If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times..."The #1 reason why people go to events is to meet other people."
It's not about the (often boring) powerpoint presentation. It's about your ability as a host to create an environment that is a social lubricant and helps people meet each other.
This morning, after seeing his "tweet" on Twitter and clicking through to the event invite on Facebook, I joined a number of other "fans/friends of Jeff Pulver" at a networking breakfast.
Networking events run the gamut, but Jeff understands his role as well as anyone. He utilized his newly created Jeff Pulver "Real-Time Social Media Networking Kit".
It employs the concept of "tags" and "labels" to facilitate networking.
So, as I am walking around, I see someone named Jimmy Gardner. His label said "passionate technologist." As I often think of myself in these terms, I began the conversation.
Well, was I lucky!
Jimmy's got a little app at www.mydropbin.com which, I think, has some pretty cool potential in terms of the way we save and share REALLY large files. (Full disclosure: I haven't tested it out yet, so can't vouch for quality, but the concept made a TON of sense to me).
Once you have a conversation with someone, you write a "tag" (a term that describes the nature of the chat or something you associate with that person) on a small sticker and then place it on their "tag cloud."
So, after talking to Thomas Vander Wal, where I found out that he is recognized as the creator of the term "Folksonomy" in Wikipedia, I wrote "Wikipedia" and put it in his tag cloud.
And, lastly, you could, like in Facebook, write something on a person's "public wall." So, Eric Litman, managing director of WashingtonVC, who was looking very slick, IMHO, in his velvet sport jacket, got a "nice jacket!" post on his wall from me.
Just a great morning (including David Vyorst, the producer of "The First Basket" about the role of Jews in the beginnings of professional basketball. Here's the story and some video clips from YouTube)
And Joel Selzer of Ozmosis, trying to bring some much needed better/faster information to physicians and Gordon Peters of Gratis Internet, whose label said "monetizing Facebook" also got me intrigued.
Jeff's event was a great example of how a network facilitator, or as Seth might say "Community Manager" can create a great (dare I say 'remarkable') experience for the members.