Planning a Breakout Session? Make It a Memorable One
When planning a conference or other business event, including time for breakout sessions, is essential. The purpose behind breakout sessions is to give guests time to interact with each other and with the speaker, allowing them to answer questions more directly.
Breakout sessions are ideal when you have a big group of guests. Essentially, these sessions are like little events inside your main event, so they require thoughtful planning if you expect them to be successful.
Here are some planning ideas that can help you hold breakout sessions that are both memorable and effective.
Pick a Great Group Leader
Your choice of facilitator or group leader will make a difference in the success of your breakout sessions. Depending on the type of sessions you plan on having, you might need a subject matter expert to allow for questions to be adequately addressed. Ensure the session leader’s content is in line with your event goals. It should be something that interests your guests, and that encourages interaction.
Find a Good Meeting Spot
Location and space are incredibly important. The venue for your main event should be versatile enough to allow smaller groups to spread around the area during the breakout sessions. All groups should have the privacy that allows for a professional atmosphere and promotes concentration and engagement.
Encourage Sharing Among All Groups
Small groups of approximately five people are the recommendation for breakout sessions. That will help people get comfortable quickly and encourage them to engage in more in-depth conversations with other group members. These activities tend to be more interactive when the more massive crowd brakes up into smaller groups. Interactive sessions can take many different forms, like group meditations, topic discussions, brain-teasing exercises, etc.
Your breakout sessions are likely to vary from one event to the next, and being open to feedback is a great way to make each experience better than the last. Don’t be afraid to ask some questions to the participants after each session. You’ll want to know what they thought about their experience and how comfortable and impactful it was. The information you gather will help you plan future sessions with added value.