Then, immediately following the event, I'd send a "thank you" follow-up with a link to these bios on a Web site.
The photos will be a big help to the attendees, who will have met dozens of people in a short time.
Our so-called Translational Research Bazaar, which took place in October, used a format popularized by speed dating: Two groups of people--in this case, basic scientists and clinical/translational researchers--sit on opposite sides of a table and chat for a few minutes until a bell rings, signaling that it's time to move on and strike up a new conversation.
It includes some reflections on a few things we'll do differently next time.
You will no doubt adapt these instructions to your institution, limitations, audience, and desired outcomes. Although speed dating was invented by a Los Angeles, California, rabbi as a way for Jewish singles to meet, speed dating and its cousin, speed networking, were rapidly and widely adopted in New York City.
But it's important: Meeting scientists from other disciplines can spark a new research idea or open the door to a solution to a problem that has seemed intractable.
The Weill Cornell Medical College Clinical and Translational Science Center (CTSC), headed by Julianne Imperato-Mc Ginley, took a novel approach to overcoming the challenge of forming scientific relationships: We organized a "speed networking" event that brought together researchers from CTSC's institutions--Weill Cornell Medical College, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the Hospital for Special Surgery, Hunter College, and Cornell University--and from three New York-area community hospitals.
Taking a cue from online dating, that database would allow researchers--whether or not they attended the event--to peruse other researchers' interests and strengths to look for a match.
Stefano Rivella's research group takes a multidisciplinary approach to finding new drugs and potential gene therapies for Cooley's anemia, an inherited disease in which a mutation in the beta-globin gene prevents patients from making enough hemoglobin, the oxygen carrier molecule.Once CTSC had its funding, Weill Cornell hired consultant Louise Holmes, an employment-skills consultant (and the author of the accompanying Perspective), to plan what would be called the Translational Research Bazaar."There were very few, if any, examples of speed networking with this particular demographic," she says.So she watched You Tube videos of speed-networking events and attended a Manhattan Chamber of Commerce speed-networking event to get a feel for the setup and flow.But there was one question those events couldn't answer: Would the scientists buy into it?One of the first to commit, for the second year running, was Andy Adamson, director of mini group Calliope Gifts.