How to Beat Tech Wreck
Tech burnout is real—and it could be happening to your attendees. Here’s how to fix it
Events are going more and more digital, and for good reason. Technology can help streamline registration, connect attendees, organize event logistics and more—which is why 59 percent of planners predict they’ll increase their technology use.
But with the influx of technology also comes the possibility of tech wreck, where constantly staring at screens can leave attendees feeling burned out and unable to focus. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to limit your event technology; it just means you have to be mindful of guests’ tech consumption and offer ways to give them a break.
Here are a few ideas that won’t lead attendees to tech overload:
Staring at a screen too long can actually rewire your brain. Known to neuroscientists as “digital dementia,” the phrase describes how technology overuse can cause a decline in some cognitive abilities, including a lack of focus, concentration, attention and short-term memory.
A simple way to refresh your brain: meditation. A guided meditation break can restore mental clarity and promote positive energy, mindful listening and decision-making skills.
Similar to meditation, a few minutes of physical activity can go a long way in promoting a feeling of overall mind and body restoration. Yoga, for example, is a well-known stress reliever. Consider breaking up your meeting with active breakout sessions full of yoga, Pilates, aerobics and other low-impact workouts.
Organize Tech-Free Zones
Some elements of your meeting might require technology, but it’s important to identify other areas where you can go without to give your attendees a break. For Network meetings, for example, consider hosting a tech-free happy hour. Collect devices at the door, and keep outside technology at a minimum in the reception space. (If the meeting is at a bar with TVs, make sure they are turned off.) While guests sip cocktails and get to know one another, their brains will be able to decompress and restart.
Add Natural Touches
Studies show that greenery, natural sunlight and other features of nature can go miles in boosting a person’s mood and productivity—even looking at scenery for as little as 40 seconds can trigger a more relaxed brain state. So, for events that can’t forgo tech touches, balance the screens with natural touches in your décor. Infuse plants, trees and other foliage into centerpieces and displays, and opt for rooms with larger windows that will let the light cascade in.