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August 16, 2006

Soulard Idea Market Recap, Idea Speed Dating

It has been a week since the Soulard Idea Market, and though I’ve been crushed by a few projects, I wanted to share at least a little about the event (with more to come later).  Others have shared their mostly positive impressions about the night (see here, here, and here), and Dave Gray even posted a video to the “Unreasonable Request” portion of the event. 

While I’ll share my full recap later this week, for now I wanted to focus on the “Idea Speed Dating” that kicked off the evening.

At the beginning of the event, I asked everyone to pair up with someone they hadn’t met before.  For the next three to five minutes, they were to discuss the topic I gave them.  At the end of the time period, everyone moved on to another person in the room and I asked a different question.   In no particular order, here are the questions:

In what ways would you like to make a difference in people’s lives?

What would be impossible for you to do, but if you could do it, would make the most difference in your success?

What new skills have you learned inthe past year (or want to learn in the next year)?

Talk about the most interesting book you’ve read lately?

What is your favorite St. Louis Restaurant?

What is the most compelling idea you’ve heard in the last year?

What surprised me is how engaged everyone became in each conversation.  Granted, we had some pretty cool and interesting people at the event, but at the end of every question, I had to pry people apart and encourage them to pair up again before I could ask the next one.  This will definitely be a part of other Idea Markets that I put on, and I’d highly recommend using a version of this as an ice breaker for your next networking event.

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