Creativity is becoming increasingly independent and personal, but this does not mean that ideas are no longer shared. It only means that the ways they are shared are changing.

Confined to your cubicle, surrounded by uninspiring white walls, while the head of HR eats his peanut butter sandwich at the adjacent desk – this is not the ideal working environment. Neither is the meeting room, which often becomes a nerve-racking space of tedious presentations and dreaded criticism rather than lighthearted mingling and encouraged sharing.

As companies become more tuned in to how much our environment influences our productivity, they are beginning to shift their approach to the traditional work meeting, updating it using modern technology and techniques.

In this article, we discuss the future of smart meetings, offering 4 novel ways for business owners to maximize meetings without killing the creativity of their employees.

Invest in Cutting-Edge Technology

We don’t mean last year’s iPad model or a word doc software from 2015. We mean the most advanced technology available. That mean’s multi-display setups, touchscreen technology, and virtual reality headsets for unwinding. You want to set a tone that your company is an innovator, not a follower, and this is reflected in everything you buy for the office.

This is most important, perhaps, when it comes to the meeting spaces you use to discuss ideas. This is where your success originates. These spaces sculpt the future of the business. You must transcend the present moment, reach into tomorrow, and inject the future into the present. It’s a balancing act that all visionaries must maintain. You must keep one foot in the adjacent possible and one foot in the present, and perhaps a finger or two in the past.

And once you’ve invested in the resources, make sure you know how to use them, and then actually use them! Nothing reduces productivity more than fidgeting with the projector before your weekly budgeting meeting. In the future, there will be an array of similar companies trying to seduce your employees to work for them. By staying at the cutting edge, you can assure that you will have the best staff, and thus profits.

Integrate Smart Schedules Using Portable Devices

In the future, scheduling will be practically done for us by artificial intelligence that is embedded in wearable technology. All we’ll need to do is confirm the appointment or ask the AI to make an update. Integrating these kinds of portable devices into your everyday workflow can make you a more efficient collaborator and leader.

Once again, the more technology you feature in your office, the more streamlined your scheduling will be. By encouraging all your employees to invest in similar technology, or even better, by buying it for them, you can prevent scheduling conflicts and assure that everyone is flowing on the same page.

Online Meetings

The future of smart meetings entails a movement away from the office environment. This allows your peers to go where they feel most creative and comfortable, and then use the technology of the webcam to connect.

Instead of cramming everyone into a windowless room, try encouraging your employees to find their favorite spot for the next corporate meeting. John from Marketing might prefer to sit on the lawn and bask in sunlight whereas Linda from Finance might prefer the quiet coffee shop on 18th and Broadway. You want to cater to your employees, as they are the primary ones who will carry your vision to fruition.

Face-to-Face Meetings

Do not underestimate the value of an intimate face-to-face meeting. While the internet is certainly incredible, there are still certain words that are better exchanged in person. This doesn’t mean you have to do this every day, just every now and then. In fact, the less you do it, the more valuable each interaction will be. Just make sure you do it some of the time, and not none of the time.

One way of making these interactions more productive is to ritualize them. Ritual can offer a refreshing contrast to the onslaught of novelty that the future will bring to each and every moment.

Establish a tradition for each in-person meeting, and then follow that tradition religiously. This can be something as simple as an icebreaker using a smartphone app, or something more cerebral like a quick group meditation, or a communal chanting exercise. Song and mantra really connect people, and even though it might be awkward, it will surely help loosen up the group for creative problem-solving.

Our Final Thoughts on the Future of Smart Meetings

We think smart meetings are going to transcend geography in the future as the internet allows us to be multiple places at once. No longer will meeting professionals have to suffer through handshakes and sweaty business suits in order to close a deal.

By anticipating these trends and investing in cutting-edge technology, you can increase your efficiency, overall profit, and employee wellbeing. Just make sure you don’t neglect the human element entirely. Your employees are people with memories, dreams, and families. Never forget that.

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