There are many way to foster learning and engagement at your next conference. Creating a vibrant and memorable learning experience does not have to be costly or difficult. Here are a few super easy to implement ideas for you:
Collaborate: Passive listening is no longer as popular with modern day meeting participants as it used to be. They want to be a part of the experience. Include crowd-sourcing for topics, round table discussions, ideation sessions and opportunities for attendees to take part in the learning process.
Movement: Take a note from today’s classroom, teachers know that sitting all day is sure to greatly decrease class participation. Think movement! During the presentation include sections where attendees move into a group discussion of a topic, ask them to introduce themselves to their neighbors, take a stretch break, give them a new perspective by asking them to switch seats during a part of the presentation– a little bit of movement will keep them engaged.
Connection: The best presenters know how to connect with the audience. They move into the audience, they connect with members of the audience, even look at them in a way that makes them feel part of it all.
Swarm: Bees use swarming to form a “brain of brains,” which enables them to work together in order to find best solutions. Even people can do this! Read this amazing article and apply swarm techniques to your presentations.
Q&A: Audience members will always have questions, so ensuring a bit of Q&A is preferred, but also allow some time for the presenter to ask questions of the audience or allow the audience to ask questions of each other – much can be learned from those in the room!
Blueprint: Ask presenters to clearly define the top takeaways from their presentation and to state them up front. Then during the presentation, the speaker should connect what is being shared back to each of the takeaways. This will help attendees better organize and recall the information being delivered.
Set Up: Create varying types of set ups in each breakout room. Some can be theater style, some classroom style and, if possible, others can be set up in pods of roundtables.
Wrap Up: Assign a person to each presentation that will take notes, then share the top highlights and ideas offered in the presentation before breaking to the next event.
Just a few simple engaging ideas that can make a huge difference for your audience!