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The Handy Guide to Cashing in the Currency of Networking

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Title: The Handy Guide to Cashing in the Currency of Networking


1
THE HANDY GUIDE
to Cashing in the Currency of NETWORKING
2
Table of Contents
04 13 17 24 30 39
An Insight into Event Networking
Different Stakeholders Involved in Event
Networking
The Ins and Outs of an Event Networking Platform
How Technology is Helping in Setting Business
Dates
Why Event Networking Platform is an Excellent
Investment Bonus Chapter 10 Unconventional Ways
in Which Event
Planners have Facilitated Networking at Events
3
INTRODUCTION
Human beings are social animals. We are
interdependent. This is a fact that applies to
almost every aspect of our lives. From a pro-
fessional perspective, an effective network is
crucial to success. The people you know do
matter. But, how exactly do you build these
contacts? How exactly do you network? Worry not,
for in this book we shall cover the essential
basics of networking. From essential tips to
networking technology, heres your ultimate guide
to cashing in the true currency of networking.
4
AN INSIGHT INTO EVENT NETWORKING
1
Meetings, conventions, conferences, and trade
shows are the market lead- ers of the event
industry in the 21st century. The US alone
accounts for 1.8 million business meetings,
conferences, trade shows etc. with more than 205
million attendees. Being a part of any corporate
industry in the world, you too must have no-
ticed and attended many local, national or even
global conferences and events of your industry.
But despite these numbers, most attendees often
fail to answer one simple question What
long-term benefits do you gain from attending a
conference? Google search Benefits of attending
conferences and you will come across no less
than a 100 of them. But how many of those
benefits do you actually find applicable in your
case? Attending a large-scale conference is no
big deal. Your contact and your companys
extended networks would help you find an entry in
many ex- travagant events.
5
  • AN INSIGHT INTO EVENT NETWORKING
  • Business events are a great source for building
    contacts. Networking is one of the most
    essential aspects of attending such gatherings.
    Good, meaning- ful business relationships are an
    important takeaway from any event.
  • Event planners have realized the importance of
    networking for attendees. That is why a majority
    of event planners these days make sure to
    facilitate networking in some way or the other.
    It could be an ice-breaking event or a
    networking session.
  • But in order to ensure that you actually yield
    something out of it, one needs
  • to prepare. Let us understand where to begin with
    for these preparations.
  • Understanding the Achievable
  • Before beginning the preparations, jot down the
    answer to this question
  • What do you aim to achieve from
  • attending a professional event?
  • Go on with this blog if your list some- what
    matches to this one.
  • Expanding industry knowledge
  • Long-term Networking
  • Now that we have on hand our requirements and the
    achievable benefits, we can begin with the
    preparations.

6
  • AN INSIGHT INTO EVENT NETWORKING
  • Expand your knowledge horizons
  • While the books and blogs you read have an
    enormous amount of knowledge, learning things
    from your industry speakers and influencers is a
    totally different thing.
  • Not only do you get to find out the deeper
    insights of the industry, you also get to learn
    about the recent trends, technologies, and
    innovations in the industry. But the question
    remains, how to retain their deliverables
  • for a long time?
  • Knowledge Management
  • A recent survey says that the amount of
    information received by a person every day is
    equivalent to reading 174 newspapers daily.
    Adding to it, you have the information given by
    these conference speakers. Such information
    overdose prevents you from perceiving more than
    80 of what is received.
  • Thus, if you want to actually yield something out
    of what those speakers said in the last event,
    manage the information you receive. A few simple
    steps would help you do this.
  • Record the sessions
  • Use audio/video recorders or simply take down
    digital notes to record the information
    received. Store them and keep them accessible.

7
  • AN INSIGHT INTO EVENT NETWORKING
  • Once you have all the delivered information
    available, you can decide which things make
    sense to you and which ones dont. Plus, this
    will help you have a revision of the information
    long-time after the event. All you need to do is
    go back to your records!
  • Filter and choose
  • Every event would have a number of talks and
    presentations. It is humanly impossible and
    practically a waste to attend every single one of
    these.
  • That is why, it is crucial that before going to
    the event, go through the ses- sions details
    and filter out the sessions which would be useful
    for you.
  • Get the details of the speakers and analyze the
    usefulness of the session for you. This way, you
    would save your time by skipping the unnecessary
    ones.
  • Question, learn, network
  • Industry leaders function as the speakers of
    professional events. This is the reason the
    speakers are masters in the field.
  • While attending their presentations, feel free to
    interact with them and come up with questions.
    Not only during the presentation, you can
    continue the conversation after it as well. This
    will not only help you learn but also network
    with these pioneers.

