Read some tips from MeetApp’s partner Tommy Brotte, Interactive Meetings and lecturer at Berghs School of Communication, based on his experiences of producing hundreds of conferences.
We tend to forget almost everything – science shows that our working memory is very limited. Shortly after we have received a piece of information the knowledge is lost and influenced by our own interpretations. This is of course a problem for someone who arranges a conference. In most cases attendees remember only a fraction of what they have heard and leave the conference with their own vague idea of what has been said. Rarely this picture is corresponding with what the speaker wanted to communicate.
Active learning and collaborative learning – there are methods and techniques that improves participant information uptake and thereby allow organizers to get more out of the investment. Methods as Active & Collaborative learning have contributed with considerably improved learning results compared to traditional teaching based on lecturing. Firstly, by simply giving participants the opportunity to actively process new information, compare it with earlier experiences, talk to other attendees about their views of the information, and apply the information in the right context. Secondly, giving them the opportunity to repeat the information will deepen their knowledge.
From bullets to questions – attract your attendees’ curiosity and interest by formulating your most important arguments or messages as questions instead of including them in your presentation. As an example, if you want your attendees to understand the most important issues in your latest customer survey ask questions such as ”What companies in our industry have the most satisfied customers?”, “What competitive advantages do they have compared to us?”, “What do you believe our customers are most satisfied with?”, “What do you believe our customers think we need to improve?”
Use an app for honest feedback and get everyone’s view– by using an app you will most likely get more honest feedback on your
questions. This since participants may choose to answer anonymously. In addition, answers will come from everyone not only the ones who enjoys to be seen and heard. You may also alternate your questions and ask participants to talk to each other about what they believe are the most important insights of the survey and share it in-app. This will broaden their perspective, and they get the chance to reflect over the information and understand other participants’ thoughts on the topic. Allowing attendees to exchange their interpretations and views from with other participants on the survey result will create a deeper understanding of the subject and improve their learning.
“Repetition is the mother of all learning” – the concept may be worn out; however, the fact is that repetition is necessary in order to convert information into lasting knowledge. An app enables your participants to get instant access to information – where and when they need it – whether it is surveys, presentations and notes. With everything gathered in the app, participants can easily refresh their knowledge whenever they need to.
From fireworks to real competence and change – all too often conferences tend to be more like expensive fireworks. Participants and organizers feel great inspiration and proud at the moment but very soon everyday-reality catches up and most of what was discussed is forgotten. By using a conference app and having a plan on how to engage with participants before, during and after the conference, you can turn shortsighted inspiration into real knowledge, development and change.