5 AI discoveries about event networking we made in 2017

January 12th, 2018 by Tim Groot

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Event networking insights that are obvious to us, are often difficult to learn for a computer that just works in zero’s and one’s.

 

Luckily, the Grip matchmaking engine has been able to learn some of those human subtleties completely on its own in 2017 by analyzing over 300,000 profiles and their behavior.

 

The Grip matchmaking engine obtained these insights with limited human intervention through real-life interactions across Grip supported events last year. Below are some of those insights.

 

1.Job titles are vital to event networking success

Obvious? Maybe. But our system now knows that people that have CEO, VP or Founder in their job title are 30% more likely to be connected with by people than others.

 

In addition to that, people that have sales, marketing or other entry-level titles such as student or bar staff are going to have a tougher time making connections at most events while they’re actually more often power users.

 

However, when someone is the “Head of Marketing” or a “Sales Manager” we learned that they’re actually more likely to be connected with than the event average.

 

2.Popular and Unpopular tags in Event Networking

What people write on their profile and what keywords are used seems to have a significant impact on their popularity in matchmaking.

 

Words that significantly boost someone’s popularity include investment, investment manager, venture capital, investor, asset fund, big data, analytics, IOT, cloud computing, and startups. As one can expect, the investor related and tech buzzwords do have a significant positive impact on people’s popularity.

 

Unpopular words include mainly sales, finance and traditional service provider related words including sales, marketing, management consultant, open source, law firm, banks credit, services bank, credit union.

 

3. The “Why” is more important than the “Who”

One of the most striking things that our matchmaking engine has learned in 2017 is that why someone is recommended to them can have a larger impact than who is recommended to them.

 

As you can see in the graph below, having a common connection or having swiped interested on a similar person can make you 3 to 4 times more likely to be interested in connecting with someone.

 

The Grip Matchmaking Engine also detected that working in a similar industry has little impact on “interest” shown between users, while commonalities in connections (handshakes) and swipes had a greater influence.

 

4. Profiles pictures don’t have a significant impact on event matchmaking

Quite surprisingly, profile pictures do not have an impact on people’s chances of making connections. While aesthetically a professional photograph is good to have, there does not seem to be a correlation between photos and event matchmaking success.

 

It really looks like people are interested in making the “right” connections – good news!

 

5. Gender does not affect recommendations and networking success on Grip

Since the matchmaking engine is self-learning it can sometimes learn from features that we don’t want it to learn from.

 

Gender can be one of those features that our system doesn’t learn from but could actually have an impact on who people connect with. LinkedIn has often been accused of being used in the same way as tinder by men.

 

Luckily, that’s not the case on Grip. Gender does not have an impact on the frequency someone’s profile was visited, nor increase chance of a connection on our platform.

 

This is just the beginning

 

As we’re ramping up for 2018, we are looking forward to continuing to apply our AI technology to learn about the event networking behaviour of professionals.

 

The insights above, are just a small taste of the actionable insights that attendees and meeting organisers can use to optimise event experiences and actively participate in truly “smart” events.

 

At Grip, we will continue to prove the value of this approach so stay tuned and if you’d like to hear more get in contact with our team.

Best Networking App

A leading global association of tradeshow organizers and the exhibition industry has recognized Grip as one of the top event apps this year.

UFI, which comprises 725 member organizations in 85 countries worldwide, awarded Grip its 2017 ICT Technology Award in July. The Technology Award honors outstanding digital tools designed to make the next generation of exhibition professionals fit for the future, and recognizes new technologies that support the exhibition industry. The theme for this year’s Award was: “Digital Innovation – What will be our solution for the future?”.

Grip, which also won last year’s IMEXPitch, stood out from the competition with an innovative product which offers an event networking app that has established more than 60,000 connections (and counting) for thousands of professionals.

 

Why Grip won

Presenting at the UFI European Conference, Co-Founder and Grip CEO Tim Groot explained that the idea for the product emerged when the organizers of Cannes Lions 2016 wanted a smoother and more engaging way for attendees to network. Grip’s solution was to design a standalone custom event app using Artificial Intelligence to power a matchmaking API (Application Programming Interface) to deliver the best networking recommendations in a fast and friendly way.

Put to the test at the 15,000-attendee event, the Cannes Lions networking app established an average of 8.4 connections per user and more than 20,000 connections over a few days, enabling hundreds of face-to-face meetings, meaningful connections, and creating a huge positive impact on the event experience.

