The Evolution of Event Networking: Retrospective and Forecast
Mar 20, 20233 min read
Networking is an important component of event management, and its evolution has been shaped by technological advances, changing consumer preferences, and the emergence of new platforms. In the past, event networking was limited to face-to-face interactions, but today it has expanded to virtual and hybrid events.
In this blog post, we will review and forecast event networking and examine its evolution, current state, and future trends. So fasten your seatbelts and get ready for a journey through time and technology as we dive into the world of event networking.
In the Year 1984...
It was the year of Orwell's dystopian social science fiction novel, and with the new technology era just around the corner, before the advent of technology, networking at events was restricted to in-person interactions. Attendees had to physically approach each other, exchange business cards, and engage in conversation. However, with the advent of digital technology, networking has been revolutionized. Event organizers can now leverage digital platforms to facilitate networking among attendees.
The introduction of social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook has made it possible for attendees to connect and interact before, during, and after events. Event organizers can create social media groups or hashtags to foster online networking among attendees. These platforms have also made it possible for attendees to share their experiences and feedback with a broader audience, leading to increased engagement and awareness.
The rise of virtual events during the COVID-19 pandemic has further transformed event networking. Virtual and hybrid event platforms have integrated networking features like chat rooms, one-to-one video calls, and virtual exhibitions. These features have enabled attendees to connect with each other and exhibitors from the comfort of their homes.
The Networking Revolution
The current state in the world of event networking softwares is a mix of both in-person and virtual experiences. In-person events are slowly making a comeback, but with added safety measures like social distancing and mask mandates. Virtual events, on the other hand, have become more sophisticated, offering attendees a variety of networking options and features.
Virtual event platforms now include networking lounges, virtual meet-and-greet sessions, and AI-powered matchmaking algorithms, making it easier for attendees to connect with each other. Some platforms also offer gamification features, like virtual scavenger hunts, that encourage attendees to interact and engage with each other.
In-person events, while still limited in size and scope, are also embracing technology to enhance the networking experience. Some event organizers are using mobile apps like the b2match event networking app to enable attendees to network and connect with each other before, during, and after the event. Other organizers are incorporating technology like RFID badges, which allow attendees to exchange contact information with a simple tap.
Back to the Future
As the world shifts from virtual to hybrid events, networking is expected to become more challenging. Hybrid events will offer the best of both worlds, allowing attendees to network both online and offline in ways that are more sophisticated than today. Organizers will leverage technology to create personalized networking experiences that meet the needs of both online and offline attendees.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are expected to play an important role in the future of event networking. A sophisticated AI-powered matchmaking software and algorithms will be used to suggest relevant connections based on attendee profiles and preferences. Attendees will also use virtual assistants such as chatbots to schedule meetings and access event information, or even VR worlds. Blockchain technology is another trend that is expected to impact event networking. Blockchain can be used to create decentralized event networks, enabling attendees to share their contact information securely and anonymously. This technology could also be used to track attendance, streamline event registration, and reduce the risk of fraud.
The evolution of event networking has been shaped by technological advancements, changing consumer preferences, and the emergence of new platforms. From face-to-face interactions to virtual and hybrid events, networking has come a long way. The future of event networking is expected to be even more sophisticated, with the integration of AI, machine learning, and blockchain technology. As event organizers continue to adapt to changing circumstances, networking will remain a critical part of the event experience.
Just remember, even Marty McFly had to use a DeLorean to network across time, but with our AI driven event networking software, you won't need one. You can connect with attendees from all over the world in real-time, both virtually and in-person!
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