How long is too long? How long is too short? What is the perfect session length at an event?
Today we wanted to share some valuable insight on planning session and keynote lengths to ensure a neuroinclusive experience for all attendees.
By considering the diverse needs and attention spans of your audience, you can create a more engaging and inclusive event and here are the key considerations:
1️⃣ Vary Session Lengths:
Not all attendees have the same ability to sustain attention for long periods. Consider offering a mix of session lengths to accommodate different attention spans. While some individuals may thrive in longer sessions, others may benefit from shorter, more focused bite size sessions. Offering a variety of session lengths allows attendees to choose what works best for them.
2️⃣ Breaks and Rest Periods:
Are you still only planning in a morning and afternoon coffee break and lunch to your event agenda? If so then this is so 2019! It’s important to provide regular breaks and rest periods throughout the event. This allows attendees to recharge, process information, and prevent mental fatigue. Longer events should include scheduled breaks between sessions, giving attendees time to relax, socialise (connect and talk about the session they have just experienced), and rejuvenate. Shorter sessions can also benefit from brief breaks to allow for a little mental refreshment.
3️⃣ Interactive and Engaging Formats:
To maintain engagement and accommodate different learning styles, consider incorporating interactive elements into your sessions. This can include group discussions, Q&A sessions, hands-on activities, or interactive presentations. By involving attendees actively, you enhance their focus and participation, making the sessions more inclusive, enjoyable and importantly…memorable.
4️⃣ Clear Agenda and Time Management:
Clearly communicate the session lengths and schedule in advance, let your attendees see the programme and allow attendees to plan their time and how they will navigate the event accordingly. Stick to the designated time slots to respect attendees’ time and attention. Effective time management ensures a smooth flow of the event and prevents attendees from feeling overwhelmed or rushed.
5️⃣ Keynote Speech Considerations:
Keynote speeches are often a highlight of events. When selecting keynote speakers, consider their ability to deliver memorable and engaging content within a reasonable time frame. Longer keynotes should be captivating and dynamic to maintain attendees’ interest. If a keynote is longer, consider incorporating breaks or interactive elements to keep the audience engaged throughout.
Remember, neuroinclusion involves recognising and accommodating the diverse needs and attention spans of all your attendees. By implementing these considerations for session and keynote lengths, you can create a more inclusive and engaging event experience for everyone.
Let’s plan events that cater to and celebrate the neurodiversity of our attendees! Because we are ALL neurodiverse!
If you have any questions or need further expert advice on this topic, feel free to drop us a message in our help and advice group Ask EventWell and a member of the team will come back to you.
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