Don’t have enough breakout space?
That was the challenge for AIM Group International when it organized a 700-person meeting for Merck, Sharp & Dohme at Budapest’s Syma Center in March. To make the meeting work, AIM needed to use the center’s largest hall to accommodate all 700 attendees for a plenary session and then transform it during a coffee break into three breakout areas, each for 130 people. However, soundproof walls weren’t an option, only curtains.
AIM came up with a solution they termed the “Silent Room System.” To start, they assigned participants to their breakouts by placing colored dots on name badges and creating “rooms” in the hall using colored carpeting. When they arrived at the plenary, participants were asked to choose seats where the color of the rug matched the dot on their badges.
After the plenary and the coffee break, participants returned to their assigned areas—now curtained off—and donned headsets tuned to the channel assigned to their breakout. Only those with the headsets on that specific breakout channel could hear the speaker. Audience members also were able to ask questions using a microphone.