The social dynamics of conferences are a bit strange. Hundreds (or even thousands) of individuals converge on a single location for a set period of time. These people are there to network, to learn, and to do business. While some of the learning and networking will happen around the panels, much of it won’t.
Networking is Nonstop
At most conferences, it’s the impromptu networking that happens at the lobby bar, at the networking events, and at the informal dinners and get togethers that will move the dial for your attendees. Around the office, we refer to this dynamic as a “temporary” or “disposable” social network. For your attendees, fellow conference goers aren’t necessarily their friends in real life, but they are something approaching friends for the day(s) of the conference.
Add-ons and hacks don’t cut it
Existing public social networks like Twitter, Foursquare, and Facebook aren’t ideal for managing this dynamic. The hashtag is a clever hack on Twitter for managing these temporary sorts of networks, but adds an additional level of complexity for intra conference communications. On Foursquare and Facebook, there is simply no good way to filter out all the noise coming from people who are not at the conference.
Conferences need geosocial
DoubleDutch is the first mobile social media software that was built from the ground for precisely the sort of network that is prevalent at conferences, tradeshows, and festivals. By leveraging location based “check-ins,” tight integration with Twitter and Facebook, temporary social networks, and game mechanics, the DoubleDutch platform is able to provide the ultimate conference networking tool. As an added bonus, conference organizers are able to customize the game mechanics associated with their app to incentivize maximum conference engagement.
Over the next couple of weeks, we will be highlighting case studies of various conference clients and how they are putting the power of geolocation to work to provide maximum value to attendees and sponsors alike.