January is arguably the most challenging month for many.
Christmas is over, the nights are long and New Year's
resolutions have already been broken. In short, the January blues
have set in.
And the low mood - culminating in the so-called 'Blue Monday',
the third Monday in January - can have a significant effect in the
workplace, with motivation and concentration levels at their lowest
and employee absence at its peak.
Conferences, events and meetings out of the office can provide a
welcome change in January. However, event organisers, speakers and
hosts still face the challenge of keeping delegates engaged
throughout a long day of presentations, talks or activities.
So what can organisers, speakers or hosts do to combat those
Firstly, it's important to be aware of the key points when dips
in concentration are most likely to happen.
Our recent research with event organisers - which monitored
brain activity to track the changing thoughts, feelings and
behaviours of attendees during conferences and events - found
It's also crucial to have some tools and techniques planned in
to combat the dips. Based on our findings, we recommend:
Our research also showed that physical activity at the beginning
of an event stimulated delegates' alpha brainwaves and helped them
concentrate for longer.
So 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 this
Energising activities to try:
1, 2, 3 juggle
What is it? A simple, juggling-based ice-breaker, this session
teaches delegates how to juggle with three balls.
Time: 15 - 20 minutes
Environment: Indoors or outside
Why it works: The 1,2,3 juggling exercise is all about
co-ordination 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.
Perfect for: Warming up before a presentation, talk or training
session, to get the brain working hard.
What is it? The Haka is a traditional Maori tribal dance,
probably best known as the pre-match ritual of the New Zealand All
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 as one by the
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
Perfect for: Getting delegates geared up and passionate before a
large conference or teambuilding event.
The full findings from QHotels' research can be found in the QHotels Brainwaves
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