Improving on the Age-Old Sport of Networking

The key to staying well-connected is through effective networking—making that initial connection is important and but staying in touch with others helps keep one’s extant network dynamic and growing.  As a networking event, Tech, Drugs and Rock & Roll’s main purpose is to facilitate the creation of new connections (or the improvement of old ones) between its participants.  In addition to simply assembling a large group of interested individuals in one location, this year’s TDRR will implement a number of optional “Networking Experiments” for its attendees to partake in.

One of the problems that this year’s TDRR seeks to solve is how to efficiently facilitate connections between parties that most want to be connected.  Even though large networking events gather a group of interested individuals, attendees are still left with a random, shotgun approach for making new connections. There is no easy way to tell whose interests best align with theirs.  To mediate this difficulty, TDRR2011 will implement color-coded nametags to help its attendees find other individuals they are most interested in connecting with.  Are you a scientist looking for an investor?  Look for someone with a green sticker on their nametag.  Are you an entrepreneur who wants to talk to an industry representative?  Look for someone with a red sticker and strike up a conversation.  In addition to color-coded nametags, TDRR has partnered with Coloci for another Networking Experiment.

colociStaying in touch with one’s connections after initially meeting them is another problem that impedes effective networking.  Coloci is a service that mediates that issue by helping people meet up and connect in the white spaces of their agenda.  By reporting where you will be in the future rather than where you are in the present, Coloci allows its users to find nearby friends to reconnect face-to-face.  “Your network is an asset,” says Anurag Wakhlu, the company’s founder, “Coloci’s mission is to make your network stronger, by enabling and enriching in-person interactions.”

At the event itself, Coloci will help its users network more effectively by connecting them to other individuals with shared interests.  By registering for Coloci using a smartphone, TDRR attendees can see which participants at the event they’d benefit most from connecting to.  Participation in this networking experiment is purely optional, and users can easily control how much information they display on their profile and who they share it with.

Register for Coloci’s TDRR app here (best viewed on a mobile phone).

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