8
  • AN INSIGHT INTO EVENT NETWORKING
  • Have your own discussions
  • Never limit yourself to the discussions taking
    place in the event. Bring out your learning and
    use the information to have other discussions as
    well. Interact with your office colleagues or
    other peers and understand the topic way better.
  • Build long-term business networks
  • Though learning is a benefit of attending
    professional events, it is the secondary goal of
    most of the attendees. The primary goal,
    however, is to build a network. Meeting people
    from various domains of your industry can help
    you build crucial long-term relationships for
    your professional life.
  • These networks can help you grow your clientele,
    find you new sponsors or just help you in
    various parts of your business. However, you need
    to strate- gize your networking beforehand in
    order to build only useful contacts.
  • After all, you dont want to waste your time with
    people totally unrelated to
  • your industry and business.
  • The Mere Exposure Effect
  • Familiarity principle or what psychologists call
    the mere exposure effect is a very efficient
    method of networking at professional events.
  • This principle says that when exposed to a
    person, idea or thing repeatedly, our
    inclination towards it increases and we find it
    more preferable. You can use this principle
    efficiently to build useful networks at your next
    profession- al event. How? Lets see

9
  • AN INSIGHT INTO EVENT NETWORKING
  • The Starters
  • Before introducing yourself and making use of the
    familiarity principle, you
  • need some preparations.
  • First of all, recognize the people you wish to
    build contacts with. There are going to be a lot
    of fellow attendees and speakers. Building
    contacts with all of them is not possible. That
    is why it is essential to filter out the relevant
    people.
  • Find the industries they belong to and understand
    if their contact can help you. Shortlist the
    people you wish to network with and learn more
    about them in detail.
  • The Execution
  • Now that you know the people, it is time to
    interact and execute the principle we discussed.
  • Begin this process before the event. Create small
    relevant surveys or polls on the event
    community. Ask questions from the speakers
    sessions which might be useful to other
    attendees as well. Or simply strike up a
    discussion on a significant topic. This will
    help other attendees recognize you.

10
  • AN INSIGHT INTO EVENT NETWORKING
  • Such knowledge distribution would play the role
    of the second trigger in the familiarization
    process. It will not only help you get recognized
    but also give you some perspective about your
    fellow attendees.
  • It will help you build a positive reputation for
    yourself and other attendees would look up to
    your knowledge and findings.
  • After having these conversations and discussions,
    you have now become known to other attendees.
    You can also use the networking platform to set
    up meetings with attendees you find important.
    Your pre-established recog- nition would help
    you set up these meetings easily.
  • Sidestep the Bummers
  • Even after all such preparations, you can still
    end up with no or minimal re- sults. Everything
    discussed for networking till now is the
    preparatory stage. The actual results are gained
    post the meetings you have.
  • There are a lot of mistakes you can create in
    these meeting. Make sure to sidestep them.
  • a. Network with a plan
  • Dont just go on networking with people from
    your industry. Ensure to filter out the people
    before you begin networking. If not, you might
    end up in a meeting without any goal at all.

11
  • AN INSIGHT INTO EVENT NETWORKING
  • Get the details
  • In order to understand the mutual benefits that
    you and your potential network can provide, you
    need to know them.
  • Find out the details of their business and
    understand how you can be helpful
  • to each other.
  • Define the purpose
  • Once you choose your networks, define the purpose
    of the meeting to yourself and to them as well.
  • This includes things like why do you wish to
    network with them or what ben- efits can they
    yield from this meeting.
  • Be ready with the content
  • Have some topics in mind and ensure that you are
    reaching the meeting with your content ready.
    Though it might not be a meeting where you are
    presenting something, but given the fact that you
    have approached them, you need something to work
    on.
  • You can either have mutual ideas to share or you
    can brief them with your business model and ask
    them for the support that you require from them.

12
AN INSIGHT INTO EVENT NETWORKING Networking and
learning are two very broad domains of benefits
of attend- ing events. As an attendee, in order
to ensure to make the most of an event, just
clearly define your goals and motives behind
attending these events. Once you are clear with
that, you can prepare accordingly and make sure
that another event attended wont be in
vain. As an event planner, it is easy to find
ways to facilitate event networking once you
learn the workings of the process. Understanding
how your attendees aim to gain maximum ROI
through your event using these net- working tips
will help you work on delivering the
same. Overall, there are a number of
stakeholders involved in the process of event
networking. Let us discuss these stakeholders in
the next chapter.
13
STAKEHOLDERS INVOLVED IN EVENT NETWORKING
2
Contrary to popular belief, networking is not
just about the attendees. There are a lot of
other stakeholders as well that need your
attention when it comes to event networking.
While the basics of networking remain the same
for all, the goals they are trying to achieve
through networking are usually very
different. The target stakeholders they wish to
work with also differ according to
their motives. Identifying these different
stakeholders of event networking and under-
standing their requirements is very crucial. Only
after such a thorough anal- ysis can you develop
networking tools that would be beneficial for
them all. Let us have a quick look at all of
these stakeholders 1. Sponsors The
mutually-benefiting relationship between a spon-
sor and an event organiser goes beyond the
aspects of money. While a sponsor can add to
your events success in many different ways, you
can also impact their ROI by considering their
role in networking. The primary goal of sponsors
is usually to network with their potential cus-
tomers who usually are your attendees.
14
  • STAKEHOLDERS INVOLVED IN EVENT NETWORKING
  • Companies wish to sponsor events because unlike
    traditional advertise- ments, they get to have a
    live interaction with their target audience. That
    is why, sponsors usually wish to influence them
    in an impactful way at events rather than simply
    putting up product or services advertisements.
  • Being an event prof, it is your responsibility to
    ensure that the sponsors get
  • all the required channels for such promotional
    activities.
  • Exhibitors/ Traders
  • If you are organising tradeshows or exhibitions,
    the traders or exhibitors will also be added to
    your list of networking stakeholders. While the
    formal setting of such events provides them with
    some audience exposure, it is usually not enough.
    They need other ways as well to showcase their
    ideas, products, services, etc.
  • They need some more interactive ways that would
    help them network with their target audience
    before or after the formal exhibition.
  • This is necessary for them because such extra
    interactions help them con- nect with their
    target audience better and fulfill their goals
    easily.
  • Speakers/ Performers
  • Speakers or Performers are also instrumental in
    driving a lot of attendees to your event. You
    might even call them the front-end stars of the
    show.
  • However, there is one prominent misconception
    about event speakers.

