Top 4 tips for helping your delegates stay focused

Dedicated venue company, The Sundial Group, offers some tips for keeping the conference concentration

We’re all obsessed with staying connected these days whether it’s via email or social media.

Technology is a wonderful thing, we’d certainly be lost without it. However, every now and then it can be beneficial to unplug and delve into some deep thinking, without the distractions of the modern world.

At your next meeting or conference, look around. How many people are on their phones and tablets?

Are they concentrating, or are their minds elsewhere? Are you going to achieve your objectives with these distractions? If not, it may be time for a digital detox.

Here are four ways to help your attendees stay focused and productive:

1. Unplug from technology

No phones, no tablets, no laptops – just people. Instead, hand out pen and paper for note-taking and sketching out ideas. It’s likely they’ll be less distracted by images and sounds and more focused on the topic at hand and generating ideas. Just remember to make it clear before the event takes place that it will be a device-free zone.

2. Rethink your PowerPoint

Too often, we spend 90% of the time listening to a presenter read from a slideshow, and this is where it’s easy to lose interest and turn to our emails and twitter feeds. You don’t need to ditch your Powerpoint completely, as visuals are a great tool, but don’t rely solely on it. Keep it short and mix it up by including images, video and use humour where relevant. Make it as interactive as possible and schedule in breaks for ice-breakers and audience participation.

3. Make it fun

Ensure your event incorporates a little fun and creativity – give them an experience they won’t get being connected to all that technology. Encourage them to take part in group discussions, interact with new people and work together as a team. Research has shown that adding items like Play-Doh and pipe cleaners to a meeting can help aid creativity and improve concentration.

4. Have a change of scenery

Nature brings out the best in us so why not take your delegates outside? Whether it’s a brainstorming session or a walking meeting, sometimes all you need is a breath of fresh air to generate new ideas. Plenty of big thinkers are advocates of walking meetings, in fact, this was Steve Jobs’ preferred way to have a serious conversation.

Let us know how you get on ‘digital detoxing’ at your next meeting.

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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Paul Colston

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Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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