During a conference, it can be quite challenging to keep people’s attention for hours upon end. However, we’ve come up with a few tips to help you keep your conference equal parts intriguing and educational.
1. Encourage Discussion
You don’t want your conference to feel like a lecture. Instead, create opportunities for colleagues to convene and discuss the material you are covering. A good way to ensure this happens is to ask meeting attendees to come up with their own agenda points, allowing them to contribute to the meeting’s goals.
2. Have an Intermission
Intermissions are commonplace in plays and sometimes, even long movies. So, why not include the practice in meetings too? After hours of sitting down, attendees can start to feel a little cramped and unmotivated. By taking a break every once in a while to stand up, get water, or just get the blood flowing, your attendees will start to feel more energized. More energy means more opportunity to become engaged during your presentation.
3. Include Visual Components
Instead of relying solely on text-based components during your meeting, find ways to include visual elements. Graphics, maps, and charts work well in this regard. The change in pace can be enough to peak attendees’ attention and stay involved in your presentation.
4. Create Small Groups
If you incorporate the previous suggestion of group conversation, make sure there are several smaller groups created. This creates a more intimate experience, allowing people to feel like they can speak up and engage with their peers in conversation. With smaller groups, even shyer guests can feel more confident in their contribution to the discussion.
5. Use Polling Options
A great and simple way to encourage more involvement in meeting discussions is utilizing polls. Allowing people to answer questions and cast their votes keeps them engaged. The interactive experience also helps guests feel like they have a voice.
6. Try a Game
If possible, throw in an opportunity for attendees to play short games during the meeting. This could be anything from pre-meeting ice breakers to post-discussion jeopardy. These games help attendees feel more comfortable around each other and provide a great way to relax while learning.