Every conference, no matter how engaging and interactive it is, needs breaks. Your attendees need time to process what they’ve been told, take advantage of networking opportunities and have a bite to eat. Breakaway areas can be the perfect way to accommodate these three requirements.
In order to create the perfect breakaway areas for your attendees at a trade show or conference, there are some key details you should take into account.
When choosing a venue for your conference or trade show, make a note of how much space you have beyond your main keynote stage or booths. Depending on the size of that space, you’ll be able to estimate how big a breakaway area could be – or how many breakaway areas you could fit in.
Don’t try and cram a breakaway area into a tiny space but don’t make a breakaway area too big either. With a small area, you’ll find your attendees will feel cramped and unable to enjoy their break; with a large area, networking opportunities may diminish due to noise levels.
Choosing the right venue, that can allow for breakaway areas, is a crucial decision to make. You need to make sure, especially for a conference, that the venue has space for both a keynote stage and also smaller areas for workshops and breakaway areas. For a trade show, you’ll want enough space for booths and stands, but also enough space for your attendees to not feel cramped.
At The Brewery, our six venue rooms provide the space for both larger events and small breakaway rooms away from the action. Find out more here.
Setting out the purpose of your breakaway area is a crucial first step. Do you want it to be used for small networking groups, workshop sessions or something more interactive?
Some events choose to simply use their breakaway areas as places for their attendees to relax after talks and network with other attendees, but you can use them for other purposes. One event created a headshot lounge in a breakaway area where attendees could get a professional, up-to-date photo taken of them for use on their social media channels, website or company about page.
If you’re using a breakaway area as a workshop space for a smaller group of people, you’ll want to make sure that you have multiple areas that other attendees can use while the workshop is in progress. Also, make sure to include tables in the workshop area so that your attendees can make notes or use their laptops during the session.
Other events introduce their breakaway areas closer to the end of the day when the networking and social activities tend to come into play more. You could even have live music playing to entertain.
Comfort is key for a breakaway area – no one will spend time there if the seats are uncomfortable and there isn’t enough space for people to talk in groups. Ensuring that the furniture you use is comfortable and accommodating is a must, but comfort also extends towards the experience that your attendees have in the breakaway space.
Providing services, such as charging ports and snacks, can increase comfort levels since attendees feel appreciated and valued. Also, as a benefit to the organisers, charging ports located in a breakaway area means that attendees will be more likely to limit their phone usage to that area.
If you really want to make a lasting impression with your breakaway area, you could think about theming the space to fit around either your event or a concept. If your conference, exhibition or event is based around a theme in itself, such as a wedding fair, then theming the breakaway area to match will truly make a statement.
However, it is key to mention that themed spaces – depending on how they are designed – can take up more space than regular breakaway areas.
If you have a company that you work with closely, you may want to think about offering them the opportunity to sponsor your breakaway area. That way, they can gain visibility of their brand at your event and will be able to tailor the space to make an impact on the attendees who visit.
Additionally, allowing another company to sponsor your breakaway event can also take the pressure off you to design it. They will want to make a good impression on attendees, so will be looking to create a perfect breakaway area themselves.
If you’d like help with planning and organising an upcoming conference, exhibition or other event, we’d be happy to help. Our venue is perfect for both large presentation areas and smaller breakaway groups, and our Event Design team can help you create the perfect representation of your company through the décor and design. Contact us to start your event planning at The Brewery.