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Energise your event

Energise your event

With a few easy tricks up your sleeve, you’ll be able to turn your conference from a snoozefest to a success in no time.

It’s every organiser’s worst nightmare: you’ve spent hours planning and preparing your conference when suddenly, from across the room, you notice several people attempting to stifle a yawn. You even spot someone who’s nodded off in the back row.

Woman at conference speaking to delegates.

Harness the power of superfoods

Securing the right conference food and drink is high up on any organiser’s to-do list. And with good reason too. Eating properly and keeping hydrated is key to ensuring we can be our best each day, so make sure to pick menus that optimise your delegates’ potential.

One way to do this is to avoid sugary food and drink that’s packed full of ‘empty’ calories, such as fizzy drinks, cake, chocolate, and biscuits. Whilst they provide a sweet pick-me-up, such food items can leave you feeling sluggish once the initial sugar high has worn off.

To keep your delegates’ energy levels steady throughout the day, try adding slow-release and protein-rich foods to your menu. Think nuts, oats, leafy greens, veggies, eggs, grains, fruit, and oily fish, such as salmon and mackerel. So-called ‘superfoods’, these foods are packed full of brain-boosting nutrients and vitamins that will help to keep your delegates on the ball.

Fish salad to go in recyclable cardboard box.

Serving breakfast at your conference? Swap Danish pastries for overnight oats, flapjacks, or yoghurt topped with banana and seasonal berries.

Don’t forget to offer your delegates plenty of refreshments throughout the day too. 73% of our brains are made up of water, which means that even mild dehydration can impair our concentration and leave us fatigued. Keep your delegates energised with plenty of water throughout the day, plus caffeine in the form of black and green tea.

Get moving

Securing the right conference food and drink is high up on any organiser’s to-do list. And with good reason too. Eating properly and keeping hydrated is key to ensuring we can be our best each day, so make sure to pick menus that optimise your delegates’ potential.

One way to do this is to avoid sugary food and drink that’s packed full of ‘empty’ calories, such as fizzy drinks, cake, chocolate, and biscuits. Whilst they provide a sweet pick-me-up, such food items can leave you feeling sluggish once the initial sugar high has worn off.

To keep your delegates’ energy levels steady throughout the day, try adding slow-release and protein-rich foods to your menu. Think nuts, oats, leafy greens, veggies, eggs, grains, fruit, and oily fish, such as salmon and mackerel. So-called ‘superfoods’, these foods are packed full of brain-boosting nutrients and vitamins that will help to keep your delegates on the ball.

Businesspeople doing yoga stretches together.

Simply ensuring that each of your sessions is held in a different room, or that people have frequent breaks throughout the day to move and stretch, can be enough. But, if you want to make sure your delegates truly have time to reset their body and minds, try adding a group walk to the day’s schedule.

If you’re holding your conference at the University of Birmingham, there are plenty of walking routes to enjoy on and around campus. You could give the Campus Mile a go, enjoy a lakeside walk at the Vale Village, or stroll through Winterbourne House and Garden’s seven-acre botanic garden.

People walking and talking on campus.

You could also try doing some gentle stretches in-between sessions or plan a ‘treasure hunt’ to get people on their feet and engaging with their surroundings. The Conferences & events team are more than happy to help you plan such activities in your chosen venue on campus, or outside in the leafy Green Heart. Whatever you pick, remember to tailor the activity to your audience and location.

Don’t forget to consider any accessibility needs your delegates might have too. If you’re out for a walk, make sure it’s inclusive by choosing a flat, wheelchair-friendly route. You could also try desk yoga or chair exercises that have been designed with wheelchair users and people with limited mobility in mind.

Mix it up

Nobody wants to be talked at for hours. In fact, research has found that people’s attention tends to dwindle just 10 minutes into a PowerPoint presentation. That’s why it’s important to mix up the format of your conference and present information in a variety of ways to keep your delegates engaged.

There’s no need to rip up the conference rulebook or wave goodbye to your trusted presentation formats; a few small tweaks here and there are all it takes to maintain your delegates’ focus from start to finish.

Audience Applauding Speaker After Conference Presentation

A great way to break up your content is to encourage your delegates to take part in live polls or Q&s. These will help to transform your delegates from passive listeners to active participants and encourage discussion around the conference’s main themes and ideas. It’s also a good way to gain feedback from your delegates in real-time. There are plenty of mobile apps out there to help you do this, although adding some questions into your presentation after every couple of slides works just as well.

You can also energise your conference through ‘edutainment’ – types of experiences and media that educate people whilst entertaining them. This could be anything from videos to keynote speakers that deliver your messages with a comedic twist. Alternatively, get the conversation flowing with fun icebreaker activities or gamification.

Smiling people brainstorming together on post-it notes.

Ready to plan your next conference? Get in touch with a member of the team today to find out how we can help you bring your event to life.

Sources:

https://www.usgs.gov/special-topics/water-science-school/science/water-you-water-and-human-body

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/why-sitting-too-much-is-bad-for-us/

https://journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/japplphysiol.00310.2018

https://www.forbes.com/sites/carminegallo/2014/04/30/why-powerpoint-presentations-always-die-after-10-minutes-and-how-to-rescue-them

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