Design for Deep Connections
The hottest trends in accelerating conference networking are hosted-buyer and speed-networking like experiences. These highly transactional interactions usually result in temporary feel-good moments. They rarely lead to trusting relationships or true ROI for the participants.
Our team recently developed a framework called the
4D Conference Experience
design. The four Ds stand for Deep Learning, Deep Play, Deep Reflection and Deep Connections.
The 4D framework helps conference organizers shift from passive consumption and transactions to more authentic and immersive experiences. The articles and links in this newsletter address the fourth D, Deep Connections.
Deep connections are a result of transformational conversations. With help from organizational anthropologist and author, Judith Glaser, these can be achieved when both participants:
- Prime for trust…build rapport before getting into a deeper conversation
- Listen to connect first, not for opportunity
- Put their agenda ahead of yours…ask open-ended or tell me more type questions
- Reinforce success and progress
At conferences, existing relationships often grow deeper organically. Serendipitous connections can be achieved by encouraging your presenters/facilitators to inject several opportunities for the participants to have conversations with one or two others. When a couple of people openly discuss how to apply the session’s content to their context, the potential of a deeper connection grows.