Networking with people outside of your industry can help you uncover innovative ideas and new ways of doing things, writes Sheila Goldgrab, founder of Goldgrab Leadership Coaching, in a recent article on Forbes.com. This strategy "reduces groupthink and can lead to greater diversity of thought, which is a far better situation than the impulse for conformity that can push away new ideas."
Interestingly, meeting planners could employ a similar approach within their events to help attendees find creative answers to their own challenges. For instance, if a planner brings into a meeting a roster of experienced people from one or more companies located in the meeting destination to take part in an extended lunch-and-conversation session—with different tables designated for specific topics—both the attendees and the visiting professionals stand to learn from each other's experiences and perspectives. What's more, such sessions might produce long-lasting relationships between participants from different companies, expanding their professional advisory networks for years.