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Top 10 tools for event networking
The business world is full of extroverts and introverts, just like any other sphere. Organizers need to balance these different needs and manage networking opportunities at their events: gamifying activities, creating a clear networking plan, and allocating enough time for attendees to make connections. We've made a short list of 10 of the best networking tools and we touch on their advantages below.

1. Coffee breaks

There are many different ways to run coffee breaks at an event. For example, a welcome coffee or group coffee breaks. The former takes place at the start of an event and helps attendees settle in and get to know each other. The latter takes place in the form of a game, where you need to form a group of five to seven people in order to get refreshments. This type of coffee break is a sure-fire way to get people to talk to one another.

2. Business speed dating

This is another networking tool that uses a game format to help event attendees get to know each other. Attendees are paired off and given one minute to introduce themselves, their business, and their goals and objectives. This is not the same thing as an elevator pitch — there is no need to try to sell a product — the attendees are simply having a conversation.

3. Contests

Turn swapping business cards into a game. At the start of the event, announce that rewards will be given out to the attendees who speak to the most people. Offer a prize to whoever collects the most business cards. Remember that the prize needs to be something that people want to win. For example, a one-on-one meeting with one of the event speakers or a consultation with one of the event experts. Instead of business cards, you could use stickers in specific colors or other visual markers that attendees have to collect.

4. Event app that can filter attendees

Picture it: an app that lets users narrow down a list of thousands of attendees to the person they actually need to connect with. Get the app up and running before the start of the event. This will create another platform for networking and will save attendees time at the event. This is exactly what the 2Meet app does. Filters and tags help users find people by interest, by field, or by needs and pain points. Once the user finds the person they're looking for, all they have to do is request a meeting to go over the details.
5. Completed profiles and participant list

If attendees fill out their profiles in detail and provide a clear description of their goals and objectives, it will increase their chances of finding a match when using filters to search for potential connections. Organizers should try to open up as many communication channels as possible when registering attendees. Tags will only be effective if all profiles are filled out correctly.

6. Hashtags

Encourage attendees to use the event's hashtags when posting photos or videos. This will help you track attendees' experience of the event, like posts, and add and tag people on the event's social media pages. In addition, photos and videos from specific people will be another conversation starter both online and offline.

7. Networking area

A well-equipped networking area is essential for any conference. You need to ensure that the area is sufficiently quiet for attendees to converse.

8. Conversation starters

Leave suggestions for conversation starters or phrases that will help overcome any initial awkwardness in the networking or coffee break areas. For example, some organizers have printed napkins with icebreaker phrases and written conversation starters on bottles of water. You could also add them to the first page of notepads given out at the conference, or print them on the back of attendee badges. Suggestions could include industry news stories or a collection of tweets on relevant issues. Attendees will definitely appreciate the effort.
Filters and tags help users find people by interest, by field, or by needs and pain points. Once the user finds the person they're looking for, all they have to do is request a meeting to go over the details.
9. Contact tree

Use a contact tree and a business card board. In a nutshell: attendees write about themselves and their services/skills on helpfully provided cards and attach them to the board. They can also use the board to learn information about their fellow attendees and take the business cards of people relevant to them.

10. Use attendee badges to maximum effect

Give out badges that are color-coded to reflect profession and job title. This will function as a way to "tag" participants offline. Write attendees' names and job titles in large print so others can see the information easily and avoid any awkwardness. Don't be afraid to get creative and use badges to help attendees start a dialogue. For example, you could add something like "Don't know how to localize a project? Ask me!"
A well-equipped networking area is essential for any conference. You need to ensure that the area is sufficiently quiet for attendees to converse.
These are just a few networking tools that will help conference attendees make the connections they need, set up meetings, or swap contact details. Most of these tools are created and implemented by event organizers, so make sure to keep them in mind and don't be afraid to use them. But don't forget that networking is primarily talking to people, and no single tool will replace solid preparation and a practiced elevator pitch. To read more about how to prepare for meetings and how to create a product presentation, check out our previous articles on the 2Meet blog.

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