Your coffee break, networking break, stretch break or whatever you choose to call the short gap in-between sessions is something that can easily be overlooked. The time you allocate for a break throughout a conference can seem so minimal in comparison to your big keynote session or workshops. With that said, it may be time to refocus your efforts and spruce up your next conference break.
Below are a few questions you should be asking yourself when organizing your next conference break:
Have you scheduled enough time?
Fifteen minute breaks just aren’t cutting it anymore. Delegates barely have enough time to grab a coffee, go to the bathroom and then find their next session. When organizing the schedule for your next conference, allocate thirty to forty-five minutes for your networking breaks. Delegates will appreciate having extra time to check their emails and network before heading to their next session. If conference attendees have the time they need during your conference’s breaks, they will be able to better focus during the next session, increasing conference engagement and productivity.
Have you maximized the opportunity for networking?
Breaks should not always be an afterthought. The breaks themselves can serve as another opportunity for effective networking and engagement. Why not facilitate constructive breaks with a purpose by organizing meetups? The format is simple: a pre-determined topic that may or may not be addressed during the conference is discussed in a small group setting. Delegates schedule “meetups” with fellow attendees using the conference app or during the conference registration process. Meetup times are scheduled throughout the conference, including the conference breaks. This not only assists delegates with networking, but it also ensures the time spent at the conference is as constructive as possible.
Have you ordered the right food?
Strategically selecting the food served at your breaks may create more productive conferences. Avoiding foods with heavy sugar content can eliminate the inevitable sugar-crash and loss of focus that follows. Instead, opt for “brain foods” like fruit, vegetables, nuts and dark chocolate. Be sure to ask your chef for their thoughts on this. There are definitely items not on the catering menu that can be healthy and cost effective!
Conference breaks do not have to be an afterthought. They can add meaningful content, engagement and productivity to your conference as a whole. Be sure to give your conference breaks the attention they deserve, because no detail is too small to consider when it comes to organizing your next conference.