The best way to engage any audience is to involve them directly in the learning process
The way we present, engage and interact with audiences is different today than five years ago. Technology and devices have shortened our attention spans, and trained us to expect individualized experiences. As a result, planners all over the world are being faced with a new challenge of engaging our audiences differently.
5 de abril de 2015
There used to be one Adult Learning Theory, and that’s no longer true. Today, there are over five trillion different learning styles – everyone is an individual and expects an individualized experience to meet their needs at a conference. Planners are relying more on speakers to help us engage our audience differently. Smartphones and iPads have changed everything. If we’re not engaged in the conference, we grab for the nearest device and melt into cyberspace. The best way to engage any audience is to involve them directly in the learning process, NOT as a passive listener, but a participant.
Speakers who only lecture and do not involve the audience are dying out. MICE planners need to ask all speakers how they will involve the audience, and hire only those who have a real plan and method to do so.
For example, I recently spoke at Forum Eventos in Sao Paulo, on the subject of how to engage audiences differently. Rather than lecture about it for an hour, I decided to show the group of planners and suppliers by example. I broke them into groups by generation, and then had Baby Boomers talk with other Baby Boomers about an assigned topic. Generation Y met other Generation Y people, and so forth. I then had the audience split up into introverts vs. extroverts. Each had to discuss what they hated about conferences that didn’t serve their needs. Next, we divided up by Morning Person vs. Night Person – when do they have the most energy? How can conference agendas serve them better?
There are infinite ways to divide groups – by type, learning style, geography, department, generation, gender, etc. It’s just a matter of putting like-minded people together to discuss a common interest or challenge.
A major reason people come to conferences is to network. If you can combine the networking with the learning, those are almost always the sessions that get the highest marks from attendees. As planners, we need to address the evolving needs of our audience, or they’ll stop coming to our events altogether. Fortunately, it’s not a painful change to make.
Postado às 05h12