Networking an essential part of meetings, research reveals

imago researchA research project which asks “Is meetings industry is doing enough to inspire the business leaders of tomorrow?” says event organisers need to maximise their use of breakout sessions as this is where learning really takes effect.

Findings from the research carried out Imago Venues in conjunction with Loughborough University and The Right Solution, shows that breakout sessions provide an opportunity for delegates to discuss what they have learnt and get a different perspective on the information.

The research also found that because delegates often prefer to interact with their peers than with the speaker, it is important for organisers and venues to create environments which facilitates such interaction.

Emma Boynton, Head of Sales and Marketing at Imago Venues, comments: “Through our research we have seen that whilst there is a high expectation amongst delegates that the content of their meeting should be relevant and stimulating, they also expect there to be time to interact with their peers. These breakout sessions provide them with the opportunity to gauge other people’s perceptions of the information given to them. Because everybody has a different way of taking this information on board, having the chance to discuss it away from the classroom aides the learning process meaning they can take more away from the meeting.

“As venues, we need to support event organisers so they can integrate breakout sessions into their programme in a way that achieves both their goals and those of their delegates. Being able to offer flexible meeting rooms and separate networking areas allows everybody to get what they need from the event, which in turn makes it a worthwhile experience for everybody involved.”

A copy of the research can be downloaded here. The research was undertaken by Loughborough University and Imago Venues. The Right Solution provided methodology, analysis and validation of the research which was conducted amongst a sample of 430 students, delegates, and event organisers using a series of focus groups, face to face interviews and online questionnaires.