You need webinar software with breakout rooms. Why? Because most webinars are boring. Ah, yes — a monotonous speaker flipping through dull as dishwater slides pretty much sums up most webinars.
Don’t get us wrong. There’s nothing inherently wrong with webinars. In fact, we love them. The thing is, boring webinars are part and parcel of a larger problem. And it all boils down to this – poor presentation and formatting skills.
Breakout sessions can help. They can sometimes make a death-by-PowerPoint presentation sound a lot less awful. But what exactly are breakout sessions? Let’s find out.
What are Breakout Sessions?
A breakout session involves a small group of attendees drawn from the larger audience to form a smaller group. Members of this smaller group usually have similar interests and characteristics. In the groups, attendees get to discuss the webinar topic from a more practical, day-to-day perspective.
Normally, you’ll have several breakout sessions happening in parallel for some time. After that, everyone rejoins the larger group. But there’s a catch — breaking up the larger group is usually not as easy as it seems. So, what’s the solution?
Start by dividing attendees into various groups based on their knowledge and experience. This approach allows attendees to participate actively and engage with each other instead of passively listening to the presenter. As a result, the webinar becomes more interactive. Neat, huh? This approach also works well for attendees with varied learning styles.
Coming up with a method of breaking the larger group into smaller groups requires some ingenuity and a bit of knowledge about your audience. You must also come up with an objective for the breakout rooms. For example, the objective might be brainstorming a given topic, holding an open discussion, or even completing an activity.
Now you know what a breakout session is. It’s time to look at how you can use these sessions to make your webinars more engaging.
Ideas for Making Breakout Rooms More Engaging
- Speed Networking
Speed networking involves having participants come together to share information about each other. After they have finished, they move to the next set of participants. During the breakout, the participants discuss business goals and professional expertise.
This type of breakout room helps attendees looking for exposure to new markets or looking for partnership opportunities. There are three formats for speed networking:
- Round robin – Here, participants meet others one on one in sequence.
- Station-based – Here, participants pick a specific time to meet specific people beforehand.
- Group-based – Here, participants meet in groups.
- Lightning talks
Lightning talks are short presentations that last only five minutes. So, how do they work?
Rather than have a regular presentation where you provide all the content, lightning talks encourage the audience to think. These talks focus on one idea or topic instead of a generic or broad topic. Normally, you’ll have the session organizer officiate the session while the speaker engages and captivates the audience.
Most webinars have between 30 to 90 minutes slots for lightning talks. The host schedules a series of back-to-back talks. Doing this allows the audience to gain some knowledge in a wide variety of topics.
- Play Games
After a long webinar session, attendees can come together to break the ice. For example, you can have webinar attendees get into groups to play trivia games. Also, you can have the participants create pixel art using online spreadsheets. Another great option is online bingo. It can keep them lively and entertained. Ultimately, the goal is to break the monotony of the webinar and bring the session to life.
- Virtual Tea Party
Tea parties are not exclusive to in-person meetings. Have everyone make their cup of tea and interact with other participants as they drink it. They can share their likes, dislikes, business, and other relevant information casually.
Everyone loves a good debate. Consequently, you should include one in your webinar breakout rooms. Divide attendees into two groups and select topics related to the theme of the event. Come up with a statement and ask the teams to debate each other. Have the other attendees vote for the best speakers and announce the results. You can always run a couple of rounds, so other attendees get a chance to participate.
- Get Physical
Cheer up your audience by getting them involved in simple exercises. After all, physical exercise can help break through sluggishness and get the audience more comfortable with interaction. Have people do some light stretches for about three minutes to relieve muscle tension. This can give the brain a much-needed jolt.
Hosting a virtual event can be complicated. However, using webinar software with breakout rooms helps make things more manageable. These tools enhance the attendee experience and make it easier to make your presentation more captivating.
Webinar.net provides users with breakout rooms to help get attendees more engaged with your material. Attendees are also better able to retain information after the event is over.