How To Create an Event Summary Sheet For Your Guests

Going to a conference or other event often sends guests into information overload. I’ve heard it said that conference attendees are receiving information through a fire-hose, information gushing out at them at a rate they can’t retain or even process. What if you gave guests a way to centralize the information they were collecting, on a single sheet of paper?

Not only would the act of filling out the sheet help them identify and better retain the information they were receiving, it will also be a great reference later. (Studies have shown that summarizing information helps us remember it better.) So, what might you include? I’ve created a list here of things you could include, you would need to tweak this to make it perfect for your particular event.

  • Name of Event:
  • Topic:
  • Main Speaker:
  • Takeaway principles and lessons from main sessions:
  • Breakout session ideas/tips I want to remember:
  • Names of new contacts/their information:
  • Books/magazines/articles to find:
  • Follow up Actions After Conference:

Feel free to use this summary sheet information, distribute it, etc. It is for your use and enjoyment. What other ways might you help your attendees deal with the glut of information they receive? You could: provide them with a nice place to keep collected business cards, always have lots of pens and paper handy, or give structured time for reflection and processing. How do you help your guests with this task of processing and remembering information at a conference?

How To Help Attendees Process Information

You have some amazing information for your guests.  At previous events you’ve see the speaker present the information, but then, it doesn’t seem to stick.  Is there anything you can do?  Yes!  Here are a few things you can try.

Prime the pump.  Before giving the information, show the need.  When and why will the guests need this specific skill or data?  How can they better serve their customers, their families or themselves by using what they are about to hear?

Provide fill in the blank notes.  This can help people stay focused, follow along and have something to take home.  The speaker or presenter can often help you with the material you’ll need for this.

Repeat it again and again. Catch phrases can be hokey- but we remember them.  Can you boil down your training to a single sentence, or an acronym?

Provide time for discussion.  After we learn something new, we need time and practice to weave it into our personal space and experience.  Breaking people into small groups of two or three and giving them just ten minutes with the question: “How can you use this information?” can help people apply it to their own lives.

Look at it from different angles.  Using several different approaches to any subject will give learners a better overall view of the topic and a deeper understanding.  Don’t come at it from one side, but several.  This is especially important if your audience represents a mix of ages, genders and occupations.  An example that might be applicable to a middle aged doctor might fall flat for a twenty two year old mother.

Utilizing one or several of these strategies can allow your guests to better process the information you are giving them.  Have you used any of these strategies before? What works best?