Invigorating General Sessions
After attending myriad conferences, attendees can get tired of the same setup—a presenter doles out information, talking at them for a period of time, they listen and then it’s over.
So, it’s important to mix things up and make your conference—and sessions—stand out. If you follow any and all of these tips, you’ll freshen things up and improve your feedback scores.
- Theatrical entrances There are two tips within this idea. The first is saying your presenter’s name at the end of their introduction. Typically, when the speaker is introduced, their name is said more toward the beginning of the intro. The speaker then comes up midway through the introduction. But when it’s the last thing an announcer says, the presenter will come up as soon as he or she is finished speaking, creating a more heightened entrance. Secondly, if possible, use some sort of hidden entrance for your presenters to come from. Be on the lookout for places you can hide your speaker before they come out such as backstage or another location invisible to the audience.
- Don’t follow the same pattern Change things up every year. Instead of always opening the event with a speech from your executives coupled with a presentation from a thought leader, consider breaking up the schedule and starting the morning with your executives and hosting the thought leader during an event session.
- Keep sessions open Instead of booking all of your session slots, keep a few free. This gives you the opportunity to pop any in based on late-breaking content or trends. This helps keep your content fresh and of the moment.
- Unique stage setups Have you ever thought about removing the lectern? Using one forces the presenter to stand in one spot for the duration of the presentation. Without one, the speaker can walk around and create a more collaborative environment. With the actual stage, consider changing up the shape—they don’t need to just be rectangles. Create a triangle or thrust (runways) to lighten things up.
- Reduce panels Panels tend to be less interactive than presenter-led sessions. By removing them or cutting down the number to three you allow for a heightened environment that draws the attention of attendees.