How do you create collisions? And all the more challenging: how do you create transformative collisions?
C2 has been bending the rules of conventional conventions for some time now. By mixing both: creativity with business and conferences with performances, C2 created a unique experience. Whether its braindates, workshops or an electric boat ride, everything is thoughtfully designed at C2 for attendees to be shaken and collide in a babbling networking bubble. This network-friendly frame really facilitates the “getting out of your comfort zone” step for noobs like me.
How on earth did I end up at C2?
During our creative residency at thecamp, the HIVE signed a partnership with C2. If selected, Hivers* would go to Montréal for the event and present their project in a 5 minutes long flash talk on stage at the venue. I wanted to go to C2 and MTL so bad that even if I didn’t make the cut, I bought myself a flight ticket there. I figured getting invited on the spot would be easier than getting myself a normal accreditation. How did I trust my poor reasoning? I don’t know, but I went anyway.
The three days at C2 were overwhelming. In this series of articles, I will try to share my experience as a networking beginner in a shark world.
In this first, opening the series, here are some key lessons C2 taught me on the spot
1 - Braindate is the ish
I was worried about two things attending C2. The first being “How the heck do I get out of a conversation I don’t want to engage in?”, and the other was “how to have a meaning full and passionate talk with a stranger?” (in this order, yes). Well, even if I didn’t find a deep answer to the first question, E180 and its braindate concept blew me away. Braindate’s founder Christine Renaud refers to the project as “engineering serendipity“. The goal is to facilitate networking by gathering people around a subject of interest. People register online before the event and fill in the subjects they want to teach, learn or simply discuss about in a one of a kind peer-to-peer experience.
I met a plethora of people thanks to braindates (articles to come on the topic), and this process really helps networking noobs to shake it out and dare start conversations on the go more easily with fellow C2-goers.
2 - enact change
Coming to C2 is quite comfortable on the attendee’s side. It’s easy to navigate throughout the event feeling like changing something, but not acting on it afterwards. Richard Saint Pierre’s closing statement strongly echoed Valérie’s Plante call to action. Both of them voiced the need for us to act and change the script.
3 - people are not rational
Why do you brush your teeth? Is it for the fresh mint taste or the certainty to maintain your dentition as healthy as ever? What should you be doing that you are not right now? What could possibly motivate you to?
Dan Ariely’s workshop on choice architecture helped us scrutinise our triggers. It appears that there is always a friction between what people want and what they actually do. The question is just: how to give them a little push to motivate them to act? And, what kind of push?
Sadly, along our exploration, we discovered that it is nearly impossible to get people to change their habit or act on something for the right reasons. Take the seatbelt, does knowing the consequences of you (non) action for instance work? No. Same goes for organ donation. As it appears, the countries with the lowest donation rates expect their citizens to actively mention their will to become donors. So, nobody puts in effort. On the contrary, countries where potential donors have to opt-out showcase a far higher donor rate. In short, people are not rational, they’re lazy.
According to Dan, influencing behaviors is both about reducing the friction mentioned above and finding the right motivation for people to act.
4 - branding is about your audience
Even if The Furrow is a John Deere publication that has been running high for more than a century, its name scarcely appears in the magazine – if not never. The reason? The narrative is not about the brand, but the humans represented by that brand.
5 - the more the merrier
C2 is a big event. It’s unlikely that one would be able to do it all in one edition. Don’t be afraid to miss out on something because it’s sure: you will. However, coming in groups allows you to catch more pieces of C2
More articles are coming on this event with focuses on different activities and encounters at C2