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How to get people to stay until the end of an event (05 Feb 14)

7 ways to avoid a trickle becoming a flood

Design a meaningful ending – and “trail” it
There has to be a reason for people to stay to the end so you need to create a timetable which doesn’t fade away to nothingness. You must have a definite conclusion so you end with a bang and not a whimper.

Trail it by asking people at the start to reflect for a moment as to why they are there and what they want from the session. Then explain how your programme will meet their needs. Then they are more likely to stay.

Also, make sure the last thing in the day is special. Maybe a draw to win something. Maybe a surprise guest. Maybe a speaker you know they will really want to hear

Create a timetable which fits the needs of delegates
Don’t overdo your delegates with sessions of more than 90 minutes so that they slink away early simply exhausted. They need regular comfort or refreshment breaks to stay alert all day.

Get your delegates to ask questions and feel involved
Your delegates will feel involved in the conference and want to stay to the end if you get them engaging with the speakers and each other .The best learning experiences are a two-way process. Think of ways to survey their opinion such as a show of hand or fill in cards. Then get any feedback to the speakers.

Always finish at 5pm or even 4.30pm if you can and never, ever finish at 5.30pm or later
You will often be in danger of finishing late so adapt your programme to bring about an early finish. Don’t squeeze too much into the day.

Leave time to add something or deal with extra questions rather than have too much material and rush people who then feel something has been missed out. Above all never finish too late with a finishing time of 5pm being the absolute latest time.

Go for the best

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