Talking to a friend about conferences, he said that 99% of the value for him can be gotten from streaming presentations as opposed to attending the conference in person, wasting time and money. I was surprised because the interactions we have at conferences are perceived to me the most valuable aspect. This got me thinking about typical conference interactions. They suck.
While conferences are great for meeting people that have similar interests, they are not designed for meaningful interactions - most are quick and full of sales-pitches. I respect those who network well, but I’m not one of those people. I usually feel empty from brief conversation and lack of depth.
A few things that could improve conference interactions are:
- Speakers scheduling dedicated time for smaller meetups with attendees
- Creating a more relaxed setting where not everyone is rushing to network with as many people as possible
- Small meetups over lunch or dinner - possibly with set conversation topics of interest
- Skip a session of talks and plan a small meetup
- Having a way to meet specific people at a prescheduled networking event
- Meet up with other attendees (or even non-attendees) in the area before the conference starts or after it ends
With Coop, you can plan meetups with as few or many people as you would like. You can specify age demographics and gender as well, if that is important to you. We know that planning can be hard sometimes, especially if you’re at a conference where you don’t know anybody, so Coop lets you chat before meeting. As a Coop user, you can see the available plans around you or you can create and share plans on social networks (with conference hashtags) so other attendees can see that you’re looking to meet up.
And if you are at a conference alone, why not try to find others in a similar situation or find others looking to meet new people?
With Coop, you can find and meet like-minded individuals to get more value out of the conference you’re attending. Give it a try!
#FlyTheCoop on Conferences