In several of my previous articles I shared some thoughts with you about the human issue in the organisation of meetings and events and about audience engagement. The subject of emotional intelligence when it comes to planning an event was also covered. All of this is becoming a special interest for experienced professionals looking to always give attendees fresh and amazing experiences and unexpected encounters.
I believe that talking to people outside of our industry always inspires us to a new way of thinking about the business. What works well, what type of meetings they organise, how they include an educational component in their programmes?
When I met Vjeran Bušelić and heard the story about “Designers & Programmers Speed Dating” I immediately knew I wanted to share the story with you.
Here is the case study that, in my opinion, really shows a great example of how to create emotional connections in the business and organise an event that is both educational and entertaining. I hope more, similar experiences are out there on the market. I am looking forward to hearing about them!
Aleksandra Uhernik Đurđek
Meetings & Events Professional, Freelancer
Croatia & Adriatic Region
“DESIGNERS & PROGRAMMERS SPEED DATING”
The Student Council from the Polytechnic of Zagreb (TVZ) organised one of the biggest Croatian Mobile Development Training and Competition – TVZ MC2 (Mobile Code Challenge). The project became very visible and popular in the Croatian student, university and professional ICT community. The competition, which lasted for three months (from February till May 2014), was mentored and guided by Vjeran Bušelić, Head of the Career Centre and Senior Lecturer at Polytechnic.
The competition gathered 280 students who participated in various activities i.e. workshops, tests, lectures, training, open student forums, Facebook promotion etc. In total there were more than a dozen organised activities, but kudos goes to “Designers & Programmers Speed Dating”.
Speed dating, as the name implies, is a fun, productive and entertaining event with a goal of matching programmers and designers from the Polytechnic into more productive teams. The concept of speed dating seemed ideal for matching young and fun-loving students, with the only difference that they had to exchange their intellectual potential instead of romantic one. Programmers and designers didn’t really have an opportunity to get to know each other at the Polytechnic, let alone to work together, and this competition allowed them to join their minds and exchange ideas in a creative and entertaining manner. For that purpose, we chose the venue of the Students Club in the popular University Students Centre, already known as a place of good vibrations – concerts, thematic evenings and gatherings. The venue is perfectly spacy, so we arranged designers’ exhibition tables in a U shape, allowing programmers to slide from one to the other. Design students had only 3 minutes to present their ideas and materials to programmers in a standard speed dating rotation. At any time the designers and programmers could declare a partnership, got pictured for further reference J, and went to the terrace to further explore each other’s ideas. After just an hour and a half most of the eligible designers were happily engaged/matched in a total of 23 teams and, because of that, they all prepared more innovative and visually attractive applications.
According to both participating students and ICT partners the Speed date turned out to be the best part of the competition, because it allowed the students to learn and evolve in a way that is best suited to them – casual and entertaining. Finally, the matched teams had the opportunity to present their applications at the grand finale in the Croatian Chamber of Economy, where the best five teams were awarded. The contest was monitored by 24 leading Croatian ICT companies and some of them have already drafted the Polytechnic’s best students. The competition also had huge PR coverage in web and print media and was reported on national TV as a very innovative concept.
This competition is fully embracing the mission of the Polytechnic to provide students with valuable, practical knowledge in the area of technical activities in order to compete successfully in the labour market. This year’s mission was successfully accomplished, despite, or rather because of, such fun events like Speed dating.
Head of Career Centre and Senior Lecturer at Polytechnic