Attendees don’t have the greatest attention span, on average. Amid all the research showing that people can only focus on something for 8 seconds (not exactly true, but still a popular marketing headline) and that even managers can only pay attention for around 52 minutes, it’s all right worry if all your valuable preparation doesn’t leave a mark. How do you make sure attendees remember the most important points of the event when it’s almost natural on their part to forget? Here are the best ways to ensure that the impact of an event lasts more than five minutes.

Keep It Simple

Do you know what happens when you give attendees a lot of information? They forget it all. If you really want people to remember the topics, you have to keep them short and simple. An event can be a distracting place, so it’s smart to limit what you need attendees to remember to about one thing per presentation. That one thing can have lots of supporting evidence, but ultimately you will be satisfied if people still remember just that thing several months later. If your presentation doesn’t have this one thing, maybe it needs another look.

Don’t Do Everything for Attendees

When attendees get lots of apps and pamphlets telling them all the important parts of a presentation…they tend to ignore the presentation itself. The human mind is very good at saying, “Oh look, all the information I need! Let’s take a shortcut and just refer to this instead of paying attention.” So it’s a good idea to give the attendees some work to when putting the points together. Make them pay attention if they want to grasp the message.

Engagement Activities Help Everyone

When people interact with data via conversation and activities, their tendency to remember it in the long term skyrockets. To improve attention spans and memory, interrupt your presentation frequently to make sure everyone grapples with the data. Pose questions and ask everyone to form groups and come up with answers. Ask for quick, five-minute research sessions to expand on key points. Generally, encourage participation! It really works.

Tie Everything to an Image

Social media has proven time and again that people instinctively pay more attention to images than words (PowerPoint presenters have learned this, too). So if you really want people to remember something, make sure it goes along with an image to anchor the idea.

Solve Problems

With our brains constantly discarding everything they think is unimportant, you need to convince everyone’s’ brains that this event is really important. One of the effective ways to do this is pose information as a way to solve a particular problem in their jobs. This is an old marketing technique that works because it presents all information in a way that lays out the stakes and promises to make things easier. In other words, it’s okay to focus on self-interest.

Do you want to make sure attendees remember your event, both during the presentations and for months afterward? McVeigh Global Meetings and Events can connect you with the tools and resources to make it possible!