So, basically, it was designed to make useful connections between delegates by matching up people that wouldn’t ordinarily know each other, but would hopefully gain from doing so. Sounds simple doesn’t it? When delegates were surveyed after the conference, their responses were very positive, with over 50% of delegates announcing potential new collaborations emerging from the networking sessions.
That such an approach is being tested is perhaps not that surprising. After all, similar fields such as dating have rapidly moved over to an algorithmic approach, with people flocking to dating websites for help finding Mr or Mrs Right. It seems a natural progression for networking events and conferences to take a similar approach.
What of the workplace however? We’ve seen ideas such as LunchRoulette applied in the workplace, whereby random employees are paired up for a lunch ‘date’, in the hope that it will spark some serendipitous splendour. It doesn’t seem beyond the realms of possibility for spiders to hoover up all of the digital content produced within a company and suggest colleagues that we could benefit from getting in touch with.
Suffice to say, relying purely on a computer to do this kind of match making for us is probably not ideal, but there is a great deal of trust being placed at the moment in the ability of chance to spark creativity. Whilst those fortuitous connections do undoubtedly occur, it seems only sensible to try and help that process along where possible.