Ouch, that’s certainly smacks at the primary conference education session—the traditional lecture. Viewing a conference lecture, even reviewing its recording later, leads to the illusion that the viewer knows the material because it seems increasingly familiar says Willingham (and the authors of Make It Stick.)
Designing more interactive and effective meetings and events depends on how sessions and functions are designed. Not just for décor and flowers and light, but the design around the purpose - the objectives. Meeting design is therefore about designing the format, the flow, the content, the interaction and more! This is the most important evolution in our industry today.
Meeting formats are probably the most visible and impactful changes you can make in meetings or sessions and most of them come with zero or limited cost. Encouraging your speakers to make these changes may take a bit of effort, but once you have them on board you can transform the entire experience for everyone involved, whether that’s the participant, speaker, sponsor or organiser.
Are you creating intellectually lazy conference participants? Your conference programming may harbor bias toward minimizing cognitive efforts. In other words, your conference sessions and speakers may actual curtail participants’ thinking. Your conference could be creating happy fools. These happy fools blindly respond to their own problems by erroneously using your conference takeaways as accurate solutions. They avoid thinking, reflecting, and adapting those takeaways. Then when your conference takeaways don’t work, they blame your event.