What is the number one thing you hope to get out of a professional conference that you attend? I think for many people the answer is either making a connection – expanding their network to meet someone who can help them in the future – or gaining a new idea that will move them forward either personally or professionally.

The American Society for Association Executives (ASAE) accomplishes both at their Great Ideas conference through a Braindates component. Braindates are pre-scheduled, one-on-one meetings with fellow participants. Through an app, attendees can pre-schedule conference time to meet with others on key topics either to offer insights or to gain them.

I think Braindates should be a standard feature at all professional conferences. It avoids having participants rely on a happenstance meeting and spares people the awkward process of trying to find someone who may be a good connection. It also makes it easier for those willing to share expertise to have an informal forum to do so.

Think about how you could add a Braindate to your next event, or even provide a process for them to occur in your organization. Everyone wins when you foster connections and cultivate ideas.

 

 

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

Dr. beth triplett is the owner of leadership dots, offering coaching, training and consulting for new supervisors. She also shares daily lessons on her leadershipdots blog. Her work is based on the leadership dots philosophy that change happens through the intentional connecting of small steps in the short term to the big picture in the long term.

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