How many of your delegates took notes at your last conference? If they’re not taking notes, why not? Is it because your presenters aren’t providing information that’s relevant or implementable or even sufficiently thought provoking? Or is it because note taking is not considered integral to the design process of your event?
If you want to measure the ROI of your event then a good place to start is to look around the room and see how many people are sufficiently engaged to be taking notes.
Most conferences feature back to back speakers often on unrelated topics. There is rarely, if ever, time factored in to the agenda to allow for
- peer to peer discussion
- quiet reflection to process the information
- consideration of how the information might be implemented back in the workplace
- a note to follow up for more detail on a topic or a presenter.
Research tells us that the process of actually writing focuses the mind and information is more likely to be retained compared to typing the same notes into a smart phone or tablet. There’s a place for conference apps but not necessarily for note taking.
If nobody is making notes and there’s no post-event follow up then your conference falls into the category of an expense rather than an investment in the future of your people.
The best way I’ve seen to facilitate note taking and provide a useful tool beyond the event is the Conference Navigator Guide designed by Ed Bernacki. It also provides a great opportunity for a key sponsor to add genuine value to the event and re-call to their branding. For more information click on the link below.