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Why breakouts are the new black

If you’ve recently joined a webinar (which is highly likely with the current COVID-19 situation), then you’ll know how painful it is to remain focused. That’s assuming you have a quiet space free of interruptions, which is often not the case. With most of us now working from home along with families, flatmates and fur babies, there’s plenty to distract! Then there are the messages and emails that never seem to stop…

The other reason it’s painful? Because you are rarely being engaged.

Leaving team meetings and small group catch-ups aside for a moment though, how do you possibly engage a virtual-conference-room full of delegates and get them actively participating?

As in real life, there’s the simple “raise your hand” approach (most virtual conference platforms have such a feature). That kind of works. Just don’t forget to run a comb through your hair and change out of your PJs in case your video function turns itself on.

We’re convinced, though, that the best way to engage participants online is the same as offline – through breakouts.

Yep. Simply take your room full of people and divide them up into smaller groups.

Then assign each group a specific point to discuss or problem to solve. That immediately creates the opportunity for discussion and contribution from every member of the group. In fact, it ‘forces’ a dynamic, which admittedly might not be comfortable for some, but is essential for a useful discussion.

Why? Only through insight-sharing and debate can a community truly appreciate the collective challenges being faced, and the various options that could and should be considered to move things forward.

This is also where magic can happen – the sum of the parts, when added together, can create something truly bigger. The reasons are obvious: no one person can possibly know everything. Collectively though, a group might be able to come up with ideas that might never have been thought of otherwise!

Admittedly, designing and running effective breakouts isn’t a simple process. It requires a lot of pre-planning. It also requires experienced professionals to manage the proceedings, in the form of facilitation.

So, yes, this means such a conference is harder to do and will “cost” you more. But what price can you put on the valuable insights that might come from the exercise, let alone the levels of engagement your participants will experience?

Luckily for us, we can help you put a price on it. And depending how you set them up, it doesn’t need to break the bank.

Let’s talk $,


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