Also presented were

  • Grip’s main functionalities.  As an event networking app for the whole exhibition, Grip is not restricted to exhibitor, location of booth, or platform – it can be offered to all tradeshow attendees before, during and after an event. Its Artificial Intelligence matchmaking engine enables pre-event, onsite, and post-meeting scheduling.
  • The value added to the event experience. Pre-event, Grip removes a lot of the hard work and cost of B2B matchmaking. With the ability to prospect who is going to be there ahead of time, meetings can be scheduled to make the most of exhibitors’ time from the start of the event. On location, Artificial Intelligence enables real-time insights on prospective buyers’ networking intentions and how well this matches exhibitors’ offerings. As users interact with Grip during the event, the AI recommendations improve, presenting more opportunities for serendipitous, meaningful connections.
  • Measures Grip took to reach the organizers’ objectives. Grip offers the best of both worlds – exhibitors take advantage of the incomparable exposure to networking opportunities that tradeshows bring, with a quality lead generation strategy fortified by the power of Grip’s AI.

According to UFI, “presentations from the finalists were of an excellent standard, making the selection of an overall winner a very challenging assignment”. However, Grip’s presentation was “clear, comprehensive and met all the requirements needed for the tool to be considered a winning solution”. Other finalists presenting to the UFI’s Digital Innovation Committee in Cologne, Germany, included Messe München GmbH, ExpoPlatform, and Messukeskus Helsinki, Expo and Convention Center.

“The UFI Technology Award is one of the most prestigious technology awards in the trade show world.” says Tim Groot. “We feel honored to be chosen as this year’s winner among so many great companies, and it’s great to see that the judges share our belief that technology can vastly improve networking and deliver an improved return on investment for exhibitors by leveraging the power of Artificial Intelligence.”

“We are looking forward to presenting our solution at UFI’s Global Congress in Johannesburg later this year and will continue to push the boundaries of technology at trade shows.”

 

Multi-Award-winning Professional Networking App

Grip’s win comes hot on the heels of last year’s IMEXPitch award, a competition for event tech startups to showcase themselves to event organizers and marketers from around the world. It’s run as part of IMEX America, the US’ largest annual meetings industry trade show, featuring the largest hosted buyer program in North America. Grip also won the standing-room only audience poll at IMEXPitch, and will be displaying at IMEX later this year.

UFI’s Awards recognize and reward successful result-oriented initiatives in the exhibition industry in areas ranging from digital innovation, human resources, marketing and operations and services to trade fair poster design and sustainable development. UFI represents around 50,000 exhibition industry employees globally, and works closely with its 58 national and regional association members. Over 900 international trade fairs bear the UFI approved label, a quality guarantee for visitors and exhibitors. UFI members continue to provide the international business community with a unique marketing media aimed at developing outstanding face-to-face business opportunities. More information on the UFI is available at www.ufi.org.

Four reasons an ‘Event Networking App’ will improve business networking at your event

The venue rocks. The catering and entertainment are going to be exquisite. The scene is set for a great event. Or nearly. Behind the scenes, your event company’s revenue is affected by a poor event networking experience for your conference attendees.

Consider this – with rising costs, exhibitors and marketers have to think hard about their ROI when deciding on which event to attend. Increasingly, they’ll put their money where they’ll get the best leads – quality over quantity – so the best meeting organizers must provide the tools for attendees to achieve their networking goals.

But up to this point, the benefits of event networking – especially for event organizers – haven’t really gone beyond fuzzy notions of ‘exposure to prospects’ and ‘creating the right atmosphere’ for meaningful connections to occur. And only the biggest event companies, it seems, can afford the time and eye-watering sums it takes to manually professionally matchmake attendees.

Whatever the company size, there are sound business reasons for providing a networking app – real-time flexible matchmaking, scalable personalization, enabling quality lead captures, and using cost-efficient AI. Here are the details:

1. Real-time flexible matchmaking.

It’s no longer enough to throw delegates together or dump an attendee list on them and hope that they’ll ‘mingle’. Even manual professional matchmaking – expensive and manpower-intensive as it is – may not be enough.

For Grip, a curated networking experience involves an evolving list of the best people to meet, based on social media profiles, mutual interests and app usage patterns, amongst other things. Pre-event meetings with Grip happen after both parties have indicated a mutual interest in each other’s areas of business, and agreed to a timeslot.

On location, attendees network in real time. That means that they can ‘swipe right’ (that’s a ‘Yes’) on individuals on their personalized list whom they’d be interested to meet. Depending on how they interact with that list, a fresh set of contacts could be suggested during the event. It’s virtuous cycle of recommendation and improvement.