15
STAKEHOLDERS INVOLVED IN EVENT NETWORKING Event
profs usually believe that speakers attend events
only for monetary benefits. While finances
constitute one of the factors, it is definitely
not the only rea- son. Each speaker or performer
wishes to make their brand even more popular
and preferred by frequently reaching out to new
people. Your events work as one of the platforms
for them to do this. That is why, they wish to
interact with the attendees apart from their
formal session. Interactions with speakers or
performers can also be a profitable and
interesting way of increasing the audience
engagement. 4. Attendees Attendees are
definitely the central focus of event
networking. Attendees aim to network with other
attendees of your event who might be the profes-
sionals from their industry. They also wish to
net- work with the traders, speakers and other
people who might be a part of your event. As an
event prof, you also need to understand that the
networking goals of the attendees are anything
but uniform. They might just wish to know other
people from their industry, they might wish to
learn something better from the speakers or the
performs, they might want to look for potential
business associates or they might simply wish to
increase their contacts. Whatever be their
motives, you need to ensure that your attendees
get the required platform for interacting and
networking with their fellow attendees and all
the other event stakeholders.
16
STAKEHOLDERS INVOLVED IN EVENT NETWORKING 5.
Organisers An event organizer has various
motives of hosting the event. They might have
certain goals and ambitions in their mind that
they plan to fulfill with the event. Whatever
they might be, it is essential for organisers as
well to network. They need to interact with all
the other stakeholders of the event in order to
fulfill their individual goals. That is why,
whenever you are working on the networking tools
of your event, always make sure to include them
as a crucial stakeholder. These were the general
categories in which you can usually classify your
event networking stakeholders. Networking is a
crucial aspect of your event which is usually
the focus and goal of almost all of the
stakeholders of your event. Make sure to come up
with something that would help them all. One way
to do that is using event technology. It is one
of the most popular way of facilitating
efficient event networking, fulfilling the
requirements of all the stakeholders involved.
In the upcoming chapters, we shall discuss
various tech-tools that event planners opt for in
order to optimize networking at events.
17
THE INS OUTS OF EVENT NETWORKING PLATFORM
3
Networking is not about collecting contacts.
Networking is about planting relations. People
attend events for all sorts of multiple purposes.
From generating leads to collecting funds, each
event has its own agenda. So do the people who
attend such events. Personally, I like to
interact with and meet new people whenever I go
to an event. That stack of business cards
received along with the new connec- tions gained
across Social Media platforms always give me a
sense of satisfaction in terms of making the
most out of the event I just attended. Social
contacts are one of my favourite take-aways from
an event. Some people attend events for the sake
of getting new experiences while others attend
such events for getting to know more about a
particular in- dustry and get more contacts.
Networking is one of the major reasons for which
people sign-up for and attends an event.
18
THE INS OUTS OF EVENT NETWORKING PLATFORM What
exactly is the purpose of networking? Dictionary
defines networking as
Interaction with others to exchange
information and develop professional or social
contacts.
So, what exact purpose do these contacts
serve? Be it any business or profession,
networking is key to growth and devel- opment.
Affiliating with people in the same field with
you will lead to more opportunities. It will
also pave way for exchange of ideas and knowledge
along with fruit- ful collaborations. An event
is a gathering of people from all facets of
life. Hence, it makes up for a perfect place to
network and meet more people. Attendees at an
event interact with fellow professionals and
build contacts for mutual benefits. Initially,
this was done through offline platforms. Even
today, certain events are organized solely for
networking purposes.
19
THE INS OUTS OF EVENT NETWORKING PLATFORM With
the evolution of technology, the events industry
has seen some major technological innovations. A
direct effect of this is a major shift from
offline to online platforms for carrying out
major tasks related to event planning such as
registrations, feedback, etc. Event website and
event app are some of the most important event
tech trends that have taken over the industry.
Seeing the increasing rate of event website and
event app adoption, developers of such SaaS
products have taken to integrating the
networking aspect with such online platforms as
well. This has led to the rise of the Event
Networking Platform. The Networking
Platform So, what exactly is a networking
platform? It is an online platform designed for
registered attendees of an event. It is a
platform where attendees can connect and
interact with each other prior, during and even
after the event.
Think about it, isnt it better to explore the
event community virtually before you attend the
event? Connect with fellow attendees, have a chat
with them, share information and interact. It
makes it much easier and much more efficient to
network at an event, saving up your time.
20
THE INS OUTS OF EVENT NETWORKING PLATFORM The
nitty-gritty of the Networking Platform The
attendees can chat with each other, find fellow
attendees with similar profession or interests
and interact. Social media for that one event, if
you will. But, it is far more professional and
efficient. There are various kinds of networking
platforms in the market. Some dis- tribute stand
alone networking platforms event organizers can
use for one particular event. Networking
platforms have taken event networking to a whole
new lev- el. With a plethora of features, such
platforms can aid event attendees network
their way through the event. Some of the
features of networking platforms currently
existing in the mar- ket are 1.
Chatting Integrating chat-bots with networking
platforms makes it easier for the attendees to
have one-one conversations online. People can
talk, chat and discuss ideas and proposals prior
to the event. It also makes it easier for people
to get to know each other and to decide whether
or not the person on the other end of the
conversation is a fruit- ful contact to build
upon. Only after the conversation can people
decide whether or not a face-to-face meeting is
required.
21
  • THE INS OUTS OF EVENT NETWORKING PLATFORM
  • Engagement
  • Engagement is one of the key features in a net-
    working platform. Apart from its obvious
    benefits, engagement is one way to increase your
    net- working platform adoption. One way to
    engage the attendees is by sending out scheduled
    push notifications.
  • Gamification is another way to reel in the
    attendees. Networking games integrated with the
    platform will surely interest and engage the
    attendees and also help break the ice.
  • Correct B2B matchmaking
  • An event will have all sorts of attendees from
    different domains and with different purposes.
    One thing that makes such networking platform
    convenient is accurate matchmaking.
  • Be it investors looking for entrepreneurs or
    clients looking for vendors, a good networking
    platforms can help filter relevant attendees and
    sort them accordingly.
  • One-on-one meetings
  • According to Hubspot, 95 say face-to-face
    meetings are essential for long-term business
    relationships. It is necessary to arrange
    face-to- face meetings for the attendees despite
    the chat- bot feature.
  • Networking platforms facilitate scheduling one on
    one meeting and
  • develops a schedule based on the same.

