Greg Oates at Skift: “C2 has evolved into a global benchmark for event design since launching in 2012, but the innovation extends beyond the creative mojo and significant resources invested into the physical layout.
The show works with Montreal-based E-180 to provide a digital matchmaking platform called Braindate for attendees to find other people with like-minded interests. It’s always a challenge at conferences to meet someone who might be a potential business partner or learning source, or whatever, especially when you don’t know who those people are.
In recent years, dozens of emerging event technology companies have attempted to develop cloud-based personal connectivity platforms to help conference participants cull through their attendee lists. Few, however, have scaled to provide an effective solution for crowdsourced learning and networking at events.
Braindate is …designed to be integrated into an event app where attendees can post a one-sentence question or goal explaining their particular interest. Those posts can be tagged with any number of phrases, such as “event UX” or “smart city” or “experiential marketing” to help users streamline their search.
When someone sees a Braindate suggestion that looks appealing, he or she clicks on it to show a calendar with concurrent open slots in both people’s schedules. Then that person sends a request with a specific time to meet to discuss their shared interests. It’s also important to note that C2 registrants could schedule meetings pre-conference, although the bulk of activity kicked in on opening day.
Other conferences have incorporated the Braindate platform into their event design and programming, including TED Women, Airbnb Open, Salesforce’s Dreamforce, and re:publica.
New this year at C2 Montreal, E-180 launched a Group Braindate scenario where a participant could schedule and host a meeting focusing on a specific topic with four other people. Interested parties would reserve one of the four open spaces, and then everyone participating could chat online within the specific Braindate page to curate the conversation ahead of time….
This year, Montreal-based PixMob developed a Web-based event platform for C2 called “Klik” — with the Braindate platform embedded in the user interface — instead of the typical, downloadable iOS/Android event app traditionally used for large tech/media/marketing conferences.
The obvious benefit from a Web-based event platform is that people don’t have to download another dedicated app to their phone solely for the duration of the live experience. As such, however, there was a lag time whenever attendees tried to access Klik, and the site had to reload every time you moved from page to page. The portal also required users to keep logging in many times during the day.
That’s a big pain point when you’re running around an event floor trying to make quick decisions while paging through app sections on the fly, along with thousands of other people doing the same thing inside a highly congested space.
Attendees also couldn’t add personal meetings into the Klik event agenda, requiring them to shift constantly between the Klik schedule and their email schedule, and the content describing each session and activation was often minimal to the point of being useless….(More)”.