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Keeping delegates engaged and energised for a more successful conference


By Jennifer Young, Head of ConferenceLeeds, and Julian Kettleborough, Commercial Director at thestudio

For conference organisers, keeping delegates engaged throughout the day should be of the utmost priority. From the layout of the venue and the décor, to the lunch menu and mid-afternoon snacks, there is a lot that needs to be considered to keep energy levels consistently high.

Jennifer Young, Head of ConferenceLeeds comments: “When hosting a conference, the aim should always be to engage your delegates from the second they walk through the door and keep them there until the end of the day. Not only does this encourage better knowledge retention, but will ultimately lead to better delegate satisfaction. At ConferenceLeeds we work collaboratively with venues throughout the city in order to share advice and best practice. thestudio is a vibrant and exciting meeting space in the city, which is well placed to offer its advice on energising conferences.”

Julian Kettleborough, Commercial Director at thestudio, shares his top tips:
Aim to create a stimulating environment from the outset with the use of colour, to give delegates something different, which will encourage creativity and energy. This should always feel subliminal, allowing delegates to feel naturally stimulated rather than telling them to feel a certain way.

Create a talking point
This is something we aim to do at all of our venues, with sculptures and various installations – for example we have a living wall at our Leeds venue. These create natural conversations between delegates, putting them at ease and encouraging interaction before the conference has even begun.

Menu development
Menu development should be at the forefront of a conference organisers mind, as it plays a vital role in keeping delegates’ energy levels up. We develop all of our menus in-house, so are able to advise organisers on the right menu for them. Our advice would be to avoid foods that are high in carbohydrates, as these have the biggest impact on the post-lunch slump. Instead, opt for fresh fish with an emphasis on fresh fruit and veg. We also offer a ‘super food’ menu, which includes dishes that are high in protein and amino acids. Another tip would be to offer a sugary snack mid-afternoon for that final sugar boost towards the end of the day!

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