More than three quarters (82%) of delegates are failing to engage with conference and event content according to a survey conducted by events provider Mediamaker.
Mediamaker is encouraging businesses to move away from traditional, and what it considers disengaging approaches to delivering content at corporate events and conferences, in favour of more creative, interactive methods. This follows the results of their survey which questioned 108 people who have been delegates at corporate events in the retail and manufacturing sector on their perceptions, experiences and individual preferences in relation to the communication delivery and teaching mechanisms available that best help them retain information.
The survey revealed 21% of respondents said they perceived corporate conferences and events to be nothing more than an excuse to escape the office environment for a day, while a further 17% admitted to viewing conferences and events as a waste of time.
43% of respondents said their interest in attending events was based on the opportunity to socialise and network with colleagues and peers. Only 18% said they viewed such events as an opportunity to learn.
42% of those surveyed admitted to writing shopping lists instead of taking notes, 18% admitted to faking urgent phone calls to make an early exit, and 23% said they had taken longer bathroom breaks to help pass the time.
Mediamaker’s founder and MD Alison Glaves commented: "The survey has confirmed what we’ve long suspected and we urge companies to look at our findings. Delegates are often left bored and looking for excuses to escape. When they are interested in content, they’re often too shy to participate or ask the questions they want the answers to - 48 per cent of our survey respondents said they often felt reluctant to contribute to discussions or ask questions in case they got it wrong or felt fearful of being the centre of attention.
“With 47 per cent of survey respondents accessing their social media networks on an hourly basis, the opportunity for businesses to capitalise on the use of social media as a forum to facilitate agenda creation before the event, shape content during the event and provide a platform for feedback and additional resource post event, is substantial.
“I’d like to think businesses will reflect upon these results and explore the wealth of new tools and tactics available to readdress the ‘death by PowerPoint’ approach currently favoured by many organisations, across a broad range of sectors.
"An overwhelming 32 per cent of our respondents said that their limit of total engagement was less than half an hour, so there is no point delivering slide after slide of important and potentially vital information if it’s falling on a room full of ‘deaf ears’."