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  • How to Offer More Impactful Conference Content

     
    POSTED January 9, 2017
     

What is the ideal length for a keynote presentation? What about a breakout session at your conference? During the event planning process you are trying to fill the time, but is that the best approach? 

Conference planners usually ask speakers to deliver keynotes ranging from 40-90 minutes. For breakouts, 60-90 minutes is the norm. This is such a common practice that it forces speakers to create content to fill the time, instead of offering the most impactful message possible.

The next time you fill speaking slots for your conference, focus less on how much time you want the trainer to spend. Instead, have a conversation with each speaker about their presentation. Ask what is the most memorable, challenging, or thought-provoking point they hope attendees remember. Then, ask what is the shortest and/or longest amount of time it would take for the speaker to share that impactful message. 

If it is 15 minutes, have a 15-minute session and call it good. What if they say four hours? Give them the afternoon to take attendees on a deep-dive content journey.

Content at conferences is growing stale because everything fits in the same time frame. Let’s add some variety, and base it on the impact of the message. This will lead to a better experience for everyone, and higher quality conference content!

 

1. The building that is now the AAA Four Diamond-rated Kimpton Grand Hotel Minneapolis was originally constructed in 1915 as the Minneapolis Athletic Club—a high-end athletic and business club. The Grand Hotel opened in 2000 after a major renovation, and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants took over management in 2010 and underwent a full renovation that completed in 2011.

 

Here’s the one question you might want to avoid asking Robbie Harrell when you see one of his sculptures at an event: “Is that real ice?” The CEO of Minnesota Ice Sculptures says his com - pany’s sculptures are so clear and precisely carved that they prompt that question at every event they’re displayed. “Once people realize it really, truly is carved from ice, they’re excited about it,” he says. “There are always lots of selfies with the ice sculpture.”

 

Colorado DMCs share the questions they hear most as well as their responses.