When I founded the Energy Conference Network in 2014, one of the first priorities was to develop a technology platform that would enable pre-event networking and meeting scheduling. I had been to (and organized) too many events in the past where attendees missed meeting their prospective clients – like 2 ships passing in the night. Squinting at name badges was the only way they could locate prospects – not an optimal way to identify business opportunities.
For many, networking at a conference is its most important component – where theoretically they can meet and establish meaningful relationships with many peers in a short space of time. However, leaving meeting the right people to chance is not optimizing the investment made in attending the conference.
I looked at a few platforms, and decided to work with Pathable (www.pathable.com) to develop a platform that not only enabled attendees to securely contact each other pre event, but created individualized conference schedules (including meetings and conference content) and discussion boards. We would also have the ability to create an app – so the interaction would continue onsite on all mobile devices. The platform integrates with our event website, and creates a seamless online experience for our attendees as soon as they sign up.
The idea is to create a community around the event – so that the conference lives before and after the 2 days it runs.
Conference Connect (as we have called the platform) has proven a big selling point to sponsors and attendees – it gives them surety that they can interact with all other attendees pre event – and post event. It is proving a real differentiator from other conferences – and will provide prospective attendees with a better business case when selling the event internally.
Like all new technologies the success will be judged on the user uptake and experience. We look forward to your feedback.
Energy Conference Network