22
  • THE INS OUTS OF EVENT NETWORKING PLATFORM
  • Maintaining schedule
  • Attendees might interact with quite a few fellow
    attendees. They would want to set up meetings
    while simultaneously managing sessions that they
    would like to attend.
  • A networking platform that allows the attendees
    to maintain a track of the meetings that they
    have set up and sessions that they would want to
    attend is really beneficial and convenient.
    Adding a reminder feature is an added bonus.
  • Content Sharing
  • Some Networking platforms also facilitated
    content sharing through an Event feed features.
    Attendees can share usefull articles, photos and
    videos with the community.
  • This helps in collective knowledge sharing
    throughout the event.
  • Discussion forums/Polls
  • The true measurement of audience engagement is
    the amount of input gained from the attendees.
    One of the purposes of networking too is to gain
    inputs and ideas from fellow attendees in order
    to increase knowledge.

23
THE INS OUTS OF EVENT NETWORKING
PLATFORM Networking platforms have discussion
forums and polling features whereby attendees can
share their opinion on a particular topic, a
session or a speaker. 8. Community
building Community feature in a networking
platform has multiple benefits. It makes it
really easy to find people in the similar field
as yours and connect with them. People can
post, comment, like just like in any social media
group. These posts can also be moderated. Thus
community building facilitates relevant and
simpler networking. An event networking platform
is a boon to event organizers that has a lot of
benefits. As technology develops, new updates are
introduced. Some networking platforms even
integrate virtual assistance to further the
convenience of the attendees, guiding them in
terms of whom to approach, which stalls to
visit, etc. This is just the beginning.
Networking platforms are constantly evolving and
developing, helping the organizers to optimize
their event and take it to a whole new
level. You know the whats and hows, learn why
an event networking platform is a worthy
investment in the upcoming chapter.
24
HOW TECHNOLOGY IS HELPING IN SETTING BUSINESS
DATES?
4
  • Technology often gets a bad reputation for
    limiting our face-to-face human interaction.
    However, more and more attendees thrive to build
    new connec- tions at events, we see that
    technology has actually helped in enhancing the
    communication with others.
  • With the advent of technology in our daily lives,
    the line between physical and virtual
    communication is getting blurred. While this
    doesnt simply mean that you keep yourself glued
    to your smartphone.
  • There are many tools at your disposal that you
    can use to expand your networks and add to your
    experience. Heres how technology is shaping the
    future of networking at events.
  • 1. Connecting Attendees through the Networking
    Platform
  • Many of us arent skilled when it comes to
    networking. Walking into a huge
  • event can be massively intimidating.
  • To whom you should approach? Where do you meet
    people?
  • How do you connect with the speakers whom youve
    been following on Twitter since 4 years?

