Introducing the e180 Awards

A celebration of the creativity, innovation and dedication that our clients and partners have brought to Braindate productions around the globe

Categories in The Essentials

Each year, we’re blown away by the creativity, innovation, and dedication that our clients and partners exemplify when bringing Braindate to life for their people. From breaking down silos to designing gorgeous Braindate Lounges that inspire thousands—it’s time we celebrated our community’s dedication to making Braindate an unforgettable experience. 

Welcome to the very first edition of the e180 Awards

Inspired by the moments of brilliance and best practices that emerged from memorable Braindate productions in 2019, we’ve created five categories to recognize these outstanding efforts: Impact, Engagement, Collaboration, Hosting, and the Pioneer Awards. 

We see these awards as both an opportunity to celebrate our community and also to recommit ourselves to our larger mission: to transform the way humans around the world learn. Consider these awards the ultimate cheers to the collaborative learning champions that walk beside us in pursuit of this mission.



Pioneering knowledge-exchange in event communities

In 2011 before Braindate as we know it was born, the e180 team attended Montreal’s Startupfest to test out a bright idea for an in-person knowledge-sharing activation—using chalkboards (!) and hashtags (!!). Onsite, we created a real-life marketplace where attendees could write down a “knowledge offer” on a chalkboard and we’d post a picture for Twitter to see if someone else at the event wanted to meet up. Startupfest was our first prototyping partner: they encouraged us to experiment with what would later evolve into Braindate—and now, we’re proud to bring braindates to the global startup community that convenes at Startupfest each year.

C2 Montreal

A man and a woman on a braindate at 2019 C2 Montreal

Pioneering experiential learning at events

C2 has always been near and dear to our hearts: after all, we’ve grown up together in Montreal and share a commitment to shaking up the events industry—with a uniquely experiential approach to what we each do respectively. Our co-founder Christine recently shared the full origin story of Braindate in PCMA’s Convene magazine; the shorter version begins in early 2013, when C2 encouraged us to launch our first Braindate-for-events activation for the 2013 edition of C2 Montreal. After two years running braindates through our public knowledge-sharing social network E-180, this first foray with Braindate for events was such a huge success that we shifted gears and dove headfirst into the event industry. The rest is history!

From 2013-2019, C2 leveraged Braindate to bring unique experiential learning to the international business community, and helped thousands of its attendees bridge the gap between commerce and creativity through braindates. In 2019 alone, participants cumulatively totaled over 1,000 hours of braindates and made over 5000 braindate connections!

GE Crotonville Institute

Creating an ongoing peer-learning culture

GE’s Crotonville leadership institute was created in 1956 to be a nexus of innovation, ideas, and learning. The institute offers GE employees a premier learning experience designed to equip them with the knowledge and skills they need to grow as professionals and as leaders. 

As a component of certain institute offerings, the Crotonville team  brings the Braindate experience to its participants—without any onsite support from the e180 team! They’ve leveraged Braindate to empower attendees with the ability to organically and intentionally tap into the knowledge of their peers. GE’s collaboration with e180 has led to the creation of an innovative model that other organizations might use to independently create an ongoing culture of peer-learning in their communities.

ROI: Braindate Extravaganza

ROI winner of e180 award

The beginnings of a global knowledge-exchange community

ROI has been collaborating with e180 to bring peer-learning to their global community of Jewish leaders and change-makers since 2015. As one of our longest-standing partnerships, ROI has both witnessed and contributed to Braindate’s evolution over the years. In 2019, ROI organized a series of events for the first time ever called  “Braindate Extravaganzas.” These took place in Tel Aviv, Berlin, and New York, and were dedicated solely to braindating! At these one-of-a-kind gatherings, close to a hundred members of the ROI community gather to share a meal and learn from each other on braindates. ROI used Braindate to strengthen relationships within its international community and to create space for new ideas to flourish. e180’s collaboration with ROI represents the exciting beginnings of a global knowledge-exchange community.


braindate lounge at paris peace forum

A shared love of collaborative learning

Great collaboration requires mutual understanding and a joint commitment to a larger mission. As one of our longest running partners, Auditoire has been a committed champion of collaborative learning, and has over the years connected e180 with other fantastic, mission-aligned partners. In doing so, they have played an indispensable role in bringing the many benefits of peer learning to event communities around the world.

