2021 Recap: The Biggest One Yet, And It’s All Thanks to You

Braindate 2021 Recap

A look back into the biggest highlights of 2021, including what you wanted to learn and how much time you spent doing it.

2021 is a year that we’ll always look back at as the beginning of the next big chapter in our evolution as a company. Recovering from the tidal changes our industry experienced in 2020, this year we settled into the reality of creating virtual-only experiences for the better part of the year.

Despite how happy we were to finally get back to live experiences in September, the virtual context allowed us to expand our services, reach more users than ever, and add many more exciting partners and clients to the Braindate ecosystem. It also pushed us to innovate and release more new features than we ever have in the past.

This year, we also celebrated our 10th birthday. Reflecting on this important milestone, we were most grateful for all the users, clients, and partners who accompanied us on our journey to transform learning around the globe.

Everything we achieved in 2021—be it rolling out new features, doubling the size of our team, facilitating more hours of learning than ever— is all thanks to you. Our biggest successes were a direct result of the trust you’ve shown us as our collaborators, the generosity and vulnerability your participants brought to their braindates, and the inspiring ways in which you continue to show up for yourself and your communities.

So, in the spirit of hitting the big 1-0, we are looking back on the top 10 highlights of 2021 and celebrating how you helped us get there.

Looking back: our top 10 highlights of 2021

1. Impact of Braindate in 2021

Thanks to your continued support for and enthusiasm for peer learning, Braindate had its biggest year yet! We brought Braindate to twice as many events as we did in 2020. At these events, you trusted us to facilitate your great conversations: helping us go from 60,000+ connections in 2020 to 135,800+ in 2021!

Here’s a snapshot of the impact you helped Braindate create in 2021, including the topics you were most excited to discuss.

2021 Braindate impact Infographic
The impact of Braindate in 2021

2. Braindate got a makeover: introducing Light and Dark themes

Co-brand Braindate platform with the Dark or Light theme
Co-brand your Braindate platform with the Dark or Light theme

At the beginning of the year, we gave our platform a makeover, introducing the brand new Light theme, and giving Braindate organizers the option to choose between the two. This change was a direct result of your need to better represent your brand identity on our platform. Thanks to your valuable feedback, now it is easier for event planners to co-brand the Braindate platform, all while offering a fresh look and feel to all Braindate users.

3. We released Braindate Organizer Space: an management dashboard that makes it easy to create Braindate experiences

Braindate Organizer Space  Management dashboard
Braindate Organizer Space

As you began planning more and more Braindate experiences (especially in the virtual world) we knew that you wanted deeper insights into what your people wanted to learn, and an intuitive means to get those insights. So, we released Braindate Organizer Space, giving you a beautiful, welcoming, and user-friendly experience interface so you could better design your Braindate experiences and learn from real-time intel.

4. We released the People and Recommendation features

You asked us for more ways to help your people connect with and learn from one another. Your participants expressed the need to search for specific people that they knew would be attending your event.

With the people and recommendation features, we introduced a welcome twist to the traditional participant directory, making it easier than ever for users to find the people they need to take their event experience to the next level.

5. We invented Fishbowl Braindate: a new virtual, large-group conversation format

What fishbowl braindates look like
What fishbowl braindates look like

Although you’ve loved group braindates, you wanted a conversation format where a large number of people could participate in a 45-minute group discussion on a topic of their choosing.

Having attended plenty of large group conversations on different virtual solutions, we wanted to create a large group conversation format that was more interactive and engaging. So, we invented fishbowl braindate, an inclusive, high-paced, and high-energy conversation format where anyone in a group of 20 can jump in and can lead the conversation. 

6. We doubled our team, welcoming 25 new colleagues!

2021 was the year where we brought Braindate to more events than ever! You showed us that you believed in the power of peer learning and that you wanted more human-centric ways to connect your people and empower them to take charge of their learning.

To support the growing demand for Braindate, we added 25 amazing humans to our team to help us love you, even better.

Braindate doubled his team
The Braindate team raising a glass to all that’s to come in 2022 and beyond.

7. We opened an office in Paris, the first step in our European expansion

Thanks to the support of French Event Booster, an innovation hub, and incubator for the events community, we opened operations in Paris! With this expansion, we wanted to better serve our European clients and valued users on the other side of the world.

Braindate Europe expansion, COO Alina Maizel in Paris
Pictured: Our COO Alina Maizel in Paris

This expansion also brought us one step closer to our mission. We can’t wait to transform events, communities, and organizations in Europe into oases of peer learning. Our goal is to give every individual the tool to build deeper connections and feel empowered to tap into the knowledge of their communities.

8. We finally returned to live events!

After a whole year of being away from live events, of not being able to shake hands, high-five, or hug you – our beloved clients and users – we finally made a triumphant return to in-person experiences towards the end of the year. And what better events to make this return than with our iconic partners, SaaStr Annual and Fifteen Seconds Festival.  

2021 SaaStr Annual Braindate Lounge
L: 2021 SaaStr Annual Braindate Lounge. R: 2021 Fifteen Seconds Festival Braindate Lounge

We can’t tell you how good it felt to host you at Braindate Lounges once again. We can’t wait to see more of you next year!

9. We released Braindate Hybrid!

As the demand for hybrid raged in 2021, you wanted a solution that would bridge the gap between your live and virtual audience. To serve this need, we released Braindate Hybrid, our hybrid peer learning platform. 

We activated our experience successfully at the 2021 Falling Walls Science Summit and our own 10th Anniversary event, helping unite participants from around the world for one memorable experience.

Hybrid braindates in action at our 10th Anniversary Event
Hybrid braindates in action at our 10th Anniversary Event

10. We celebrated 10 years of Braindate

2021 marked 10 years of Braindate: an awesome decade of facilitating transformative peer learning conversations. To mark this milestone, we hosted 10 Years of Braindate, a hybrid event to celebrate all the people who have accompanied us on this journey to transform learning around the world.

We brought together our beloved clients, partners, and users for a Braindate-style celebration: a full day of energizing conversations and connection, where we could take a moment to reflect and share the biggest learnings from the past decade.

Onsite guest being greeted by a Braindate Learning Concierge
Left: Onsite guest being greeted by a Braindate Learning Concierge at Cafe Pista, Montreal. Right: Our COO, Alina Maizel on a 1:1 braindate at Cafe Rollin, Paris.

Looking ahead: stay tuned for a new year filled with exciting new offers and product developments

When our founders Christine Renaud and Alexandre Spaeth created Braindate, they dreamed of empowering every single human in the world with the ability to learn better, and more importantly to learn with their communities, through transformative, self-directed, and collaborative learning experiences.

So, we’re excited to announce that in 2022 we will be launching two exciting new offers, to bring braindates to bigger and more diverse audiences in two totally new markets! These include:

  • Braindate for Organizations: a solution for leaders who want to drive knowledge-sharing, innovation, and happiness in their place of work.
  • Braindate for Communities: a solution for community managers who want to spark meaningful connections and learnings between their members.

This is just a small peek into some of the many developments we have planned for you in the new year. As we go into 2022, we are excited to continue serving and growing with you. 

So we hope you stick with us for the ride. Until we meet again, we wish you a happy new year.

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