As this Canadian company tells us, “in conferences, in straight classrooms with one person speaking, there is a one-way dynamic, which has to change. It is time for participants to be more involved in the experience, and create their own workshop and find the people that they can learn from. Also, networking is difficult; if you don’t have support, it is hard to find who is relevant for you. Lots of apps try to help people but instead of a cold email system, you get a cold app system, which is not much better”. You have to actively facilitate connections.
To improve this, they offer a platform in which attendees identify who they want to connect with. “What we do is that when people come to events, we unlock their knowledge and make it accessible. We identify what they know and want to know, and pair them with the suitable persons. Since you picked up the person, it is much more rewarding”. They make the match and give them a roadmap for the conversation. One learns, and one feels rewarded as they feel their knowledge is valuable. On site, the company offers a braindating lounge, with usually interesting formats, including dates on a swing at one edition of C2MTL!
One of their ideas: speakers are great but… not really personalized and not relevant for all. So with one-to-one conversations, content is really personalized. And if you have 1,000 attendees, you have 1,000 opportunities for knowledge.
And the beauty: in the backend the event organizer has all the analytics, sees what everyone is talking about, and what people are interested in.
A format for commercial appointments. This is also a useful content marketing platform. “It is a more meaningful way to navigate conversations that have felt like sales for too long. You show what you know, and people get interested in you for that. In meetings, if a convention bureau shows you the expertise they have, the event planner will be much more interested”.
Implemented in PCMA. E-180 implemented this solution in PCMA’s congress in Austin, as a platform to show what know-how there was in the show. 1260 people were active on the braindating platform; 265 brain dates took place; 323 offers and requests for knowledge were posted in the marketplace.
The platform also enables to know the popular topics. In that case, the most popular topics were:
- How to make an event indispensable
- The New Event Model, how will events look in 5-10 years
- Square feet or data? Give your exhibitors and attendees what they want!
Finally a healthy reminder of how hard it is to get people involved before the event: “we mostly focus on the d-day”. Still hard to get people to connect effectively before the event itself.