“The LinkedIn of Coffee”

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Organizers of conferences and networking events are constantly asking SquadUP for advice on how to get guests to connect with each other. We’ve been to events where there is incredible engagement and it makes a big difference. Everybody gets more out of your event and stays longer because they don’t need to avoid that uncomfortable awkwardness we’re all too familiar with. The event also lives on through the connections made; the more connections that are made and the stronger they are, the better it is for hosts.

We’ve covered various pieces of #EventTech like the catchbox and crowdmics but those are more to get the audience engaging with speakers and presenters. When it comes to getting event goers to talk to one another, it’s not as easy to manufacture engagement. Ideally, it should come naturally.

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The Coffee Connector is made by the Economic Development Board (EDB) Singapore and was used at The Economist Big Rethink Conference on March 13 in New York City.

The Coffee Connector may have hit that sweet spot between forcing people to meet and letting the rest happen organically. The machine can sense when two people are standing in front of it waiting for coffee. Coffee Connector then proceeds to ask the people to introduce themselves by inputting their names. It only begins to brew once you’ve entered this info. People who have used it say that the exposed mechanics show the spectacle of coffee-making, creating a mesmerizing conversation starter. And a built-in printer leaves personal information on each pair’s coffee sleeves— like trading business cards.

EDB recognizes that “‘let’s grab coffee’ often means more than just coffee. It signifies the start to relationships, opportunities and business decisions.”

What do you think? Would you consider using this piece of event tech at your next conference or networking event if it meant more guest-to-guest engagement? Let us know your thoughts by commenting or tweeting @squadup.

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