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Brain benefits and battling giants – busy, lively, interactive education  at the Inspiration Hub

The brain benefits of slow meetings were discussed in a lively session led by renowned industry experts Amy Spatrisano and Janet Sperstad from Madison College at the Inspiration Hub today.
They delivered one of the 170 education sessions which formed part of the comprehensive education programme, now based around the Inspiration Hub on the show floor.


Janet and Amy provided an informal introduction to a new and rapidly growing area – slow meetings. In an age where peoples’ attention is increasingly diverted, they provided some examples of the many ways in which event planners can help delegates to focus their attention. The use of lighting, sound and visuals can all focus the senses on the topic in hand, creating a more powerful and more memorable meeting.

Some of the top tips explored were the use of music, sounds effects or even smell to create the relevant atmosphere, serving brain food, regular doses of fresh air and the art of scheduling. Janet explained that it takes just one fifth of a second for someone to decide whether they want to tune into a discussion. This is followed by 18 – 20 minutes of concentration. Scheduling, therefore, needs to take this into account to deliver small bite-size sessions alongside regular breaks to enable delegates to discuss what they have learnt or absorb the knowledge in quiet surroundings.

Janet and Amy concluded by recommending that considering how people assimilate information and incorporating aspects of the slow meeting movement can contribute greatly to a meeting's success. ”Events not only help people to learn new things and meet new people, they help people to transform their lives,” said Janet.

Tammy Monteiro from Eventos Ativação Design in Brazil, who attended the session, commented: “I work with a wide range of corporates on the creativity around events and this session perfectly fitted my needs. I’ve left with plenty of ideas which I can put into practise when I return to the office.”

Kevin Olsen from One Smooth Stone delivered his session to a packed audience at the Inspiration Hub. His interactive session, Event Learnings from Malcolm Gladwell's Book: David and Goliath, explained how to ‘battle the Giants’ – the day to day challenges faced by meeting planners such as budgets, timescale, deadlines, availability. In short, Kevin shared advice on how to ‘handle the impossible’ while at the same time concentrating on creating a ‘brilliant event experience’. Kevin invited the audience to join in the problem solving and share their experiences, ensuring a lively and insightful session.

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