If you attended college up to the 90s or early 2000s, you would remember sitting in class and taking notes, right? With technology available in all aspects of our lives now, it’s even easier to make classes or training interactive.
While some find it easy to retain information from lectures, on average, only 5% of the information is digested. That’s a whopping 95% of information that simply gets lost during traditional ‘passive’ learning, like lectures or reading.
At a corporate training or education event, that’s just too high of a margin.
Most educators and theorists tote the efficiency of interactive training, which involves the participations in the process of learning. It usually takes the form of an activity that allows attendees to apply the lesson. Not only does this help participants process information, it’s an effective way to help them retain the knowledge, and allows them to more easily apply it to situations they’ll encounter later on.
There are plenty of interactive training seminars and tools that can be purchased to help with your next training event. However, it’s also possible to put your existing conference technology to good use!
Read on for some training ideas that you can implement with the interactive training software you already have—your event app.
Create an interactive training game
Gamification is one of the best ways to get attendees to pay attention and participate at your event. By using rewards systems such as points, recognition, or physical prizes, gamification encourages attendees to perform particular activities more often.
Because of this, gamification translates very well as a method of interactive training.
Activities such as scavenger hunts, quizzes, even visiting certain sessions, can be integrated into the game to promote interactive learning. Either in conjunction with traditional sessions, or as an alternative—for example, a full training event in the form of a series of ‘stations’ where attendees have to complete different challenges that cover different topics.
By using gamification, you can track the amount of activity that attendees are engaging in, as well as keep in touch to make sure that attendees are getting the information that they need as they go through the training event. Interactive training is most successful when planners—and attendees—have the context for what they’re interacting with.
Add educational quizzes to traditional sessions
While interactive training is the ideal, it’s not always possible to create fully interactive educational events. It depends on your speakers, the time frame you have, and the resources available.
That said, an easy way to incorporate interaction into a traditional lecture-style session is with live quizzes, polling, and Q&A. Your event app can support all of these, and introducing them to speakers early on can help them to develop sessions that have interactive training elements.
Surveys, for example, are often used at corporate events to get a sense of what worked for an attendee, and what didn’t. Using the same technology, planners can transform this aspect of the event app into a live response system that asks attendees to check in, cast votes, or answer questions. These actions will help keep attendees’ attention on the session, and creates opportunities for them to interact with the content for better information retention.
Polling is a great technology for speakers as well, providing instant feedback that a speaker can incorporate into the session. Asking attendees to check in about how much they understand a certain topic mid session can allow speakers to then incorporate the feedback into the rest of the session.
Interactive training refers not only to what an attendee does to engage with the speakers and content, but what speakers do to engage with their audiences. By giving otherwise ‘passive’ audiences methods to share their thoughts, planners can create more interactive training sessions that more directly speak to attendee interests and desires—a sure-fire way to keep their attention for longer.
Expand the classroom with social interaction
Except in a few cases, most events and conferences no longer ask attendees to put away their phones. This is partly because smartphones have much more utility than just a distraction piece—people take notes, photograph slides, and, of course, use the event app to stay up to date and access collateral.
For an additional layer of interactivity, consider incorporating the use of external social media platforms, or internal messaging platforms, into education or training events. Social learning is a great way to for attendees to be interactive at your event.
If the set of attendees are a Twitter-savvy crowd, make sure to set up an official hashtag, and publicize surveys, links to articles, and photos to promote certain sessions. Helping attendees engage before the event itself creates a foundation of interest and interaction, heightening the likelihood that they will retain interest in the session.
Ask your speakers to submit questions or content that they would like tweeted out! This is great publicity for them as well.
In cases where the training event should be kept internal, you can use your event app as an internal messaging and social system. Encourage attendees to ‘live tweet’ by posting in session-dedicated forums, and send push notifications to attendees in certain sessions to remind them to post photos, leave comments, or ask questions to the speaker.
Foster peer teaching and learning
One of the most effective ways to learn is by teaching. As interactive training ideas go, this is one of the least used—typically training events use a ‘one to many’ model that has a speaker explaining concepts to a group of attendees.
Instead, consider using your event app to pair or group attendees. Either create a time period specifically for peer-teaching, or allow attendees to meet up during break times, or at their leisure. You can ask attendees to note topics of interest, and topics of expertise, at the pre-event survey stage. Then it’s a simple matter of displaying the information on profiles, or using profile matching to help attendees find colleagues with expertise in their topics of choice.
While this can get complicated at larger events, it can be a great way to help attendees connect with peers at corporate training or on-boarding events. Not only is this a great way to update newer employees on company practices, policies, and processes, it can help to foster inter-office mentorships.
This interactive training method is also useful on a smaller scale. Using the same pre-event survey and public profile method, encourage attendees to reach out to colleagues who have expertise in topics they’re interested in. An in-app messaging and personal scheduling system makes it easy for them to connect one on one!
Provide relevant information to support education
Because interactive training often takes attendees out of a typical ‘lecture’ setting, access to relevant content and collateral can be a concern. One way to make sure that attendees are able to get the content they need at the right time is to pair your event all with timed notifications or beacons—essentially GPS hotspots that tell event apps to push certain content or reminders.
If you’re using a series of interactive demos to give attendees more insight into software, for example, you can set up beacons to send a notification to all eligible event apps, with a pop up that attendees can go into to look at an associated infographic, or save it for later.
Or if you know that attendees will be at a certain meeting room at a specific time, you can pre-schedule the content to show up at the right time.
Because attendees carry their phones with them throughout the event, your event app is perfectly situated to be that content center that remains accessible and relevant to them throughout the training day. As a bonus, because event apps are digital and use wi-fi to load content and notifications, you can be sure that you can respond to changes throughout the event by updating content on the fly.
Interactive training for better corporate education
When it comes to training events, it can sometimes be a struggle to keep an attendee’s attention—not to mention the impossible task of keeping track of what has been retained from event to event.
Using some of these interactive training ideas in conjunction with your event app, event planners can open up traditional methods of training to help attendees interact with learning, as well as root the training in analytics to help improve from event to event. Interactive training is also a great way to create a robust attendee experience that satisfies your audiences.
Have you considered interactive training? What methods have you tried?