Breakout sessions are a must-have at any conference because they increase audience engagement and have the potential to make events truly memorable.
Breakout sessions are valuable tools in the conference planner’s belt, as long as they are focused and purposeful, whether they rent training room, are held in a classroom rental, or any other possible location where these sessions can be held. They can make or break your event, depending on how much thought and planning goes into their creation.
In this article, we are going to define breakout sessions, and we will learn the best practices for running a breakout session. We will help you plan for a successful breakout session by presenting these ideas.
What is a “Breakout Session”?
Breakout sessions are workshops or smaller meetings where attendees can gather to brainstorm and discuss the conference’s overall theme, keynote speakers, and other content. These sessions are shorter than the rest of the event. Often, breakout participants return to the full group to present or discuss the workshop results.
Best Practices for Breakout Sessions
- Set designated time frames.
Because breakout sessions occur between main meeting sessions, it is critical to establish specific time frames for them. Take note of the activity of the session, and how long it will take, and try to stick to that schedule.
- Give them a Goal.
Anyone who claims that breakout sessions are a waste of time was never given a clear goal before meeting with their small group. Determine in advance what you want each session to accomplish and provide specific direction before putting it into action.
- Provide clear instructions.
Participants must understand what is expected of them. Giving clear instructions to each room (if you’re assigning different exercises) or the group as a whole is essential.
- Set session goals.
Breakout sessions designed specifically for attendees to decompress are fantastic, but regardless of intent, it is critical to set goals, so participants know what to expect.
- Make it Engaging.
Keeping in mind that one of the primary goals of a breakout session is to encourage interaction, you’ll want to make sure that the format of each session will excite and engage your participants.
Replace dull slide shows with video or augmented reality. Alternatively, take it outside for a change of scenery.
- Use the correct equipment.
Using the appropriate equipment is important for both in-person and virtual breakout sessions because you’ll want to make sure you have everything you need ahead of time. Assume you’re in charge of a breakout session game.
In that case, make sure you have all the materials needed to run the session smoothly, such as enough pieces for all participants and printable instructions to refer to during the game.
- Give attendees a chance to relax.
Some attendees may prefer not to participate in intensive breakout sessions, which is fine. Furthermore, some attendees would prefer to attend a breakout session that has nothing to do with the conference’s theme.
You can, for example, provide your audience with the opportunity to learn more general life skills, mental health, or wellness tips.
Breakout sessions allow you to present a variety of topics in a more personal setting that encourages audience participation and involvement.
These sessions benefit both you and the audience because they increase attendee engagement, provide time and space for deeper dives into relevant topics, and target content across experience and skill levels for both beginners and advanced learners.
Overall, breakout sessions are valuable components of both virtual and in-person meetings. They allow attendees to connect with other attendees, think deeply about meeting content, and have fun and engaging conversations.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you ever want to rent a training room for your next breakout session!
If you like this article, you might want to read this article about Here Are 5 Methods That Are Helping Corporate Trainers Improve Training Room Sessions.