If your organization hosts educational conferences, how do you currently “divvy up” your educational sessions? Do you have tracks based on topics? Do you split them up by length (half-hour sessions, hour sessions, two-hour sessions, etc.)? Or do you not split them up and just have as many varying topics as you can?
There’s no one perfect approach (every industry and audience is different), but there is another approach you may want to consider: splitting your educational sessions by learning style.
It’s no secret we all learn differently. Some of us are more visual learners while others are more auditory learners. But, given that your goal (or one of your goals) of hosting an educational conference is to teach your members and prospects something, it may be worthwhile to have sessions for your different learners (and market them as such).
There are four primary types of learners:
Visual – Prefer to see info and visualize ideas
Auditory – Prefer to hear info rather than seeing it displayed visually
Reading/Writing – Prefer to interact with text rather than just seeing images or hearing something
Kinesthetic – Prefer hands-on activities
That said, when putting out your call for speakers, highlight the fact that you’re looking for a mix of ALL learning styles, list (like above) what those learning styles are, and then ask interested parties to identify which learning style their session caters to.
Give them examples of what a visual learning session might look like. Or a kinesthetic learning session. For example…
A visual learning session – Might include lots of charts and graphics
An auditory learning session – Might include asking the audience to repeat things or asking the audience questions
A reading/writing learning session – Might include a fill-in-the-blank notes handout or a quiz of some sort
A kinesthetic learning session – Might include demonstrations or group activities
Then, once you have a fairly good balance of educational sessions by learning style, market them that way to your members and prospects. Let them know that you want this to be a valuable conference for them and that you want them to learn as much as they possibly can. Set them up for success by catering to how they learn best!
Have you ever tried this at your event? If so, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
And for more conference ideas and best practices, check out our Complete Guide to Event Planning!