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30 Aug 2018

All you need to know about breakout spaces

#EOTWellbeing: the benefits of breakouts!

Breakout sessions have become a fundamental part of business events. But why are they so popular and how can your delegates benefit?

More than ever we are seeing conference breakout sessions used to create a more personal feel that feeds off participation and involvement from the audience. Here’s why you should include them in your next event...


Adding conference breakout sessions to your event will give your audience the choice to pick and choose what topics they want to learn more about while sticking to the overall theme of the event. Allowing choice results in more participation and higher levels of audience engagement because the audience is genuinely interested in the topic.


Everything doesn’t have to be about the theme of your conference. One way to have a successful events is to include more personal elements, such as balancing work and home life. Involving a couple of the more relaxed sessions allows the audience to try something new and stop them from burning out on the same topic.


Breakout sessions also enable organisers to offer different levels of knowledge on a specific topic. Meaning, if the topic is broad you could break the topic into different levels: beginner, moderate, and advanced – this is called staircase learning. Not everyone at your conference will be at the same place in their journey, this allows everyone a chance to get just what they need.

So, how could you use your breakout sessions?

Event Sales Agent at Emirates Old Trafford, Gemma Ashton, shares her most memorable breakout activities and tips…

“I once had a conference do a type of breakout bingo. They did cards on the delegates’ lanyards that listed all the available sessions on. When they got to sessions the lanyards were stamped and you could submit them for prizes at the end. It helps with attendance levels.

“What I think is getting a bit more popular is unique room layouts. I get asked every now and again for meetings ‘in the round’ so the stage is central with chairs 360 degrees around. It means the speakers can’t stand still and talk at the room, they have to move and try to keep everyone interested.

“I thinks it’s important to factor in how long it takes to move from room to room whilst fitting in toilet breaks and possible refreshment breaks as well. It’s unrealistic to think that in 5 minutes people can leave a room and get to the next one. You want time for people to digest what they just heard or learnt, and most sessions want to create a discussion between attendees, so why try to move them on really quickly so they can’t speak with colleagues about it?!”

With over 3,600m² of space and 38 meeting rooms, Emirates Old Trafford is an event organiser's dream, with endless opportunities for creative breakout areas.

Catering from ten to 2,000 people across a multitude of events, from small meetings to large exhibitions, the high end space is fully supported by dedicated and in-house services, such as event duty managers, IT support and experienced event planners.

To enquire, you can speak to our experienced Events Team on 0161 282 4020, or complete our booking enquiry form, HERE.