Picture this: you’re sitting in a room full of 200 people. The keynote speaker at your conference has been going on for over 2 hours about something that is supposed to change your life, but you have barely digested a word. We’ve all been there before. Employees are forced to attend a conference their boss claims will change their work life – and that might be true if their attention was held long enough to retain the information!
So, the question is, how do you plan a conference for your employees that won’t make them daydream about finding another job? It’s actually a lot easier than you think. Here are a few tips to make your next conference a success.
It’s incorporated into our daily lives, why not into conferences too? There’s a reason we put on bright and colorful movies to keep kids entertained while we get to the dishes we’ve been putting off. Adults are not that different besides the fact we can’t sit through 20 hours of hearing “Let it go”. Instead of having your keynote speaker just say words that may or may not be heard, pair it along with visuals and your audience will better engage. It doesn’t have to be the focal point of the conference, but having it aid the speaker will make people more likely to focus.
Music Keynote Speaker
The speaker you choose is pivotal to making or breaking a conference. While not every musical keynote speaker will know your industry inside and out, they sure know how to catch people’s attention and more importantly, keep it. Creativity and uniqueness really go a long way in helping people remember. Can you recall every school assembly you had as a middle schooler? Probably not, but you remember the guitarist comedian that talked about respect.
Another pivotal decision is the location. Having your conference at the office building will make employees think it’s just another day of work. However, renting the largest room at your local wildlife park will definitely make a big difference. You’ll see your employees actually be excited about going to the conference rather than dreading it. Besides, what’s a better way to make sure you have everyone’s attention than walking in with a 12-ft. long Burmese python? And, during breaks, employees will get to explore the park and look at animals in the fresh air rather than gathering in a cramped hallway where you can’t maneuver around the 50ft line of people waiting for the 2-stall bathroom.
The bottom line is pretty obvious: do something unique with your next conference. Whether it’s investing in more tech, hiring a musical keynote speaker, or calling your local zoo, thinking outside of the box will give you happy, informed, and overall better employees.
About the Author: Connie Sarinana is the Events Coordinator at TWP. Born and raised in Iowa, she studied Animal Ecology, Spanish, and Event Management at Iowa State University. Her passion for helping wildlife starting out young, as she would always ask to go to the zoo as soon as learned what the word meant. When she’s not planning a wedding or a corporate event, she enjoys cuddling with her dog and trying to convince her fiancé to let her get a pet snake.