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East Midlands Chamber News

Brainwaves help Nottingham Belfry improve events

A presenter wearing a Brainwaves experiment headsetThe Nottingham Belfry is using the brainwave activity of conference delegates and organisers to improve its support for businesses.

In a ground-breaking experiment, parent company QHotels used hi-tech headsets to track the changing thoughts, feelings and behaviour of organisers and attendees during a series of conferences to learn more about the pressure points during corporate events.

Key findings from the study – contained in the hotel group’s Brainwaves Report - are now being used by The Nottingham Belfry, to offer clients the latest insights.

They incoluded:

  • On average, a delegate's concentration starts to drop after three and a half minutes of a presentation

  • Delegates' concentration levels are at their lowest on average 26 minutes before the lunch break

  • Delegates who take notes during the event or tweet about the seminar are likely to process information more fluently, and remain engaged for longer, than those who don't

  • 75% of delegates switch off if they are already familiar with the content, regardless of the quality of the performance of the speaker

  • Stress levels among conference organisers are at their highest on average 32 minutes before an event begins

  • Conference organisers show high levels of brain activity related to a specific combination of calmness, alertness and strong problem-solving skills

  • Speakers feel the most nerves on average two minutes before they start presenting.
  • During the experiment, organisers, speakers and delegates at conferences were fitted with the latest EEG (electroencephalogram) headsets which use sensitive pads to monitor brainwave activity.

    By analysing the variations in gamma, beta, alpha, theta and delta brainwaves – the different ‘pulses’ of electrical activity in the brain – the QHotels research team could identify the different emotions, thoughts and behaviours associated with those brainwave changes.

    Event coordinators at The Nottingham Belfry are now using the findings to offer a number of new recommendations for event organisers using the hotel, such as:

  • Ensuring early access to conference facilities for set up

  • Allocating a relaxing 'green room' for speakers to overcome nerves

  • Organising 'surprise' lunchtimes to avoid the drop in concentration levels

  • Encouraging delegates to use social media during events to increase engagement.
  • Hayleigh Parkhurst, General Manager at The Nottingham Belfry, said: We’re always looking for new, innovative ways to get feedback from our clients to improve the experience we deliver. Usually this means getting responses after an event but for the first time, the Brainwaves experiment has allowed us to understand what our guests are thinking and feeling during the event - something no-one has attempted before.

    The findings and recommendations are included in The Brainwaves Report, which is available for conference and event professionals to download from the QHotels website. Visit QHotels.co.uk/Brainwaves to download the report.