Ideas to help in­for­ma­tion re­ten­tion at your next event

Direc­tor of Con­fer­ence Fo­cus, Max Turpin is shar­ing his in­sights on a range of top­ics with a reg­u­lar column in BEN. Top­ics in­clude new gen­er­a­tion events and mak­ing events ef­fec­tive and valu­able.

Business Events News - - News - you’d like to learn more about how to make your events fresh, in­no­va­tive and ef­fec­tive, please con­tact Max Turpin at Con­fer­ence Fo­cus on 02 9700 7740 or visit the web­site at con­fer­ence­fo­cus.com.au

THE num­ber one rea­son why most peo­ple at­tend events is to gain new in­for­ma­tion and ideas to help with their pro­fes­sional or per­sonal lives. If the event runs over two days or more, at­ten­dees can be sub­ject to in­for­ma­tion over­load, which be­comes detri­men­tal to the ab­sorp­tion and re­ten­tion of info. Here are a few ideas to stop that from hap­pen­ing and to help at­ten­dees re­tain as much info as pos­si­ble...

Don’t cram your agenda. Whilst this is of­ten tempt­ing, it’s harm­ful.

Think, write, share. The idea of giv­ing at­ten­dees time to think about the in­for­ma­tion dis­trib­uted to them, write notes about what it means to them and to then quickly dis­cuss it with oth­ers and share thoughts is an ex­tremely pos­i­tive con­cept as it helps with in­for­ma­tion re­ten­tion – a fact backed up by the science of cog­ni­tive psy­chol­ogy. Also… In­volve at­ten­dees. The ben­e­fits of in­volv­ing your at­ten­dees rather than them be­ing pas­sive lis­ten­ers is per­haps best high­lighted by this quote from fa­mous US psy­chi­a­trist and ed­u­ca­tion­al­ist Wil­liam Glasser: “We learn 10% of what we read, 20% of what we hear, 30% of what we see…but 70% of what is dis­cussed and 80% of what we ex­pe­ri­ence.” There you have it.

Pro­vide reg­u­lar breaks. Breaks pro­vide time for your at­ten­dees to process, di­gest and re­flect upon in­for­ma­tion. And it’s im­por­tant to be gen­er­ous with the time you al­lo­cate to breaks… most peo­ple will spend time check­ing their phones for mes­sages and emails, will likely make a quick call or two and also visit the loo, so build in time for this into your breaks.

In­ject some fun. Peo­ple learn best and are more likely to re­mem­ber teach­ings when they’re hav­ing fun. You could even play a trivia game on what was learned and dis­cussed which will help at­ten­dees to re­call in­for­ma­tion in a fun way.

Mix up the sched­ul­ing. Some ses­sions may be heav­ier and more se­ri­ous than oth­ers and most peo­ple tend to work best in the morn­ing. There­fore, sched­ule ses­sions with weighty ma­te­rial mid-morn­ing rather than later in the day. Sched­ule fun and lighter ses­sions af­ter lunch.

Last, but cer­tainly not least, don’t take for granted that all your at­ten­dees are good learn­ers and will be good del­e­gates. At the start, set them ex­pec­ta­tions and en­cour­age them along the way.

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