2. Scalable, personalized networking.

Efficient matchmaking, the way Grip approaches it, saves precious time with mutually agreed-upon, personalized matches. It’s particularly suitable for hosted buyers and VIP guests as it respects the privacy of these attendees by empowering them to decide on the extent of the connection they wish to establish. And avoids time-wasters in unrelated businesses trying to game-fill their meeting calendars.

It works on both scales – Grip has enabled more than 40,000 connections from tech events in the first quarter of this year, from relatively small VIP events to 4YFN, the startup business platform of Mobile World Capital Barcelona.

3. Enabling quality lead captures.

Help attendees capture ‘quality’, not ‘quantity’ leads by personalizing B2B networking. Unlike most lead capture apps, Grip is not restricted to exhibitor, location of booth, or platform. And Grip’s personalized networking feature ensures that only the most suitable prospects are identified and recommended. 55% of Grip’s users recently indicated that they made a ‘Handshake’ connection that they would not otherwise have made, with Grip.

4. Using efficient Artificial Intelligence.

You’ll find that a little AI goes a long way. Comprising advanced algorithms, contextual vectors and natural language processing, Grip is the first event networking platform powered by Artificial Intelligence, and is a great example of a startup punching above its weight in terms of handling tens of thousands of attendees at hundreds of events globally.

Meeting App for Hosted Buyers

Hosted buyers are all about efficiency. While they appear to enjoy a relatively charmed event experience, they are primarily serious about their business, coming to events with the goal of avoiding time wasted otherwise on online searches, email chains, and phone calls.

For event organizers, therefore, matchmaking hosted buyers with exhibitors should prioritize efficiency; a hosted buyer’s meeting app, for example, should be about balancing B2B networking exposure at the event with generating relevant, good quality leads.

What does efficient matchmaking mean on the ground? It’s about saving precious time with mutually agreed-upon, personalized matches, offering a curated experience before, during and after the event, and respecting the privacy of hosted buyers by empowering them to choose whom they wish to connect with.

All these aspects of efficient matchmaking involve personalization. And the only way to offer a high degree of personalization on a large scale, with hundreds or thousands of hosted buyers, is through Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Here are a few ways Grip, powered by AI, offers an event app for hosted buyers meetings that helps event organizers personalize event matchmaking –

1. No Time Wasted (for Hosted Buyers).

Grip’s pre-event professional matchmaking solution is to have attendees register using a social media account of their choice (such as LinkedIn), with our Artificial Intelligence engine then matching relevant parties. For event organizers, it’s goodbye to reams of spreadsheets and data-entry.

Pre-event meeting scheduling happens within hours rather than days. This happens after both parties have indicated a mutual interest in each other’s areas of business. Hosted buyers can ‘swipe right’ on individuals on their personalized list whom they’d be interested to meet, or left ‘skip’, if they’re not. Depending on how they interact with that list, a fresh set of prospects are generated, and so on. It’s a virtuous cycle of feedback and improvement. Once the other party also swipes ‘Interested’, it’s a ‘Handshake, and both parties can agree to a timeslot and location to meet. This can be changed or rescheduled as required.

2. No Time-Wasters (for Exhibitors).

As a first layer of privacy, Grip’s AI carefully curates the prospects shown to attendees. Hosted buyers and Exhibitors retain as much anonymity as they can handle.
Exhibitors need only to swipe ‘Interested’ on those prospects they reckon to be good quality leads. This sifts out opportunists in unrelated businesses trying to stuff their meeting calendars for a post-event report.

3. Personal AI concierge (For Anyone).

Hosted buyers have their own, unique set of digital content the moment they open the app, with personalized recommendations of which speaker best suits their interest. (Smart) Attendee Lists mean no more ‘networking roulette’ with whom they might meet.

On-location, hosted buyers enjoy real-time recommendations. That means that, in the midst of the event, the AI recommendation engine acts as a virtual concierge, making recommendations in real time, and learning from the hosted buyer’s interaction with it to source new prospects for their personalized list.

Generate Business Leads Through Event Networking

Top event organizers know that exhibitors sign up for tradeshows for B2B marketing – to generate new business leads through event networking. For most exhibitors, the main goal of exhibiting at a tradeshow is to make meaningful connections that justify their investment of time and money on that event.

