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Why you should discourage screen time at your next event

As a tech startup, it might seem strange that we’d advocate cutting down on screen time. After all, using a screen is one of the ways you can book events with us. However, it can be a powerful strategy for your next event to drive engagement and leave your attendees refreshed and ready to tackle their new projects with a fresh perspective. Below, we’ll explore why you might want to consider banning mobile devices from your next event.

Why consider a screen moratorium in general

Smart phones and tablets have undoubtedly increased our ability to connect. However there’s also a lot of benefit to be gained from periodically unplugging . As Doctor John Swartzberg writes in Huffington Post, “I absolutely think that disconnecting from our perpetual tether to iPhones and laptops can do all kinds of great things for our real-world connections with families and friends—or maybe just for our ability to sit down and relax with an actual book for a change.” In other words, fostering connection is important, and unregulated screen time can distract from that.

“Unplugging by itself probably won’t work some magic in your life,” Swartzberg writes. “But if you spend that digital-free time focusing on your relationships and activities you enjoy, now that can make your life better.” If you’re a marketer or event organizer, however, you may want to consider asking your guests to shut their devices down for other reasons.

Unplugging as an event strategy

Some conferences, like the 2018 Great Ideas Conference, are already experimenting with cutting down on tech use. This year, one of their speakers, Smiley Poswolsky, will talk about the benefits of unplugging through his work at Camp Grounded. Programs like Camp Grounded, Poswolsky insists, can help attendees reset and attack their projects with a renewed vigor. The camp, which asks its guests to give up their electronics, is designed to allow a return to childhood.

“Innovation is more likely to happen when you get to be that inner child and then go back to the office feeling refreshed and able to tackle your work from a different perspective,” Poswolsky says. “That’s when you’ll come up with the next great idea.” From a marketing perspective, unplugging at a conference can be an effective tool as well.

In his HBR.org article “The Benefits of Unplugging as a team”, Zachary First of the Drucker Institute put it best, “People like to say that they ‘connect’ with digital technology but there is no match for the physicality of really energized collaboration –people huddling side-by-side, everyone scribbling notes, all watching their work take shape in real time.”

Similarly, Dave Chookaszian, Kapow’s Director of Business Development, finds the key to good events is to be engaged and show honor to people who attend your event. Not giving yourself the option to retreat into technology can help spur connections that will help to forge important professional connections and even grow your business.

Need ideas for events that can help you tune out the technology and make those connections? Check out Kapow’s landing pages for interactive food and beverage events, escape rooms, team scavenger hunts and more.  

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