George P. Johnson Experience Marketing

braindate at workday conference 2019

A passionate commitment to excellence

Here at e180, we are grateful for partners we can learn from and GPJ is one of the best. Their deep understanding of our best practices and dedication to rigorously applying them to learning experiences at events has made every collaboration with GPJ a true pleasure. Our long-term partnership with them within different event contexts has helped us create innovative and unforgettable event experiences for participants around the globe. 


e180 award winner Healthcare Analytics Summit

Always working towards innovation

Eventbase is a true innovator. The team brings a creative drive to each of our collaborations, as we work together to  develop exciting activations for our clients. In 2019, with the aid of the Eventbase team, we improved the scope of our integration and added a new integration point between our products. It was wonderful for both of our teams e to identify an area of improvement, troubleshoot a solution, and deliver a result—together.


e180 award winner Bizzabo

What true collaboration looks like

The Bizzabo team is the definition of  team players. The essence of their work with us is collaboration. Each time we’ve worked together, we have produced a top-notch service through excellent and thoughtful project management. We applaud their great work in 2019 in delivering multiple integrations efficiently, quickly, and of the highest standards possible! We love working together because we know that both our clients and our team are in for a great collaborative experience.

2019 Workday Conference

e180 award winner Workday

Leveraging Braindate to strengthen community

In 2019, e180 collaborated with Workday to bring Braindate to four of their conferences around the globe. At each of these events, Workday leveraged the power of peer learning to create more organic lines of communication between their partners, employees and customers. This empowered  their employees to develop a deeper understanding of customer needs, and enabled their customers to gain access to the resources they needed to succeed in their business. Workday participants emerged from their braindates feeling empowered and left the conference having created stronger bonds with their community.

2019 Falling Walls Conference

e180 award winner falling walls conference

Leveraging Braindate to break down silos

Falling Walls Conference is a unique global platform connecting science, business and society. Each year twenty of the world’s most forward-thinking scientists and visionaries take to the Falling Walls stage to showcase their scientific breakthroughs from the broadest possible range of disciplines. Beyond the stage, Falling Walls Conference leveraged Braindate to create a vibrant peer learning environment where every single participant had the opportunity to connect with someone new. Through their dedication to collaborative learning, Falling Walls has encouraged innovation at the conference and enabled their many brilliant participants to connect and exchange ideas across the silos of disciplines and industries.

2019 World Innovation Summit for Innovation (WISE)

Braindate Lounge at the 2019 WISE Summit

Leveraging Braindate to propel impact-driven projects

WISE Summit is one of the most important events on the future of  global education. It brings together over 3000 educators, decision-makers, and influential experts from the public and private sectors from over 100 countries. In 2019, WISE collaborated with e180 to create a peer learning environment to support their participant’s various learning needs. Through activating Braindate, WISE empowered its participants to find unexpected allies and access the knowledge they needed to push forward projects that will shape the future of education.


2019 Healthcare Analytics Summit

The effectiveness of gamification 

The Healthcare Analytics Summit (HAS) gathers around 1500 healthcare professionals from across the industry with varied expertise, all of whom are united in the goal of using data to improve patient outcomes. The organizers worked with the e180 team to incentivize braindate activity through gamification on the event app. In the “HAS Game,” attendees won points for the different ways in which they engaged at the conference, and going on braindates was one of them. Having a conversation with a stranger can be a daunting prospect, and the HAS game provided participants the incentive they needed to be brave and go on their first braindate.

2019 Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE) Global Summit

The power of a strong communications strategy

The ACTE Global Summit gathers professionals in the corporate travel industry to  discuss education, advocacy and research in the global corporate travel community. The ACTE organizers’ enthusiasm for and commitment to peer learning at their event was reflected in their fantastic engagement strategy. The organizers integrated relevant information about Braindate at key points in the event, such as introducing Braindate during the opening ceremony and actively encouraging participants to braindate between sessions. By doing so, they ensured that every participant at their event felt ready and prepared to use Braindate to tap into the collective knowledge of their community.