25
HOW TECHNOLOGY IS HELPING IN SETTING BUSINESS
DATES? Event technology is the solution to such
issues and answers to all the prob- lems that
attendees face during networking. With the excess
of information available on seminars, shows and
speakers available at a single touch, mobile, in
particular, can help people aware about the
events from the areas of their interest. And
where like minded connections gather,
connections are bound to happen. Large-scale
events can be a difficult place to form concrete
connections, but a networking platform can help
you get past the initial hurdles and awkward
introduction stage. Through a networking
platform, attendees are empowered to know other
attendees even before they enter the event. You
can set up basic introductory information
including interests and professional
background. This makes it easier for people to
form a personal connection when they finally
meet. And when you build personalized
connections, there are greater chances youll
want to do business with them.
26
HOW TECHNOLOGY IS HELPING IN SETTING BUSINESS
DATES? 2. Fostering Discussion
Participation Meeting people is step one, but
engaging with those like-minded people is going
to add another level of value to the event
experience. Networking platforms provide a
simpler, more intuitive way of making this
happen. Whether through real-time polling, QAs,
or discussion boards, it can provide a road for
your attendees to make their voice heard and get
feed- back on their ideas. One of the hottest
technology this year is iBeacons, a proximity
detection technology has been transforming
events by triggering location-specific prompts
for interaction. Attendees are actually
encouraged by this technology to Join the Con-
versation when they enter the specific part of
the venue. Networking plat- forms enable them to
have access to other attendees profiles and are
able to send messages directly within the app,
eliminating the often intimidating task of
approaching strangers at an event.
27
HOW TECHNOLOGY IS HELPING IN SETTING BUSINESS
DATES? 3. Inspiring the Most Relevant
Connections It is equally critical for a
networking platform to set up right kind of
people apart from making them join the
conversation. With deeper personalization and
the use of in-app recommendations, event
technology can help attend- ees connect with
those who are most likely to make that
happen. Lets take the example of the Vibrant
Gujarat Global Summit to understand this concept
better. Organizers of Gandhinagar based Vibrant
Gujarat Summit 2017 event wanted to facilitate
the above discussed process of building a robust
net- working scene. Organizers with the help of
Hubilo created a specifically customized net-
working platform integrated with their event app
along with a virtual assis- tant which not only
matched peoples requests and offers for
knowledge but also helped in scheduling
business dates at events. You can have a list
of names and titles of other people at the event,
but its difficult to do the actual business
with a good number of people from the
international market. This is where we got
involved. Our mission was to help attendees in
breaking the ice and facilitate a common
platform to not only network and do business but
also plant life- long relations. Mayank
Aggarwal CTO and Co-Founder of Hubilo
28
HOW TECHNOLOGY IS HELPING IN SETTING BUSINESS
DATES? Hubilo offered the matchmaking service
as a part of its in-built event app networking
platform, which also included advanced features
like event info, speakers, schedule, agenda,
sponsors, meetings, venue, polls, discussions,
social activity stream, exhibitors and so
on. Working with Hubilo, organizers were able to
send emails to attendees ex- plaining the
matchmaking process and inviting them to create
their respec- tive profiles indicating people
from specific areas they are looking for or have
to offer. Attendees can then browse these offers
and requests and send invitations to meet people
at the event. Vibrant Gujarat Summit, the
international business summit conceived by
Gujarat Government, experienced the spike in
networking with Hubilos Event App with
thousands of attendees scheduling one-to-one
meetings. Networking platform is one of the
highest-ranked elements of Hubilos Event App,
and when we talk to people we always hear, Your
networking platform is so great, What makes this
networking platform so special is the algorithm
that is far more advanced than anything else
weve managed to find. - Representative of
IndexTB To complement the online matchmaking,
Hubilo provides staff at each event who create a
dedicated space so people know where to come for
their business dates and to assist attendees
in making connections.
29
HOW TECHNOLOGY IS HELPING IN SETTING BUSINESS
DATES?
We find that its an interesting and relevant
networking tool for our attend- ees because it
creates serendipitous meetings between people who
may not otherwise cross paths, but obviously
have a lot to learn and offer mutually, -
Representative of IndexTB Hence, a networking
platform is one of the best ways to optimize
network- ing at your event and give your
attendees a fruitful and memorable event
experience. You know the whats and hows, learn
why an event networking platform is a worthy
investment in the upcoming chapter.
30
WHY EVENT NETWORKING PLATFORM IS AN EXCELLENT
INVESTMENT?
5
In a recent survey done by Event Managers Blog,
it surfaced that 22.5 per cent of Event Planners
are not using technology at all. That might come
as a shock since we live in such an updated
world, but unfortunately, thats true. Most of
the event planners when asked about what sort of
event tech- nologies they have incorporated in
their events, replied saying big flat screens
or power point projectors. Those things are
obviously important but they are just the tip of
the tech- berg we are talking about. Also, many
event planners shy away or are uninterested when
it comes to using event technology which is
either due to lack of knowledge or
ignorance. Due to this, they miss out on
important opportunities. And hence, it makes
their event a dull and mundane experience. In a
recent article, we talked about 8 technologies
that every organizer must embrace. And today we
are going to discuss about one of them event
networking platform. Since networking is one of
the core reasons why people attend events, it
has emerged as a tool which increases the value
of your event exponentially.
31
  • WHY EVENT NETWORKING PLATFORM IS AN EXCELLENT
    INVESTMENT?
  • Two most common problems faced by attendees at an
    event
  • Most of the time, there are so many people at an
    event that attendees dont know where to start
    and whom to approach. And hence, end up mak- ing
    no connections at all.
  • Attending an event is like a fortune cookie.
    Nobody knows who all are going to be present at
    an event and whether or not would they be of same
    interest.
  • What is an event networking platform?
  • It is an online platform exclusively for
    registered attendees. In other words, it is an
    independent social network of your event where
    people can discover each other, interact, set up
    meetings, share their experiences and much more.
  • Why should you invest in an event networking
    platform?
  • Are you are still confused whether to invest in
    this event tech tool or not? We have some pretty
    strong reasons why you should. Check them out!

