3 Event Fundamentals for Breakout Session Success
1. Pre-Session: Set Clear ObjectivesGeneral sessions cover a lot of territory with only a little time left for the audience to process information or ask questions. So in your breakout sessions, outline the objectives you’re expecting to accomplish in advance. Without attempting to address every single topic, create realistic and specific goals that can be achieved in a short amount of time. This could be as simple as collecting and discussing feedback, or as involved as leading a seminar-style discussion or workshop.
And while the group may need you or another designated leader to facilitate, don’t be concerned if they veer off track and discuss different topics other than what you intended. Allow the conversation to flow naturally with the energy in the room. They’ll engage with different points of view and walk away from the experience feeling driven, not drained. Another important point to consider: Don’t schedule a breakout session if what they really need is a break. Don’t exhaust your participants just to pack the biggest punch in a short timeframe – be respectful of their time and energy.
2. During: Personalize the ExperienceSince the General Sessions must appeal to a mass audience, Breakout Sessions are the perfect means to tailor the experience toward the individual participant. Here are a few best practices to implement at your next corporate event’s breakout sessions:
- Contribute to a unified, seamless event experience by optimizing the space and offering engaging content that is relevant to the theme.
- Prep your group speakers or facilitators ahead of time to familiarize them with the layout of the room.
- Arrange the room with decor and furnishings that vibe with the look of the event.
- Consider how you can engage each person with captivating content.
- Reawaken the inspiration your audience received in the General Sessions with tangible, practical advice and learning objectives.
- Also, adapt to different learning styles for those in your group who connect more with verbal, visual or audio material.