The Collaboratory Part II: How To Host Your Own Mini-Collaboratory


Looking to build your own mini-collaboratory? It’s simpler than you might think. 

Anyone can create an environment for creative folks to collide with each other in surprising and productive ways. There’s some planning involved, but it all really comes down to three key factors: place, people, and process. 

Make it off-site. Pile onto a bus like you’re off to summer camp and head to a venue where you can detach from reality. It’s the creative equivalent to putting on noise cancelling headphones. A neutral space is perfect for building organic relationships and really bonding with people. 

We chose The Factory at Franklin for our Collaboratory because it was equal parts relaxing and inspiring. The physical space is important, because the way it feels to be in a space has a major effect on sensitive, creative types. The environment is the container, housing a series of un-plannable interactions that bounce around inside its walls like balls on a billiard table.

Think about what you want to accomplish with your mini-Collaboratory and scout your talent accordingly. Who will be the ones to create the coolest environment and encourage creative output? 

Consider how the event will feel from their perspective. Think of it like you’re throwing a party, except you’ve curated a guest list of talented creative people who are all expecting to show up and jam together. Managing these expectations is just as important as the overall vibe of the location. 

Creative collisions yield creative results. Bring together people of similar caliber who will challenge one another. Of course you don’t want drama to ensue, but a little bit of rub is good for the process of inventing something from nothing. 

Juxtaposing different disciplines leaves room for improvisation, and allows people to create and interpret flexible sets of goals for the content they generate. All of this adds up to an inspiring experience. 

Just one successful creative interaction is worth all the planning that goes into building your own mini-Collaboratory, but keep in mind that it can be simple, as long as you keep the focus on place, people, and process. 


Ink Building