Generally, people have two basic ideas when attending a conference; to encounter new ideas and to connect with people. Without these two realities the odds are most people are likely to feel like they gained little or no benefit to their time and expense.
It is important to remember that these two ideas are not competing but complementary. Ideas can be presented but people must be allowed time to “digest” these ideas through asking questions, participating in group interactive dialogue, reflecting and discussing individually with other participants, or simply resting or doing activities such as recreation. The content and ideas presented provide fuel for personal interaction. Some conferences allow up to half of their schedule to be dedicated to such activities and find that doing so leads to higher group satisfaction and a deeper integration and understanding of the material being presented.
The tendency in many conferences is to create a content heavy agenda to the detriment of the networking and social element. However, research has shown that new relationships are often far more valuable than new ideas.
The best conferences seek to maximize interpersonal connections. According to David Rock, noted writer and neuroscientist, social connections determine health outcomes more than any other health indicators. What is true in life is also true with conferences. The more social connections, the greater the health of the conference.
At Brackenhurst, we are adding spaces to help encourage and facilitate more social interaction. Our conference centre is located outside of Nairobi and away from the distractions, noise and busyness of the city.
It is a place where people not only can get away for a meeting, it is a place that encourages a lot of interaction between people. It is our desire that you and your organization enjoy the benefit of a powerful conference that not only has excellent content but also allows for maximum interaction among participants.