IT Professionals Gathered in Chicago this Summer for the F5 Agility Conference. It’s a major event and we were there to run one of our Giving Stations events.
The F5 Agility Conference draws high-end IT professionals from all over the United States and Canada for learning and networking. We were brought in to facilitate networking at one of the evening dinner buffet/cocktail mixers.
A Giving Stations Event Makes a Good Mixer Even Better
Cocktails and dinner set the stage for networking success, but our Giving Stations really get people talking! We take one of our charity workshops and condense it so it’s all action, all donation-building, and all networking.
We leave the team building exercises at home, and instead focus on the pure hands-on part: building donations. In this case, for the F5 crowed, it was our Wagon Builders™ Charity Workshop.
The “giving stations” were actually the tables where people were seated and eating dinner. After an introductory welcome speech by our facilitator, and then a quick ice breaker, each table got to work on building their little red wagons.
Later, those wagons would be filled with treats and donated to a local charity. In the case of this evening, that charity would be the Ronald McDonald House – Chicagoland.
The concept here is that building something together with strangers is a great way to get to know one another. You all have something to talk about, to begin with. And as you do some light problem-solving, you’ll dive a little deeper into conversation.
Well, it really seemed to work with this IT crowd: attendees gave us great feedback! One even said his wagon-building group of four had formed such a tight bond that night that they now consider themselves to be friends. That’s some great networking!
Ronald McDonald House Thanks the Crowd
A representative from the charity receiving the wagons, and who would later distribute them to kids, arrived to speak to the room. He rounded out a wonderful evening in a meaningful way that brought everyone together for a final note of positive change.
Who knew a cocktail mixer could turn out to spark so much?
And last but not least, we have to thank the Hyatt Regency Riverwalk. The staff were so helpful and easy to work with- they were more like partners than staff! They even seemed interested in what we were trying to achieve that night. Thanks Hyatt, for providing the best of the best in accommodations as well as event hosting.