2019 Meeting Professionals International (MPI): The EVENT & Tourism Winnipeg

e180 award winner MPI the Event

An out-of-the box engagement strategy

MPI The EVENT is a conference that convenes event professionals with the intent to foster collaboration, cultivate new ideas, and elevate the meetings industry as a whole. The EVENT truly embraced the power of peer learning by highlighting the benefits of knowledge-sharing—and braindates—in all their event communications, even positioning the peer learning experience created by Braindate as one of the main reasons to attend the conference. When it came to engagement strategy, the organizers were unafraid to get creative. They collaborated closely with Braindate sponsor Tourism Winnipeg, who hosted a contest where every participant who braindated was entered into a draw to win WestJet plane tickets. Needless to say, this proved to be a powerful incentive and gave participants the encouragement they needed to book their braindates and begin sharing their knowledge with each other!

2019 SaaStr Annual and Scale

e180 award winner SaaStr

The power of community influencers

Every year, SaaStr gathers thousands of SaaS executives, founders, and VCs for SaaStr Annual, which is the largest non-vendor SaaS conference on the planet. The success of a Braindate production depends on the organizer’s proactive communication about the benefits of collaborative learning to its participants. SaaStr leveraged a strong influencer strategy to create buzz around braindates at their events. Both Annual and Scale  featured a strong focus on learning and mentorship. By positioning braindates as a great opportunity to engage with a group of experts, SaaStr boosted participant engagement with the platform. SaaStr and Braindate sponsor Twilio leveraged the Braindate platform to foster mentor-mentee relationships by inviting leaders in the SaaS community to host “super braindates.” The rare opportunity to learn from industry leaders in an intimate setting went a long way towards getting participants excited and ready to start braindating.

2019 Tableau Conference

two men and a woman in a wheelchair on a braindate at Tableau Conference

The power of creating joy through design

The Tableau Conference gathers tens of thousands of professionals from all industries and organizations with the mission to help people see and understand data. At the 2019 edition of TC, Tableau collaborated with e180 to create an unforgettable Braindate environment that reflected the vibrancy of its own community and culture. The TC Braindate Lounge was a demonstration of the power of creating joy through design: by including fun elements like large bubbles with bean bags made for group braindates that punctuated the colourful seating arrangement for one-on-one conversations, the lounge created a playful and relaxed environment, to spark thousands of terrific braindate connections.

2019 PCMA Convening Leaders & Steelcase Event Experiences

Designing to maximize ease of collaboration 

PCMA Convening Leaders is one of the premier events for business events professionals to spark innovative ideas and gain insights from industry leaders. At the 2019 Convening Leaders Conference, PCMA brought Braindate to help participants form deeper connections by learning from each other. PCMA organizers collaborated with Steelcase Event Experiences to create the Braindate Lounge. The lounge was designed to maximize collaboration and create a sense of well-being in the participants. Homey design elements like comfortable sofas, lamps, and other accessories made the large convention space feel small and private, creating an atmosphere that made participants feel at ease on braindates. The result: Steelcase noted that many participants stayed long after the planned programming ended, choosing to stay in space, and continue their conversations once the official braindate time ended!

2019 Educause Conference & Ellucian

Infusing creativity and play into design

The Educause Annual Conference brings together higher education IT professionals and technology providers from around the world to share ideas, grow professionally, and discover solutions to today’s challenges. The Educause Braindate Lounge, sponsored by Ellucian, drew design inspiration from Chicago’s public transport system. It integrated a backdrop of the L Train with benches that provided a fun and private setting for one-on-one braindates. The organizers brought a spirit of creativity and play to the design of the lounge, creating a peer learning environment that encouraged participants themselves to take risks and get creative in their conversations. Beyond that, both the Educause and Ellucian teams also dove personally into Braindate, posting topics and hosting conversations. By doing so, they led by example and contributed generously (as hosts, and participants) to their attendees’ experience.

2019 QuickBooks Connect & Agency EA

A model for thoughtful hosting 

The 2019 QuickBooks Connect conference convened thousands of business owners, and accounting professionals to gain and share knowledge, skills, and insights to better run their business. They brought Braindate to the event to help their attendees find more organic opportunities to connect and exchange learnings with each other. The QuickBooks Braindate Hub was a model for thoughtful hosting. The Hub featured a flexible design, including comfortable movable pieces of furniture, and even playful fidget toys for participants to keep themselves busy as they waited for their braindates. The organizers designed the lounge to prioritize participant comfort and ease of conversation. Further, the QuickBooks team even joined e180’s team as hosts, lending the support needed to create a truly welcoming and vibrant collaborative learning environment.