Learning & Conferences : 8 Takeaways from Doha GOALS
E-180 is back from Qatar, where we put our matchmaking expertise in peer learning to the benefit of the Doha GOALS 2013 conference, an event organised by Richard Attias & Associates about the social and economical impacts of sports. One thousand attendees from all over the world, hundreds of meetings via our platform COMMUNITY CONNECT and dozens more in our COMMUNITY CONNECT Live Space. What did we learn about the importance of connections at conferences from this amazing experience? Here are our 8 takeaways!
A New Kind of Darwinism
Registering for a conference represents your interest for the topic, maybe even your experience or expertise in domains related to it. Natural selection occurs naturally and gathers motivated people around the content of the conference. All attendees are present by choice and interests, which creates a fertile ground for high quality peer learning meetings the problem « I’d love to use E-180, but I lack free time… » doesn’t occur, since everyone has agreed to be captive expressely to meet and network.
Declaration of Accessibility
By completing their profile, on which they share their Quest, Offers and Requests of knowledge, attendees also promote their availability and their will to exchange. By knowing in advance who is willing to partake in the process and what each is looking for, we help everyone save time by fostering quality meetings with the right people, based upon common interests. Gone is the awkwardness of wandering in a crowd of complete strangers, glass of wine in hand, trying to find the right person to speak with!
Oftentimes, we arrive at a conference/networking event with a salesman mentality : »Let’s see how many times I can pitch ____/how many business cards I can give ». By introducing Offers and Requests of knowledge in the profiles, we bring back the notions of contribution, modesty and community to the forefront of an event. Therefore, we create a context where connections are made around the ideas of learning and collaborating, which can lead to greater partnership or business relationships. We legitimate thus approaching a stranger to ask them to share their expertise with us and we encourage the gift of self by participants.
The presence of students, which accounted for 40% of the crowd at Doha GOALS, also had a positive impact on the dynamic of the event. Selected for the excellence of their academic and sportive curriculum, their pertinence at this international event was aknowledged by all. Furthermore, their presence implied that the relations between participants wouldn’t merely be commercial. By offering their time and expertise to these scholars, some attendees shared with us they felt like they were investing in the future.
Creating One’s Network
While surfing the different profiles in order to discover who we should meet, we unconsciously associate names, Offers and Requests with people’s faces. Many planned ahead their meeting, which led them to develop relations. So, they arrive at the conference with the impression of already knowing other participants. One of the most active participants told us : « It makes the event feel like home »!
Also, we observed that a meeting will often lead to another. For instance, one attendee told us that not only 40% of his encounters were planned via our platform, but that half of the other 60% were direct referrals from previous meetings. COMMUNITY CONNECT thus led to 70% of all his meetings!
Being Socially Acceptable
It is crucial to clearly identify the meeting point, which represents the safe zone where approaching a complete stranger is acceptable and encouraged! It must be a central spot (a crossroad and/or the coffee/food area) to benefit from the natural flow of attendees. By entering this space, participants are consequently declaring they are available and open for discussion. In addition, such a place facilitates our matchmaking work, since we get to recognize recurrent attendees and we start to know what they are looking for. Then, we suggests referrals like a great host would do at a friends’ party – « You two so need to talk together – great natural match! » We humanly intervene where technology reaches its limit.
Conversations have the ability to help us implement the content of conferences, to transform it into active knowledge. Meetings made beforehand give us a wide array of people to turn to when looking for someone with a real life experience. On the other hand, the availability of our bank of motivated attendees permits anyone to reach out, after a session, to a professional who can help us deepen our understanding with their perspective or expertise.
Human Stock Exchange
Giving an hour of your time to a stranger equates to investing in the potential of another human being. Just like in stock exchange, we appreciate measuring the progress of our investment. Hence the importance of following up on the impact of the meeting on our growth, ideally done by the requester, which will corroborate the offerer’s initial intention of giving to a stranger and will encourage him to repeat the experience!
Our experience at Doha GOALS 2013 solidifies our expertise and confirms the necessity of our service, which multiply the impact of a conference, by connecting effectively all the human potential gathered around a main and common theme. You believe that E-180 would add value to your conference? Communicate with our CEO Christine Renaud via e-mail at Christine (@) e-180.com.
Don’t wait on a conference to live the peer learning experience; connect today to E-180.com to exchange knowledge!