32
WHY EVENT NETWORKING PLATFORM IS AN EXCELLENT
INVESTMENT? Benefits from Attendees
perspective 1. Get to know the correct
people. How many of your attendees actually know
about the background of the people attending
your event? Not anyone apart from their friends,
isnt it? This is when networking platform comes
into the picture as it helps in discovering new
people. It does not only let people connect
during the event but before and after the event
as well. This serves as a great marketing and
engagement tool for the organizers to pro- mote
as well as create a buzz around the event, a
total win-win situation! With the help of the
advanced filters attendees can actually filter
people according to their designation,
organization, industry, recently added,
interests and people who viewed their
profile. Sounds like a matchmaking process,
doesnt it? It does. The advance algo- rithm
suggests every attendee profiles they should be
connecting with and meeting at an event based on
their interest and designation.
33
WHY EVENT NETWORKING PLATFORM IS AN EXCELLENT
INVESTMENT? 2. Break the ice. Isnt it
fascinating that half of the attendees are
introverts while most of the meetings are
designed for extroverts. Extroverts charge
themselves by talking to people while introverts
get discharged when they talk to people. And
hence, they prefer virtual communication over
in-person interaction. Nevertheless, the
networking platform helps both the introverts
and extroverts break the ice by connecting with
people first virtually. They can introduce
themselves without any fear or timidity and let
fellow attendee know what they have to offer and
what they are looking for. This way organizers
will be able to know how well their event is
performing in terms of return of objective and
whether they have attracted the right people or
not.
34
WHY EVENT NETWORKING PLATFORM IS AN EXCELLENT
INVESTMENT? 3. Increase the engagement
quotient. Engagement is the key factor which will
set your event different from other events.
Interactivity is a rising trend in the event
industry and more and more emphasis is being
given to it from the organizers side. Wouldnt
you like to know why and for which part your
attendees are excited about? Or may be you want
opinions regarding your event venue? This is
when discussions and polls come to your rescue.
Not just that, all your at- tendees can also
create forums and polls regarding their doubts
and queries, ask questions and post
pictures. After all, more the information, easier
it will be for you to take the perfect
decision. Every organizer would like to keep
their audience glued and interactive at an
event, isnt it? Well, this is your
solution. Enable live engagement during speaker
sessions with the help of network- ing platform.
Let people ask their questions and share their
opinions directly to the speakers.
35
WHY EVENT NETWORKING PLATFORM IS AN EXCELLENT
INVESTMENT? 4. Meetings made easy. Wouldnt it
be amazing if your attendees could set up
meetings with fel- low attendees without much of
a hassle? Well, setting up meetings is easier
than ever with an event networking
platform. Booking meetings with people or
texting a message for appointment is just a
click away. Help your attendees in finding the
right people who they actually want to connect
with. Wouldnt you like if you could set up
meetings at a pre-decided time and agenda? Well,
thats how it works otherwise, right! Let your
attendees expand their horizon of network. After
all, your attendees network is their net
worth. By selling your event ticket, you
convert an audience into your event attendees
but by delivering them a worthwhile experience,
you make them your event brand advocates.
36
WHY EVENT NETWORKING PLATFORM IS AN EXCELLENT
INVESTMENT? 5. The Ultimate touch point. Most of
the organizers dont know the potential of
keeping in touch with their attendees all
through the year. Being an event organizer, tell
me how often do you interact with your attendees
once the event is over? Most of the events that
I have attended are dead once they are over. No
follow up emails or any- thing at all. Does this
make a good impression and a strong influence on
attendees? Obviously not. Hence, keep your
attendees glued to your event not only when it
is happening but also before and after the event
through the event network- ing
platform. Influence your attendees or interact
with them and let them know what are you up to
or which new event you are coming up with and
what you could do better this time. It not only
builds the trust but loyalty towards your
brand. You want to know how engaging with your
audience helps in creating an amazing event
experience during the event? Check here.
37
WHY EVENT NETWORKING PLATFORM IS AN EXCELLENT
INVESTMENT? Benefits from Organizers
perspective Have you ever thought of securing
sponsors and attracting more exhibitors by
providing them with not just a physical space but
a digital one as well? I think you know the
answer by now! Let your attendees connect with
the sponsors and exhibitors directly by letting
them fix meetings and sorting them according to
their interest. Secure your sponsors by actually
showing them the importance and transparency
they will get by connect- ing with your
attendees. Let your exhibitors showcase their
product and services. Make the navigation easier
by showcasing the event venue layout with
stall numbers. Also, leverage Push
Notifications. Keep your attendees informed
about the live event proceedings during the
event. With intuitive event analytics, monitor
the engagement at each point to keep up the spark
of the event.
38
WHY EVENT NETWORKING PLATFORM IS AN EXCELLENT
INVESTMENT? From social media shares, engagement
ratio, total reach and impression, event
analytics will give you in-depth detail about how
your event is per- forming. And hence, this is
the perfect recipe for keeping the event momentum
crisp and lively. What shall be the
conclusion? If you dont provide the technology
to let attendees network at your event, they
will find the technology and new event to
network. Would you like to disappoint your
attendees or you would like to give them a wow
experience? Choice is yours!
39
BONUS CHAPTER UNCONVENTIONAL WAYS TO CONNECT
YOUR EVENT ATTENDEES
6
Most of the event planners make sure that their
events are ready for net- working, but its not
the same with attendees every time. It might
sound easy but it isnt always easy to get
strangers- or even professional col- leagues to
get along with one another. Ironically,
networking is one of the top 5 reasons why people
attend busi- ness events. And hence, since ages,
planners have to try their best to ad- dress
that interest by hosting cocktail parties or
providing networking lounges and what not! But
times are changing, indeed. There are newer and
more effective ways to foster meaningful
connections for your attendees. In this section,
we will discuss some fantastic and out-of-the-box
ideas which organizers have implemented and you
can surely take some inspiration.
40
  • UNCONVENTIONAL WAYS TO CONNECT YOUR EVENT
    ATTENDEES
  • Share Your Recipe!
  • IMEX, an organization that serves the global
    meetings, incentive travel, and
  • event industry, took their networking game to the
    next level.
  • They came up with the concept that love for food
    is shared by ev- eryone, and therefore a recipe
    can be a great conversation starter.
  • The organization invited its 6 fellow partners
    to submit their favorite recipes.
  • All these recipes were showcased on the blog and
    were available
  • for free public access. It included the
    contributors photo and a quote. The
    organization also created IMEXRecipes to receive
    submissions via Twitter and a dedicated
    Pinterest page.
  • Smells like a delicious idea? Go ahead with it!
  • Dine With Strangers
  • Back in 2001, Exhibitors Show noticed that many
    people who came to their show alone were opting
    to eat dinner in their hotel rooms rather than
    going out.

