Issue #19

AI-Powered Networking

Cognitive solutions take the guesswork out of attendee networking.

While cocktail hours and coffee breaks supply plenty of handshakes and greetings, attendees looking to make the most of their time on-site at events for networking purposes don’t have time for happenstance introductions. It’s why event marketers are adopting “purposeful” networking tactics using cognitive- and matchmaking-based platforms that are taking the guesswork out of the whole process.

There may be no better example of this trend than at C2 Montreal, which took place in May, where a company called e180 runs the event’s “Brain Dates” program. Anchoring the program is a three-story lounge on-site called the Hub that is devoted to networking dates. To participate, attendees set up profiles and indicate what knowledge they want to gain as well as make offers of knowledge. Attendees then browse potential dates and book meetings within the app. At the lounge, matchmakers help make introductions, recommend connections and handle overall operations, like managing cancelations. The goal: to take the “guesswork” out of networking. On top of that, the lounge offers unconventional meeting spaces like stationary bikes and a Ferris wheel in the event’s plaza for dates.

Another player in the space: Grip, an event networking platform powered by artificial intelligence. The platform uses social data and behavioral insights during and after the event, as well as algorithms that take into account every interaction by users to recommend relevant contacts and exhibitors to meet with on-site. In Tinder-like fashion, potential connections have to swipe “interested” for a “handshake” to become a formal connection. According to Grip, this helps key influencers stay in the mix without being “bombarded by unsolicited messages.”

Matchmaking is infiltrating consumers’ everyday lives, too, whether it’s Netflix recommendations based on previous activities on the streaming platform or PersonalityMatch, an app whose tag message says “Discover who you really are: Find yourself. Improve your relationships.” It involves a 30-question test, compatibility score, info on friends’ personality types. It even offers insights into how to solve common frustrations users have with partners and friends, as well as doles out advice on how to improve relationships.

In a world that revolves around constant contact and instant connections, cognitive solutions are redefining the match-made-in-heaven.

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