Help Your Attendees Learn
Sometimes having a jam packed event full of top speakers and training sessions may not get the results you would like. How can your attendees walk away from your fantastic, informative event unfulfilled?
One reason may be that they loved all the information provided at the time… but forgot it as soon as some other vital information came along. Inspiration can turn to frustration when your attendees are bombarded with educational gems, but as every new idea enlightens them, they forget the last one.
Research show that people can only remember 3 or 4 things at a time (which is why phone numbers are always put into groups of 3 or 4 numbers). Keeping that in mind, you want to increase the enjoyment and help your attendees learn all the new and amazing points, so they rave to others about how good it was and how much they benefited.
Firstly, and perhaps very obviously, it’s a good idea to provide note pads and pens. Not only will your attendees be able to jot down bullet points to expand on later, but your note pads will be out and about with your name and branding, among others who may be potential attendees.
Another must is to carefully plan your schedule to make sure the timing is right. It has been shown that learning is retained better in the morning than at any other time. Try therefore to schedule your ‘heavy’ sessions, ie heavy in information and learning, in the morning sometime. If you make it mid-morning, your attendees will now be awake (especially if there was an event the night before) and you can then plan to have a break after, to allow attendees to take it all in and lighten up a bit. Two information heavy sessions in a row will cost you dearly, as you will have ‘lost’ your attendees at some stage as they are overloaded. Scheduling some light activities in between will help them take the load off. Also remember having regular breaks not only refreshes your attendees, it also allows them time to network and deal with office matters which may come up, leaving them ready to start the next session without work dramas in the back of their minds.
Another way to help attendees retain information at your event is to have your speakers agree to show slides of their presentation with bullet points and perhaps images throughout. This way attendees can take note of the main points, and listen to the details. It also helps those who may be better visual learners. Providing a brief recap at the end is also a good idea, as well as a discussion of what was addressed. This allows a deeper understanding of the subject.
Finally, it is always important to thank your attendees once your event is completed. When you do this, you may like to send them out a summary of all points covered, for their own reference. This is a valuable resource to have, and you may even like to let them know at the start of the conference that they will receive this, so they don’t scramble taking points down, missing other information.
If you not only provide useful and valuable information to your attendees but also help them retain that information, you will have a much more successful event and happy attendees that will sing your praises.