Fishbowl, a new Braindate feature

Fishbowl Braindate: Better, More Interactive Large Group Conversations

New Feature! A unique collaborative learning conversation format where every participant can lead the discussion in a group of up to 20 people.

Categories in News & Features

We’ve all been a part of large group conversations, whether it’s at a company or department-wide meeting, or at a popular event session. 

Picture yourself as a small square on the screen among twenty others. What’s the quality of the conversation like? How do you feel? Are you enjoying yourself? Do you feel that you have the space to contribute to the conversation? Or do you find yourself muting, and then un-muting, trying to find the right moment to interject?

It’s time to change all that.  

That is why we have created a brand-new conversation dynamic called the Fishbowl Braindate. Inspired by the in-person fishbowl discussion format made popular by un-conferences, we have designed a high-energy, inclusive conversational dynamic, where everyone has the opportunity to jump in, share their ideas, and shake things up in a conversation

With this new feature, we are saying a big N-O to group conversations where only a few voices dominate. In this type of braindate, all participants in a group of up to 20, can actively participate and collaboratively learn from each other’s experiences.

Fishbowl braindate is a high-energy, inclusive conversational dynamic, where everyone has the opportunity to jump in, share their ideas, and shake things up in a conversation.

Platform to host large group conversations
You are now entering Fishbowl braindate!

How does it work?

Fishbowl braindate welcomes up to 20 people to participate in a discussion where 4 people speak at a time while others watch, with the option to switch roles at any time. 

Collaborative learning takes on new meaning as participants decide together when to switch places. A speaker can offer their spot up to watchers or a watcher can request to join the conversation. In addition to being able to switch places, watchers may use the hot seat option to pop into the fishbowl for 2 minutes to ask a question, share an idea, or shake things up! 

Are you full of ideas that you can’t wait to share? By entering the fishbowl braindate as a speaker, you have the opportunity to set the tone, and lead the conversation. Once you’re done sharing your ideas, you can offer your seat to one of the watchers.

Hosting a large group copnversation
What it looks like to offer your spot as a speaker in a fishbowl braindate.

Got something important to share, but don’t want to talk for too long? No worries, take the hot seat. You’ll have 2 minutes to share your idea, and can go back to enjoying the conversation as a watcher.

Fishbowl: Clubhouse but with video
Take the hot seat and share your comments, story, or question for 2 minutes!

Just want to sit back and enjoy the conversation? By entering as a watcher, you have the option to just listen without feeling the pressure to participate as one of the speakers on the screen. Instead you can ask questions and share your comments by using our on-screen chat function.

Facilitating large group discussions
Sit back, relax, and enjoy the conversation as a watcher in a fishbowl braindate.

What makes this feature unique?

At Braindate, we believe that learning should be a self-directed and collaborative experience. The fishbowl braindate feature is rooted in these principles. It’s the only large group conversation format in the market that is…

It’s 100% collaborative. Since there is no “host” leading the conversation, all participants have an equal opportunity to contribute their ideas, and if they desire, jump in and lead the discussion.

It’s 100% self-directed. The feature allows participants the flexibility to choose the role they wish to play in the conversation. They can choose to speak, sit back and listen, or interject only when they wish to speak by taking the “hot seat” for two minutes.

How will this feature improve your Braindate experience?

Previously on Braindate, you could only book a conversation for 1:1 or small group conversations of up to 5 people. The group braindate format has been hugely popular, but for a long time now, both our clients and users have requested a feature 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 didn’t want to recreate a large group conversation format, where users would need to work to have their voices heard i.e. we wanted to design an experience where anyone who wants to contribute is supported with more options than a simple “raise your hand” feature.

That’s exactly what we have created in the fishbowl braindate. Even in a group of 20 people, you can contribute easily and make yourself heard by requesting a speaker to switch roles with you. 

Designed with all levels of comfort in mind, fishbowl braindates give everyone the opportunity to experience a fast-paced, high energy, fun conversation where anything can happen.

We didn’t want to recreate a large group conversation format, where users would need to work to have their voices heard i.e. we wanted to design an experience where anyone who wants to contribute is supported with more options than a simple ‘raise your hand’ feature.

We hosted our first ever Braindate event with fishbowl conversations in June and the reviews are in!

In June, we launched the beta version of Fishbowl braindate at our virtual event Learning Forward. We invited our partners, clients, users, as well as top minds in the events industry to participate and test out fishbowl braindate for the very first time. 

Our goal was to gather early feedback, so we can continue our work to improve the feature. Here are some of the early reviews of Fishbowl (names have been omitted to protect the privacy of our users). 

Responses to the question “Following your experience, how would you describe fishbowl braindate in one sentence?” in the post-event survey:

Fishbowl is a lovely format with the option for people to be as active or passive as they want! I really enjoyed listening in.

It was like an engaging Clubhouse room but with video!

Refreshing.

Fishbowl braindates: where thought leadership gets turned on its head! The discussion begins with a general topic and five attendees, where it goes and who will contribute…you need to be there to find out!