41
UNCONVENTIONAL WAYS TO CONNECT YOUR EVENT
ATTENDEES Hence, they started offering Dinner
with Strangers. Organizers make group reserva-
tions at about 6 restaurants for each night of
the show. Youre wondering how it works? Well,
signup sheets at the conference registration
desk list the name of the restaurant, type of
the food to be served and registration time.
Attendees sign up- and they show up! We could
never even imagine that wine dine could be
transformed into such a big networking
opportunity. 3. Photo Map The Exhibitor Show
came up with another amazing idea of Photo
Map. With the idea to connect people from the
same geography, The Exhibitor Group invited
attendees to attach their photo to a large map
to indicate where they are from. The map was
used 10 years ago and participation increases
each year, reaching more than 500 photos from
60 countries.
42
UNCONVENTIONAL WAYS TO CONNECT YOUR EVENT
ATTENDEES To assist the attendees with
photographs, photographers were stationed at the
map to take instant thumbnail photos of
attendees. Organizers say that the map is an
easy conversation-starter as attendees look for
others from their area or from cities where they
have lived in the past. Put up a big map and give
a networking ground to your attendees! 4.
Destination Networking The 2013 World Mobile
Congress held in Barcelona surprised around
70,000 attendees with 8 new venues created
especially to facilitate networking. The
Networking Gardens were created a Fira Gran
Via, a large convention center within the event
location itself. To make it simpler for
attendees to designate a meeting place, each
garden was given a separate name and decor like
Mediterranean, Water, Wod, etc. Each one of the
gardens had a specific signage which was used
throughout event branding. All these gardens were
outdoors with special arrangements to tackle un-
pleasant weather so that networking doesnt get
affected. The first night of the conference
witnessed a cocktail reception for attendees
hosted by or- ganizers as an introduction to
their new networking concept. Indeed a fresh
idea. What do you say?
43
  • UNCONVENTIONAL WAYS TO CONNECT YOUR EVENT
    ATTENDEES
  • Social Media Contests
  • Metropolitan Events Production Company used the
    budding use of Social Media for creating a
    networking campaign for the Makeup Shows in
    Chica-
  • go and Orlando.
  • Organizers asked attendees to upload their
    pictures with their name, which could be posted,
    with the EventHashtag on Twit- ter, Instagram,
    Tumblr Face- book.
  • The concept behind this unique concept was to
    create a sense of community and provide face
  • recognition as people stepped onto the show
    floor. Organizers sorted the pictures and shared
    them as well on the shows social media networks.
  • For the Orlando Show, they turned this practice
    into a contest by adding a gift bag as a winning
    prize.
  • Sounds fun? Dont forget to incorporate it into
    your next event?
  • Social Networking Apps
  • Its a smart world and who doesnt have a smart
    phone? Everyone, right? So, why not make the
    smart use of it?