To stand out from the competition, event organizers must offer the best tradeshow experience for exhibitors. This means facilitating good quality business leads for exhibitors with high-value attendees such as hosted buyers, such as through the use of B2B matchmaking tools that connect both parties.

How?

The current issue for exhibitors with tradeshow leads is a familiar one — too much quantity over quality. Not all ‘leads’ are equal. When exhibitors go for quantity over quality, ‘swiping’ or collecting as many business cards as possible, it creates too many poor quality leads. Many exhibitors also do not consider what other data they need to capture beyond what’s on the attendee’s badge. This rarely gives them enough information to evaluate the real value of a lead.

The other issue is simply a question of logistics. Tradeshow events are often held in vast, disorientating spaces. Exhibitors are at the mercy of swag-hunters or the random footfall that passes their booths. Too many serendipitous connections are still left to random chance – booth location, perhaps, or what is happening onsite at that moment of time. (This explains how a staggering 87% of leads captured at tradeshows – costing hundreds of millions of dollars in unrealized business opportunities – are not followed up on.)

Happily, event technology solutions like Grip are on hand for savvy event organizers to improve exhibitors’ lead capture process.

Powered by Artificial Intelligence, Grip is an event networking app using machine learning that personalizes B2B networking to generate high-quality tradeshow business leads.

Lead Capture & Lead Generation

Unlike most lead capture apps, Grip is not restricted to exhibitor, location of booth, or platform – it can be offered to all tradeshow attendees before, during and after an event. Its Artificial Intelligence matchmaking engine enables pre-event, onsite, and post-meeting scheduling.

Pre-event:

Grip removes a lot of the hard work of B2B matchmaking. Tedious form-filling, data-entry spreadsheets, chasing up on meeting schedules, and last-minute changes can be minimized, through the simple use of registration through a networking account or social media. With the ability to prospect who is going to be there ahead of time, this is also when meetings can be scheduled, to make the most of exhibitors’ time from the start of the event.

On location:

Badge scanning linked with social media profiles enable real-time insights on prospective buyers’ networking intentions and how well this matches exhibitors’ offerings. Exhibitors can download their leads to CRM systems, such as Salesforce, in a .csv file. As users interact with Grip in the course of the event, the AI recommendations improve, presenting more opportunities for serendipitous, meaningful connections.

It’s the best of both worlds – exhibitors take advantage of the enormous exposure to networking situations that tradeshows bring, with a quality lead generation strategy fortified by the power of Grip’s AI.


How does Grip match your conference or trade event’s networking challenges, the way other networking apps can’t?

 

From a networking point of view, it’s important as an organizer to have your attendees and/or exhibitors matched up. That’s why they’re coming to the event – to make new connections, and capture new business leads. So there’s plenty of pre-event work for organizers, who have to get through thousands of registrant’s names, often manually matching them for relevance.

 

See our Event Networking solution guide here

 

With Grip, the pre-event work is minimized. We take LinkedIn or Facebook data from registrants when they sign in, and their information given at the point of registration, and our Artificial Intelligence recommends an initial list of contacts for delegates to meet.

 

Up to and on the day of the event, things inevitably change. Exhibitors, speakers, attendees have to be managed and kept up-to-date on who’s attending, who has moved location, who’s speaking at a different time or place. Exhibitors may launch new products on the day, that they’ll want to find new kinds of customers for.

 

But lots of changes to the agenda don’t faze us. Grip offers real time professional matchmaking as part of the event networking process. Our event technology solution uses Artificial Intelligence to learn from the interactions attendees make with the app, before and during the event, to improve our recommendations.

 

This means that attendees could turn up on Day 1, make a few successful connections (“Handshakes”) with exhibitors, and indicate they’re ‘not interested’ in other connections. By Days 2 and 3 (or less), they could have a different set of recommendations. Happy attendees and exhibitors!

 

Grip’s API easily integrates with almost any existing in-house event technology, or a fixed provider. We’ve programmed ourselves to be hugely flexible, very plug-and-play.

 

After the event, Grip lets exhibitors see, at a glance, the sections of industry that their sales teams have made the best connections with, making follow-up revenue-generation that much easier.

 

We take the business networking platform a smart step up, by offering real-time networking, and the best of B2B matchmaking and event scheduling software underpinned by game-changing Artificial Intelligence.

 

Find out more about how Grip can match your challenge here.

ABOUT US

We are Grip, a professional networking app for events. Grip empowers professionals to achieve their networking potential. The Grip matchmaking app connects delegates, speakers, and exhibitors in a fast and simple way.

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