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How we facilitated 150+ meetings in 1 day at PuneConnect 2015

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Nikunj Verma

Dec 2, 2015

Connect with the people you want.

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But it can be deceptively difficult.
Take for example big events such as TieConPune and PuneConnect . One of the biggest reasons we go to these events is to meet other interesting people. There are tons of people around, some of which are the ones you most want to meet such as investors, mentors, early adopters or geeks. Randomly bumping into people and kickstarting conversations is often wasteful, sometimes awkward and hardly foolproof.

Our attempt to solve this problem

We had experienced this pain in our earlier experience of attending events. Since we are on a mission to let people connect with the right people (check out how we connect startups with talent) , we just couldn’t stop ourselves from taking a stab at it. So a few months ago we built a simple prototype – a mobile optimized web-app that let people discover other event participants and show interest in meeting them.
We had also validated an early prototype at TieConPune15 and Unpluggd summer edition. Following Paul Graham’s advice of doing things that don’t scale – the product emailed every meeting request to Anubhav who would then manually text it from his personal phone.

The PuneConnect2015 story

When we showed this prototype to Navin Kabra and Amit Paranjape from the PuneConnect tech team, it immediately resonated with them. Having attended and organized tons of events over the years, they liked the practicality and simplicity of the idea (Needs no app download!) and recommended it to the PuneConnect 2015 organizing team for an official go-ahead.
Once we got the approval, our team got busy completing the actual product, with in-app and SMS based notifications. This was the final design:

SocialHelpouts easyConnects

The D-day: 28th Nov, 2015

We reached the venue early and secured a desk near the registration area (thanks Vrushali and Navin!) and started generating awareness about this application. People loved the idea and instantly started pulling out their phones to sign up.

4 hours later: 150+ meetings and several smiling faces

When the event ended, these were the final numbers:
Numbers aside, what fires us up here at SocialHelpous is the happy faces of our users. And they seemed aplenty at the event. Here are some who happily agreed to even come on video!

Feedback? How can we improve?

Did you use easyConnects at the PuneConnect event? If yes, please give us feedback. Know organizers at an event that could benefit from a platform like this? We would love to offer this to them for free – please drop us an email at [email protected].
We would love to interact with you – please sign up for our monthly newsletter on the right.
The SocialHelpouts Team

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Table of Contents

  • Our attempt to solve this problem
  • The PuneConnect2015 story
  • The D-day: 28th Nov, 2015
  • 4 hours later: 150+ meetings and several smiling faces
  • Feedback? How can we improve?