44
UNCONVENTIONAL WAYS TO CONNECT YOUR EVENT
ATTENDEES Social Networking Apps is one of the
hottest trends in the event industry. Event
Networking Apps like Hubilo and many others,
allow attendees to use their phone and tablets
to find each other, schedule meeting and many
other things. Most of the apps ask users to sign
in using their LinkedIn account, so the systems
can classify people and match them up with people
of similar interest. Additional features of
these apps are more than you can imagine. To
know more about them, hold on, weve an entire
section dedicated to it. 7. Post a Picture At
I.B.M Connect in January, the company created a
Twitter photo contest to encourage event
attendees to interact with its I.B.M
Champions, a group of about 75 bloggers,
clients, analysts and business partner. This
group is highly active on social media and
people were willing to share their genuine
experiences regarding the company products.
45
UNCONVENTIONAL WAYS TO CONNECT YOUR EVENT
ATTENDEES The conference welcomed them with a
packet sized yearbook-style page of photos of
the I.B.M Champions who were at the event. All
the attendees were asked to take a picture with
any of them and post it on Twitter using the
IMBChamp to enter the competition. The Champion
who has the most pictures tweeted was also
rewarded with the prize. Organizers met with the
Champions before the conference to give them an
in-depth understanding of the concept, so that
they could reinforce key concepts as they
interacted with attendees. Looks like your
attendees can have a lot of fun using this
concept. 8. Digital Business Cards Exchange of
business cards is obviously an integral part of
the networking but how about we make it
paperless? I aint kidding. Have you not yet
heard about Poken? Well, it is that technol-
ogy that has revolutionized the traditional
manners in which the exchange of information is
done. Poken is a tiny device which comes in
various sizes and forms including panda bear, a
ninja, bumble bee and many more. But you must be
wondering how it works actually?
46
UNCONVENTIONAL WAYS TO CONNECT YOUR EVENT
ATTENDEES Well, it is based on the technology of
near-field communication and hence a simple
tapping of two Pokens exchanges the information
stored on them, such as contact details, social
media handles, profession, website, hobbies,
etc. Once the event is over, attendees can plug
it into their computers USB port to see all the
people and information collected. These days,
its even easi- er to integrate the e-cards
feature directly with your event app rather than
going for a separate tool to do that. Take the
GES 2017 event app for example that had the
v-cards feature in- tegrated within. It makes
it really easy and convenient for the
attendees. 9. Group/Community Based
Activities At the Clean the World in Orlando,
more than 100 attendees from the Pro- fessional
Convention Management Associations Convening
Leaders Con- ference assembled hygiene
kits. These kits were later given as a charity
to a local homeless shel- ter. Charity Services
such as this facilitates an opportunity for
event attendees to work togeth- er towards a
common goal. For events of a larger
scale, planners can offer multiple choices to
the attendees from which they can choose one at
the time of registration. You can seek the help
from a local government body to find out
information about the organizations that are in
looking for any assis- tance.
47
UNCONVENTIONAL WAYS TO CONNECT YOUR EVENT
ATTENDEES 10. Scavenger Hunts Mashable, a global
multi-platform media, and entertainment
company hosts a two-day conference each spring at
Walt Disney World. This event includes about 300
senior-level executives, manag- ers and head of
departments, marketers, tech enthusiasts and
entrepreneurs, ends with a social media based
scavenger hunt. Attendees were grouped in a team
of 5 and they have to work to identify things
inside the des- ignated place based on a set
of clues and then post they were asked to post
the picture of their findings on Instagram with
hashtag Mashcon. Thus now and again, planners
get creative in order to facilitate effective
networking at events in order to maximize
attendee ROI. After all, Attendee ROIEvent ROI.
48
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jay Sitapara is an engineer having an inclination
towards innovation in technology. Currently,
associated with Hubilo, an event-tech startup
which aims to change the way how events are
organised and people network at events. Jay is
particularly passionate about crafting
stimulating, resourceful and in-depth guides for
Event Planners to keep them updated and
acknowledged about latest event industry trends.
He is specifically interested in effective use
of event technology and social media for greater
ROI through innovative thinking and skills. Jay
is also a Digital Marketer, Editor, Community
Manager and a regular contributor to Hubilo
Blog. His philic nature is prone to dogs, poetry,
coffee, friends and coffee with friends. If
youre on Twitter, say Hello to him _at_jsitapara
and follow his articles on blog.hubilo.com. And
Jay says, do not forget to share this Ebook!
49
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Hemani Sheth is a Mass
Communication major and an event enthusiast. She
is currently associat- ed with Hubilo, a cloud
based event management platform that aims to
help event professionals create exceptional
events Hemani strives to create resourceful
guides that pave way for insight- ful discussion
built around various facets of the event
industry. She has a keen interest in event
technology and how multiple innovations in the
field can help transform the way events are
created, marketed and executed. Hemani is also a
content marketer and a key contributor to Hubilo
Blog. Go check out more of her handy articles on
blog.hubilo.com. An avid reader, traveller and a
movie buff, she is open to conversations on any
topic under the sun! Go ahead, say hello to her
on twitter _at_HimaniSheth.
50
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Hiteshree Dudani is an event
tech enthusiast who has successfully organised
many eminent events. The list includes charity
events, youth fests, sem- inars, workshops and a
lot more. She is currently associated with the
event technology company Hubilo. She is one of
the key contributors to the Hubilo Blog. She
strives to cre- ate a wide range of useful
content for event planners, event techies and
event marketers. A dog lover and an avid reader,
she is currently pursuing her love of literature
an psychology. Go say hello to her on twitter
_at_hiteshreed31.
51
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52
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