Complete Story


Daily Buzz: Creating Better Breakout Sessions

How to ensure your virtual breakout sessions deliver

Meeting conference attendees’ expectations isn’t easy—and it’s impossible if you don’t know what those expectations are. That’s the premise of Adrian Segar’s latest post at Conferences That Work: By taking time to ask attendees—virtual or otherwise—what one thing they want out of a session, you’ll be better able to deliver.

“You can create great online breakout sessions in about five minutes,” Segar said. “Taking the time to discover what participants want and need and creating a session that meets the group’s desires as closely as possible will pay rich dividends.”

Segar suggests beginning virtual sessions by asking participants to post in the group chat one thing they want. Facilitators can then skim expectations and shape the session according to attendees’ needs. For example, if two thirds of the participants were hoping for an overview of a topic and one third were hoping for specialized instruction, a facilitator might spend two thirds lecturing and then switch to screen-sharing a demonstration of a particular skill.

This transparency lets everyone see what the group’s expectations are, which can help participants see what they have in common with one another, boosting enjoyment of the session. And participants who have a unique request nobody else raises can see that they’re not being ignored; they just want something different than the majority.

“[I]t’s impossible to create a session that’s perfect for everyone,” Segar said. “Suppose, for example, that you have a specific need that might take up most of the session to be fulfilled… and you’re the only person who asks for this. Okay, so you’re not going to get your needs met, but at least you understand why.”

Please select this link to read the original article from Associations Now.

Printer-Friendly Version