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Four Ways to Help Attendees Retain Conference Takeaways

Start with the learning pyramid

Association professionals put so much thought, effort, time and money into planning exceptional conference experiences. There are many reasons why members—and nonmembers—choose to attend. They come to network, discover new places and catch up with old friends and colleagues.

The learning and the speaker lineups are also big draws. The scary truth is that even when attendees enjoy a session, they quickly forget what they learned. According to cognitive scientists Henry Roediger and Mark McDaniel in their book, Make It Stick, “... In very short order, we lose something like 70 percent of what we've just heard or read.” How can we help conference-goers retain what they learn so they take back ideas they can apply to their jobs? 

We can start with the popular learning pyramid, which indicates that retention is highest when people discuss the content and teach what they have learned. The School Nutrition Association (SNA) applied some best practices from this framework in January 2022 when we welcomed approximately 400 attendees to our first in-person conference since the start of COVID-19.

Please select this link to read the complete article from ASAE's Center for Association Leadership.

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