5 creative ways to use the Socializer for your events

  • December 20, 2018
  • Maxime
  • Articles

As its name pretty clearly suggests, the Socializer aims to improve the social and interpersonal ties among a team or an ecosystem by increasing the number of meaningful encounters between participants. This is the core-reason why we developed it and the way we usually present it. But we always design our tools to be as flexible as possible and, more importantly, so that they can adjust to the needs and requirements of our users. To such an extent that the Socializer might be used in some ways that we didn't initially plan nor see coming, while some of its potential functions are still waiting to be revealed, unearthed and invented.

Those who regularly read our articles know how much we like to emphasize the need to combine different sets of tools. We always stick to this rule in our own activities, and strongly encourage you to alternate and vary tempos, styles and goals during your events. Here's a list of ingenious uses and crafty functions that might very well transform your events:

At the start of an event, as a buffer-activity:

The start of an event is an in-between, wavering shapeless moment that can very quickly become slightly awkward if everyone just sits and stares silently at one another while waiting for the kick-off. The Socializer fills that gap and encourages the first participants to discuss, while those who arrive later on will just naturally join them as they come in. You can organize this activity until enough participants have arrived or simply to give you time to take care of last-minute emergencies and technical problems. Bonus: due to the fact the Socializer doesn't have a predetermined conclusion, you can end it anytime you see fit, without rushing your participants while preparing them and warming them up for the main activity.

During a Workshop, to follow recipes:

Instead of using the Socializer to boost encounters, you can use the series of challenges to suggest a thought process underlying and supporting a prototyping activity, for instance. Groups will ask each other questions in the right order, will be able to build their prototype in a structured way and add the results on a workshop's card or simply by taking picture with the Socializer's last challenge. Bonus: You can make a "recipe book" during a Hackaton by suggesting themes to follow freely in order to create personas, prototypes or fill in a business model canvas, whether on paper or in a workshop.

After a Workshop, to pitch each other:

The idea is simple, the Socializer will make sure that every group meets and mingles at one point to allow them to can pitch their ideas or present them in the form of a prototype. This way, participants will be able to ask more personal questions in a relaxed atmosphere and less formal context than during a plenary session. Repeating the pitches several times will also give groups the opportunity to improve and enrich them thanks to immediate feedback. Bonus: right after, you could organize a vote session via a quiz or a workshop to determine which group had the most compelling arguments.

Before a consultation Quiz to synchronize:

A vote is often the opportunity to reveal power struggles, as each and everyone tries to determine how to take the most consensual or strategic stance. It can be wise to allow everyone to debate with their peers face-to-face before a crucial vote. By allowing participants to break free from their group and mingle with other people, everyone will have the opportunity to discuss with most of the assembly and will therefore have a better understanding of where everyone stands on the issue. Bonus: you can combine this synchronization step with a multi-criteria evaluation, more complex and multi-layered than a simple vote.

At the end, to say goodbye and share your thoughts:

Sharing Circles are a feedback methodology, used for instance at Crea Sestri, based on the idea of assembling small groups at the end of the day to share and discuss what everyone liked and/or disliked. It's incredibly useful for an event made up of multiple paths and trajectories as it sheds some light on the activities and actions of other people. Around the time of cocktails and goodbyes, a Sharing time can be organized with the Socializer to give everyone the opportunity to cross paths one last time, share their impressions, their thoughts... and their business cards!

There are other possibilities out there.

We have only just started exploring the potential of the Socializer combined with Stormz' two other tools: the Workshop and the Quiz. With this third tool, we give you everything you might need to animate all sorts of collective intelligence setups. So, what are you going to do with it? Feel free to contact us if you'd like to talk about it, and don't hesitate to conduct your own experiments and discuss them on our Facebook group.

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