How to Combat Attention Deficit Disorder with Meeting Attendees

October 17, 2019 Susan Serena Douglin

Less than 10 seconds.

That’s what the extent of the human attention span has become which goes right in line with the attention span of a goldfish.

There are many reports that state that it’s not true that the human attention span has declined and perhaps it’s not technically true, however we are surely more selective about what we focus our attention on these days.

For example, you may have it in you to binge on your favorite show on Netflix for days at a time, but when scrolling through social media news feeds…not so much. You probably scroll until some sort of eye-catching image, video, or promo ad forces you to stop that thumb from swiping up.

According to the State of Attention Report:

  • 59% of industry professionals stated that they’re able to focus on content without distraction more now than they were able to a year ago.
  • 49% admitted that they’re more selective about the content they take in.

Corporate event planners are facing the challenge of combatting attention deficit with attendees throughout the duration of events and meetings. Conference planning is multifaceted, and this post is intended to make your job easier by providing you with ideas that will help you maintain the attention of meeting attendees. Here’s how:

Pump-up the Adrenaline

Meeting attendees could be half asleep from the beginning of the event but if the conference opens with an unexpected moment, you have a good chance of waking up every cell in their exhausted body.

Give meeting attendees an adrenaline rush with a high-energy icebreaker like a surprise celebrity speaker, a music performance, or another creative activity that will ensure them that this event WILL BE different. No one wants to miss out on something new and exciting.

Attractive Media

We mentioned above that it’s usually an image or video that causes people to stop scrolling news feeds. That stands true when it’s on a screen or in person.

Attract your meeting attendees’ attention with high quality graphics when you’re displaying a presentation or slide show. The human brain reacts quicker to images and it will later help them remember what they saw. That’s why corporate event planners should encourage speakers and presenters to use more visuals when presenting content.

Extreme Interaction

It’s not easy to lose focus when you’re involved in an exchange of conversation or an activity. Help your meeting attendees combat attention deficit by keeping them involved.

Corporate event planners should request feedback from attendees right from the very beginning so they can get a gauge of which deliverable is producing the most value. It’s also a great way to tweak some of the conference planning while the meeting is still going on so that it can enhance everyone’s takeaway. Make them feel like a part of the plan!

While you have everyone’s attention,  have the audience answer polls and survey questions with an interactive event app like CrowdCompass which will help corporate planners add value to the entire experience.


Change is the key to combatting attention deficit so the more you mix things up, the better.

Corporate event planners should contemplate which new experiences they can include in their conference planning that will keep meeting attendees engaged while taking in the planned conference content.

For more corporate event planning tips, be sure to check out our blog each week!



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