You may have heard the term circulating at conferences or tech events: “Braindate.” Big events — ranging from C2 Montréal to the Paris Peace Forum to TED conferences — have used Braindates as part of their programming. But what exactly is a Braindate? And are Braindates something useful for your next event?
It’s a date for your brain
In essence, a Braindate is a meeting of minds. Braindate is a platform for connection, conceived by a Montréal education and events company called e180. As a Certified B Corporation, e180 aims to unlock greatness by helping humans learn from one another.
Over the past decade, the e180 technology has helped people around the world learn from each other and form valuable connections based on shared interests and challenges. Participants at events (in-person or virtual) use the Braindate platform to book one-on-one or small group meetings from a crowd-sourced topic market. And then the magic of human exchange occurs!
The Braindate platform is an attractive option for events, organizations, and communities who want to provide more than traditional networking for their people. And the numbers are impressive. Braindate participants have booked more than 10,000 one-on-one and group meetings with each other. These meetings have led to more than 50,000 valuable and new connections among participants around the world. The Braindate platform has generated thousands of hours of conversations among participants where they exchanged knowledge on subjects most important to them.
Doing a "one-eighty"
In many ways the pandemic has been a time of great transformation for e180. They had to live up to their name and do a "one-eighty”. During the first couple of weeks of the pandemic, they watched as all their clients cancelled in-person events. The result: the loss of all 2020 revenues in the span of just five business days. Like many organizations in the events industry, e180 had to pivot in order to survive. And they did. In just two weeks, they launched the virtual version of Braindate and, since April 2020, they have brought Braindate to over 150 virtual events.
For e180, the uncertainty of these times was transformed into a source of inspiration. They have focused their energy and resources into innovating so that their products can continue to serve the evolving needs of users and clients. This means that every month, they are releasing new features and improvements to the Braindate platform.
In person versus digital
In designing the virtual Braindate experience, this is the guiding question that e180 explores: “How do we translate the care of the Braindate team and technology brings to live events into a virtual experience unlike any other—one that doesn’t feel isolating, but radiates a sense of belonging and community?”
With that question in mind, they took the core components of the in-person Braindate experience — onsite hosting, in-person meetings — and made them virtual, while ensuring that they remain 100% human. Essentially, this means there isn’t a stark difference between a virtual and in-person Braindate. In both contexts, users are empowered to choose what they would like to discuss and pick whom they would like to discuss the subject with. Similarly, whether virtual or in-person, users have access to a team of learning concierges (real humans!) who are available to guide them throughout the experience, from lending tech support to helping them pick the right conversations to join.
The big advantage of a virtual Braindate experience? Participants can connect with people from all over the world. Virtual events are able to eliminate physical barriers of participation. So, when event organizers partner with e180, attendees can truly tap into the knowledge of interesting and educated brains — no matter where they are in the world.
Now, is this something that would augment your event? To explore options, reach out to explore partnership options with e180.
Read this next: Time to upskill? Here’s how to get started!