african dancers

The classic view of disruption is negative. It’s a triple “D”: Disturbance, Distraction and Disorder.

Truth be told; we already live in a disruptive world. A text comes in and you answer it. During a dinner conversation, you take an Instagram of your food. If a meeting is boring, you turn to your phone or tablet for something more interesting on the internet.

What if you could take all that potential negative energy and turn it upside down? Here are ten ways to embrace the triple Ds and rotate a ho-hum conference into something special.


Breakout Sessions

1. Offer Participative Music.
I recently attended a Needful Notes session. My son and I learned to play bongo drums with the help of local reggae band members. Not only was it fun, but we all also learned something about this music genre. Bonus: The funds raised went to a music therapy charity.

2. Provide Activities.
Consider hiring instructors to lead the following activities:

  • Belly dancing
  • Zumba
  • Hula-Hooping
  • Yoga
  • Meditation

A 15-, 30- or 45-minute activity may be exactly what your meeting needs in the midafternoon or early morning to get participants’ creative juices flowing.

3. Create Shorter Sessions.
Rather than holding 60- or 90-minute breakouts, how about 6- or 18-minute ones? While you may think this task difficult, the PechaKucha and TED structure have proven otherwise. Research shows the average person can only pay attention to a given task for 20 minutes without self-interruption. Be in front of the disruption.


4. Host a Board Game Night.
Encourage attendees to pick out a game and invite individuals they don’t know to play with them. Old-fashioned games are making a comeback throughout the United States. Your event is a great way to keep the fun times going.

5. Hire Unique Entertainment.
Add an African dance performance. This 5-minute show can reenergize attendees, especially at the end of a long conference day. It will definitely give them something to talk about!


6. Think Differently About Meeting Spaces.
Hold one of your breakout sessions in the cocktail lounge. Outside. In the waterpark. Have everyone sit on the floor in the hallway. Put the chairs on the riser and have the speaker in the audience. Hold a standing meeting. Create rectangular pods, where one, two or four seats are facing each other.

Initially, these setups may make attendees feel uncomfortable, but if you change it up every session, they’ll look forward to what’s next.

7. Create a Questions Wall.
This wall, whether it’s physical or digital, should be in a central location where attendees can ask any question of any person during the entire length of the program. If it’s a physical wall, at the end of the conference you’ll need to make sure all the questions are answered. If it’s digital, attendees, speakers and your staff can keep the thread visible, showing multiple points of view on a question.

If questions are waning, ask things like: “What brought you to our conference?” and “Why is this event important to you?”

8. Have Your Executive Team Check In Attendees.
Rather than waiting for them on stage, your C-suite can greet attendees, thank them for being there and do all the work your staff normally completes. This simple act helps you, allows organic engagement with participants and sells executives on the value you provide to the organization.

9. Offer Healthy Food Options.
Apples and water go a long way toward keeping attendees alert versus doughnuts and tea. Choosing the wrong snacks can lead them to wanting a nap rather than participating in an interactive brainstorming session.


10. Maximize Use of a Mobile App, Digital Signage and Social Channels.
Get rid of binders, paper and posters. Keep attendees connected to your conference. Participants will remain current on agenda changes and speakers and learn about better ways to network with other conference attendees.


Kalahari Resorts and Conventions Can Help You Be the Best Disruptor Ever

For more information about how Kalahari Resorts and Conventions can help map out a disruptive event for your guests, contact us at Ask to schedule your site visit with one of our professional sales representatives!