The combination of
social media and mobile technologies provides a plethora of possibilities for
improving the networking process at your next event.
By Corbin Ball, CMP, CSP
One good contact made at an event can often pay for the
whole trip. Fortunately, with the combination of social media and mobile
technologies, there is a plethora of possibilities to improve the networking
Meetings were the original social media, and mobile social
tools are a natural path of development. The good news is that many of them are
free or very low cost.
Here are some to consider:
Bizzabo is a business discovery app designed to help event
organizers communicate with attendees and attendees with each other.
Planners can add their event (or import the details from
EventBrite) including logo, dates/times, place, social media links, and agenda.
A range of promotional tools are provided including "Download App” buttons and
QR codes to include at your event website and promotional materials. There is
an automatic scheduling function to send out notices to social media channels
the weeks and days prior and during the event with customized reminders to
download the app.
Attendees can download the native app (both Android and
See the conference agenda.
See who else will be attending.
Message fellow attendees.
Set up face-to-face meetings on site.
Receive suggestions of business opportunities tailored to personal
Use LinkedIn to keep in touch with new connections.
Use the Twitter event hashtag to be part of the buzz.
This is another mostly free event guide social networking
Event organizers create an event (dates, time, location,
social links, etc.) at the OleaPark website. Tools are provided to promote the
event with digital flyers, buttons, and push messages (for a fee). A range of
analytic tools measuring attendee behavior are also provided.
Attendees download the app (Android/iPhone) to receive a
mobile "badge” that allows them to:
See the conference agenda including session details, speaker profiles,
View other attendees’ profiles and interests on LinkedIn, Twitter, and
Receive recommendations to attendees with similar social graphs and
Real-time chat with attendees
Monitor the event Twitter feed.
Price: Free for
attendees, exhibitors pay an event fee to receive leads.
Qrious is social discovery and lead sharing system using
apps and QR-coded name badges.
Event organizers enter the program information and can
import registration data from RegOnline, EventBrite and other registration
systems. Badges are printed out for free with individual QR codes.
Exhibitors pay an event fee to receive leads for the QR
codes scanned. There is no fee-per-lead and exhibitors can use as many
smartphone to their account as desired.
Attendees connect their social networks to Qrious and can
see who is coming to the event. Qrious recommends who to meet, and why, using
attendees’ roles, goals for the event, exiting social nets and specific
business interests via the web and on their phones.
Shhmooze is a smartphone app that matches a name, interests,
and expertise to the faces around you at a conference. Shhmooze highlights
existing connections on LinkedIn and Twitter showing attendees who they know
and recommendations on who to meet.
Attendees sign into Shhmooze with LinkedIn, Twitter, or
Foursquare to create their profile. The app doesn’t rely on the conference
organizer to create the event.
These are just a few of the dozens of options out there.
Most of the major event guide apps are building in social media links as well.
Many of the full-featured networking companies (such as Pathable.com,
have strong mobile components. When mobile technology and social media meet,
the benefit is to create richer and more valuable events by helping attendees
make the best connections possible.
Ball, CMP, CSP is a professional
speaker and consultant focusing on meetings and associations technology. With
20 years of experience running international citywide technology meetings, he
now helps clients worldwide use technology to save time and improve
productivity. Follow him on Twitter @corbinball.