New Survey states: –“Death by PowerPoint” to be true.
More than 80% of delegates do not fully engage with today’s conference content, research shows.
Conference organisers across the board need to update their approach to engage delegates attending live meetings and conferences if the results of this recent survey are to be believed.
The survey also states that 82% of the delegates who responded to the survey admitted that they failed to fully engage with the conference content put on for their benefit.
It is apparent that the traditional content of your average conference needs to change and change quickly in favour of more creative and interactive methods.
The survey goes on to say “delegates are often left bored and looking for excuses to escape” also when they are interested in the content they are often too shy to participate or ask a question they want an answer to.
48% of the survey respondents said they often felt reluctant to contribute to discussions or ask questions in case they got it wrong or felt in fear of being the centre of attention.
Members of the public were also surveyed on their experiences of the teaching mechanisms available which best help them to retain information.
Almost half of the respondents said their interest in attending live events was based on the chance to socialise with colleagues and peers, while only 18% viewed events as an opportunity to learn and develop core skills.
42% of those surveyed admitted to writing shopping lists instead of taking notes. 18% confessed to faking urgent telephone calls to make an early exit and 23% said they had taken deliberately bathroom breaks to help pass the time.
In order to stem this growing discontent surrounding the content of conferences which, let’s
face it, has not changed to any significant degree in decades, planners must start to incorporate fun, interactivity and delegate driven content into their meetings.
Another staggering statistic that came out of the survey showed that 47% respondents admitted to accessing their social media networks on an hourly basis.
Therefore the opportunity for businesses to capitalise on the use of social media as a forum to facilitate agenda creation before the event, shape possible content during the event and provide a platform for feedback and additional resource post event is substantial.
Will businesses and other organisations take note of these findings? One can only hope. If they do they will find a wealth of new tools and tactics available to redress the “Death by PowerPoint” approach currently favoured by many organisations across a broad range of sectors.
An overwhelming 32% of respondents to the survey said that their limit of total engagement was less than 30 minutes, so there is absolutely no point delivering slide after slide of important and potentially vital information if it is falling on a room of deaf ears.
For a start, to connect with more with delegates today, would it not be a good idea to introduce a RSVP process using on-line registration platforms, also involve delegates in deciding content and asking questions via a live on-screen twitter feed.
Next, one could move onto the use of tablets within a conference environment which has now established itself in both the domestic and commercial markets. *By using an iPad intelligently there are many ways that delegates can be immersed in the conference and all that it has to offer, thus enhancing the many benefits gained from bring delegates together and justifying the costs involved and ROI required.
*Here are some of the many applications an iPad can be useful for at a live event: –
- Stream Microsoft PowerPoint
- Ask a question
- Post a comment
- Interactive voting
- Voting results
- Notification of Programme changes
- Breakout Planning
- Pre/Post Event Questionnaire
- Feed back
- View Agenda
- View Table Plan
- Note taking
- Event Material
- Presenter Profiles
- Event material.
There are many more ways of putting tablets/smart phones to use, so think positively about these new applications when the time comes for you to update your approach to your next event. Smart phones and tablets are used every day by your prospective delegates, so why not put them to good use.