“Silent disco” panel sessions
To solve the problems of noise created by running three breakout sessions in parallel we provided multichannel wireless headsets to delegates allowing them to listen-in to each discussion. The headsets were extremely well received.
Not only does wearing headphones encourage audience members to focus-in on what they are listening to, it also creates a sense of intrigue for delegates who have not yet joined a session.
I’m sure many of the delegates had heard of silent discos (even if they’d never actually been to one) so wearing the headsets injected a sense of fun to the event, with many delegates walking between panels enjoying being able to dip in and out.
[It’s worth noting that from an organisers perspective, the headsets are more cost-effective than hiring multiple PAs (which would only increase the noise), take up considerably less space and are much easier to move.]