What is the ideal length for a keynote presentation? What about a breakout session at your conference? During the event planning process you are trying to fill the time, but is that the best approach?
Conference planners usually ask speakers to deliver keynotes ranging from 40-90 minutes. For breakouts, 60-90 minutes is the norm. This is such a common practice that it forces speakers to create content to fill the time, instead of offering the most impactful message possible.
The next time you fill speaking slots for your conference, focus less on how much time you want the trainer to spend. Instead, have a conversation with each speaker about their presentation. Ask what is the most memorable, challenging, or thought-provoking point they hope attendees remember. Then, ask what is the shortest and/or longest amount of time it would take for the speaker to share that impactful message.
If it is 15 minutes, have a 15-minute session and call it good. What if they say four hours? Give them the afternoon to take attendees on a deep-dive content journey.
Content at conferences is growing stale because everything fits in the same time frame. Let’s add some variety, and base it on the impact of the message. This will lead to a better experience for everyone, and higher quality conference content!