Over the years I’ve experienced some truly inspiring staff conferences, along with some that were as dull as ditch water. The best manage to combine inspirational messages with sufficient activity to keep the audience bright and alert.
Contrary to what speaker bureau would have us believe, it is possible to put on an outstanding staff conference without paying a premium for a celebrity to ‘motivate’ the crowd through the graveyard shift.
Here are ten tactics to make your next conference captivating:
- One clear message is better than half a dozen points that could be confused or forgotten
- Encourage interaction between delegates by seating people at tables instead of side by side in rows
- Less lectures more video clips – interviews and team activities will maintain energy and attention
- Fabulous food means cheerful delegates. By simply adding fruit, ice cream and various soft drinks to the refreshments a drab coffee break can be transformed
- Make it fun – when we laugh we learn. If your message really matters, make it engaging and enjoyable
- Movement keeps oxygenated blood pumping to the brain, whereas sitting still for more than 30 minutes induces drowsiness
- Pick a place that supports your message and culture. A new venue will raise expectations and lead to a more memorable event
- Easy access isn’t just about parking and bus routes but should also include hearing aid loops, clear slides and step free routes to toilets and refreshments
- Appeal to different learning styles – every audience will have a mix of theorists, activists, pragmatists and reflectors, be sure to vary the programme to suit each.
- End on a high by giving out awards, announcing new information or throwing a party
For more information on Fresh Tracks’ conference organising services, get in touch.