities in the world. What am I doing thinking that it’s only elsewhere where I might find something marvelous?

How do you see your own backyard with a fresh perspective? Mix it up. This week, I did just that – not intentionally, but by chance. I found myself crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, heading up to the very top of the hill in Tiburon for an afternoon meeting. The views, the bay, the fog, the gorgeous home, the conversation, the gracious host  – everything about the afternoon was a big departure from my office routine. I looked at my city from across the bay and marveled. That energy has stayed with me all week and just thinking about the experience as I write this, I am inspired to look for inspiration and a fresh perspective in the week ahead.

And here’s my take-away for all of you event producers out there: when you’re planning a meeting or event in a venue that’s both familiar and often used, take this approach to energize your guests. Stage the room differently, turn the agenda upside down, change the lighting – you get the idea. Mix it up. People will take notice.

Cindy Wilson

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