The last few months have been incredibly productive for our the StorySalon team here at DoubleDutch. For those of you unfamiliar with StorySalon, it is our innovative event series that fuses digital and physical realms to create an environment where authenticity is the foundation upon which meaningful conversations and connections are built.
Utilizing the power of Live Scoring, our storytelling portion of the event invites attendees to tell a personal story about a transformative moment in their lives. Whether the story is comedic or deeply emotional, the audience has the opportunity to send the speaker love in the form of heart emojis (or any other icons) that appear in real-time on projector screens. It’s the type of interaction that pulls attendees closer to the speaker without relegating their attention to a phone screen.
Following the storytelling portion of the event, we jump into Magic Hour – our facilitated speed networking experience where participants can discover conversation partners, meet face-to-face, and build connections based on mutual interests. For those of you who have been to an event where you felt barriers existed between you meeting others, Magic Hour flips the script by nudging everyone into deep, meaningful conversations.
StorySalons are all about tech-assisted human connection, where software is thoughtfully implemented to impact the face-to-face experience without getting in the way. Check out the highlights from some of our March StorySalon events:
Beginning with StorySalon Seattle was held at Resonance at Soma Towers, a delightfully professional and modern concert hall. Resonance served as a unique venue for connecting on personal and professional levels. Our storytellers each had unique stories with topics ranging from losing everything you had to the realization that rejection is a good thing. The storytellers shared heartfelt and authentic messages, which are often lacking at most events. Attendees from Amazon, Microsoft, CBS, and Mars took part in engaging conversations that sparked genuine connections and professional growth, making StorySalon Seattle a fantastic kick off to the month.
Key Learning: Always treat your event venues and caterers with kindness and gratitude, they help to make your event what it is. Without them on your team it’s an uphill battle and the Resonance at Soma Towers team was awesome to work with!
The next stop on the March StorySalon tour was Atlanta, a major metropolitan city that has become synonymous with modern-day movie-making. We loved hosting everyone and seeing the unique diversity of the city come to life in conversation and authentic stories. One of our guest speakers told an incredible story about how IBM developed a technology that enables a blind person the ability to train just as any other athlete would prepare for a marathon. It’s that kind of emotional story that makes StorySalon unique; it opens up the floor for everyone from the sales floor to the c-suite to share what impacts them the most.
Storytelling wasn’t the only hit of the evening, though. During Magic Hour we now assign each attendee pairing a unique number and color for each round of conversations, making it simple to find your partner in a crowded event space. Our latest improvements enable our Magic Hour experience to scale out to hundreds or even thousands of attendees.
Key Learning: We use mini events as a testing ground to create, iterate, and ship new features and functionality that delight our customers.
Moving on to Boston, it was a cold day with snow on the ground and an incredibly cold wind in the air...but with our exciting venue space you wouldn’t have been able to tell. We hosted StorySalon Boston at a delightfully themed tiki bar whose tropical paintings and exotic music melted away the cold from the outside. The venue offered the perfect platform for intimate conversations in a tropical environment. We like to make every StorySalon a unique experience, and Boston was the perfect example of creating a fun and comfortable environment that is conducive of people connecting.
Key Learning: Having a unique location gives you the opportunity to flex your creativity as an event planner. Try theming your next event, it’s a ton of fun!
Our final stop in March was our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. Much like Boston, the weather was not in our favor. Even with an incredibly rainy day, that still didn’t deter our attendees from showing up, creating moments of connectivity, and forming bonds with each other. Speaking of engaging moments, D.C. had some of the most engaging stories yet for our StorySalon series. Each story was profoundly personal and allowed the audience to draw connections from personal experience.
While each story started with difficult situations: drug addiction, lost loved ones, or bullying, each story echoed a common theme – Now I’m here, and I’m a better person for it. It was incredibly powerful to hear these stories and see people share their reactions. Just like our other StorySalon events, D.C. proved to be effective at building trust and breaking down barriers between the attendees. Utilizing the Magic Hour feature, attendees were able to connect with one another and really dive down into what they wanted to talk about...not just about the rainy weather.
Key Learning: While the weather can definitely put a damper on your event, as an event planner you need to prepare for any possible situation and account for the weather in every way possible. For instance, we made sure to set up a coat check station and an umbrella check station.
We loved our intensive month of takings StorySalon on the road. We feel that StorySalon has truly blossomed into a special event series that builds trust and brings people together in a new way. StorySalon is constantly changing and we can’t wait to see how the experience evolves next.
If you are interested in taking part in a StorySalon experience, our next event will be in Frankfurt, Germany, on May 22nd. If you happen to be in the area – IMEX Frankfurt will be happening during that time – and are interested in attending, please click the link here to register for the event. We hope to see you there or at any of our future StorySalons!