Activities to combat the 3.5 minute concentration dip

In our recent research with conference and event organisers, we revealed that the average delegate's concentration levels drop after just 3.5 minutes.

Our ground-breaking research, which monitored brain activity to track the changing thoughts, feelings and behaviours of attendees during conferences and events, also found that concentration levels were at their lowest an average of 26 minutes before the lunch break.

So how can event organisers, speakers or hosts increase engagement to avoid those dips in concentration?

Our research showed that physical activity at the beginning of an event stimulated delegates' alpha brainwaves and helped delegates concentrate for longer.

So, inspired by our findings, we've joined up with our teambuilding partner, Team Spirit, to share some quick and simple energising activities that organisers can incorporate to enhance events of any kind.


Energising activities to try:

1, 2, 3 juggle

What is it? A simple, juggling-based icebreaker, this session teaches delegates how to juggle with three balls.

Time: 15 - 20 minutes
Environment: Indoors or outside

Activity - juggling

Why it works: The 1,2,3 juggling exercise is all about coordination and getting different parts of the brain working together.  It requires all delegates to be in the moment, giving 100% concentration, which results in a greater focus on the content that follows. 

1, 2, 3 is packed with business metaphors, too - keeping your eye on the ball, multi-tasking, keeping all the balls in the air at once - so can be nicely linked to the content of the conference, event or presentation ahead.

Perfect for: Warming up before a presentation, talk or training session, to get the brain working hard.

The Haka

What is it? The Haka is a traditional Maori tribal dance, probably best known as the pre-match ritual of the New Zealand All Blacks.

A traditional war dance with real attitude, the Haka is meant to strike fear into the hearts of the enemy.  The session starts with a live demonstration, teaching delegates a simple routine. After a few practice runs the Haka is then performed by the entire conference, all together.

Activity - The Haka

Time: 30 - 60 minutes
Environment: Indoors or outside

Why it works?  Physical activity releases endorphins in the brain, which can help reduce stress levels and improve the mood of delegates, resulting in a clearer mind and more engaged delegates. The Haka is also an extremely immersive experience, with the interactive element making attendees feel better connected with each other and much more engaged with the conference or event. 

Plus, it also helps build meaningful and lasting bonds with colleagues; it's all about passion, team spirit, playing to win and one team working together.

Perfect for: Getting delegates geared up and passionate before a large conference or teambuilding event.

Dave Bywater, Events Director at Team Spirit, says: "QHotels' Brainwaves study into the science of engagement confirms what we've been saying for a long time about the benefits of incorporating physical activity into all types of events to engage delegates for longer." 

The full findings from QHotels' research can be found in the QHotels Brainwaves Report.

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