Five Tips for Hosting a Successful Lunch and Learn [Updated July 2019]
Five Tips for Hosting a Successful
Lunch & Learn [Updated July 2019]
Bethany Rae, July 25, 2019
A well-executed Lunch and Learn can be the perfect opportunity to introduce yourself to a new office, unveil an upcoming product, even make a crucial sale. While a majority of modern marketing strategies are left to die in a graveyard of unclicked banners and recycled mailers, companies who continue to employ reps- who hit the pavement, make location visits, and act as an accountable liaison- have an advantage. A trusted relationship results in customer loyalty…for the long haul.
The Lunch and Learn creates the type of laid-back atmosphere that’s ideal for cultivating such a relationship. A chance to supply information, offer support, and answer questions face to face. Lunch and Learns are also a helpful tool for leaders trying to get a team on the same page, provide training, or simply encourage communication. (See Also: 12 Benefits of a Learn at Lunch Program).
Follow our five-step guide and turn a casual midday meeting into your own success story.
Set an attainable goal.
Before you do anything else, clearly define your goal. Some Lunch and Learns are more about meeting new hires or touching base with old clients. Some are heavily informational and rely on facts and demos to get the staff up to speed. Some are about introducing something on the horizon, others are about updating something outdated. Some Lunch and Learns are about getting an office manager to place a large order and some are about getting a business owner to sign an important contract. Be reasonable in your expectations and understand that an extensive objective may require more than one meeting- only so much can happen during a lunch hour. Whatever your goal, outlining it for yourself is the first step to reaching it.
Create an interesting presentation.
Keeping people engaged is a dance that balances giving them vital formation and useful insight without overloading them with unnecessary minutiae. Luckily, gone are the days of dull demonstrations; Modern tech offers all sorts of exciting audio/visual accompaniments, well designed handouts help folks follow along with ease, and media sites mean your audience can revisit info even after the meeting is over. When hosting a Lunch and Learn, it’s important to have confidence in your expertise regarding the chosen topic. Do the legwork and be ready to share tales from the trenches (examples of experience go a long way) and do your research so you’re able to answer the inevitable questions. And there will be questions.
Know your audience.
Assembling your audience can take time and effort. It may require several phone calls, emails, and invites to get everyone available and on board. But once that’s done, understanding whom you will be addressing is almost twice as important. Knowing your audience should deeply influence your presentation and demeanor. Some crowds will appreciate a strictly professional approach and veterans in that field can handle industry jargon and advanced material. Some crowds are only going to nibble if you’re humorous and personable and newcomers will catch on quicker if you use Layman’s terms and novice lingo. Most Lunch and Learns will require navigating a territory somewhere in between. Be personable, be approachable, and be honest. Remember: this is about forming a relationship that has longevity.
Keep it brief.
Most people can only spare their lunch hour and then they need to get back to work. It’s important to be respectful of the time they’ve given and make every minute within that hour work hard for you. If you’ve outlined your goal, prepared your presentation, and assembled an audience- all with thought and care- you’ll glide through your Lunch and Learn with great ease. All your hard work has paid off. It’s showtime! Keep the itinerary concise and be sure to leave some wiggle room for unexpected questions, unplanned distractions, and unscheduled surprises.
Serve great food.
Let’s face it. The promise of free food may be the only thing that gets some guests in the door. Providing a delicious menu will impress the room and increase future turnouts. Up ‘til now, you’ve needed to use some major mind-power but, luckily, this part is a no-brainer. Northern Fork can handle your Lunch and Learn needs…whether it’s individual boxed sandwiches and salads or a large deli platter or buffet-style spread. No matter the size of your crowd, we’ve got you covered. We don’t mean to brag…but we’re seasoned experts when it comes to the Lunch and Learn and our staff is here to help you fill bellies and reach goals. Write or call us with questions and we’ll be the assistant you need to rock your next presentation. You’ve totally got this. We’ll see you at lunch!
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