Jul 23, 2007 11:08 AM

Corporate Meetings & Incentives Magazine

In a recent interview with freelance writer Bob Andelman, Elliott Masie–founder of The Masie Center, a Saratoga, N.Y., think tank that focuses on learning, technology, business, and workplace productivity–buttressed the idea that “Web 2.0” concepts have clear application for the meetings industry. Following are edited excerpts of his comments.

Taking the randomness out of networking: Imagine it’s the opening session of a conference, and before going in you get a card that says you’re sitting at table 16. Further, it says you’re at table 16 because you are matched with others by certain characteristics relating to why you had said you wanted go to the conference. They could be very specific characteristics–you’re in the same field, you have the same interests, you all have a kid going to college right now, you all work for companies that others at the table might some day want to work for.

At most meetings today, that happens randomly. A lot of people will say things like, “The best conversation I had was with this guy I met on the shuttle from the airport, and we connected. We sat together at the general session. We went out. And you know what? His company actually has a product I want to buy.” Random connections like that are great, but why do they have to be random?

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