Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906–2001)
American aviator and author
Most people, e.g. 90% of visitors of business events, attend for establishing new contacts. Also in online events social binding is required for successful learning. However, unlike offline events people cannot hang around the coffee machine and make new acquaintances or engage in a conversation. It is more likely that people rush into their kitchen to prepare a cup of coffee and grab a snack from the fridge. This remote energizer now replaces the coffee maker or buffet of a conference, workshop, or work environment.
Objective of Virtual Coffee Machine
Social bonding, relaxation, and fun.
Basically, none. Participants are asked to grab their tea or coffee first by themselves.
If the break is too short, switching doesn’t make sense anymore because to switch after hardly spoken a word doesn’t really to contribute to social bonding.
In Virtual Coffee Machine we simulate the hustle around the coffee machine of the conference venue.
- Participants are asked to hurry to the toilet, fridge and coffee machine at home , and to come back after 10 min with their full coffee or tea mug and snack to the computer.
- The facilitator creates 2–3 breakout rooms, named for example coffee machine, tea pot and terrace. He randomly distributes the participants in these rooms. There is neither a given discussion topic nor task except for having their break with others. They can be silent, everybody can talk at the same – just they wish.
- After a few minutes the facilitator exchanges parts of the participants, also randomly and without announcement. You can repeat it a second time after a few minutes.
- Let it run for 10–15 min. Yes, it’s important Digital Workshop (DiWo) time, but don’t forget: without social interaction, no learning.
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