Photograph: Julian Mackler / MACKME.COM

The 1 Question You Can Answer To Help Us Improve The 99U Conference

To meet growing demand, this year’s 99U Conference will now draw over 900 leading creatives to New York City. That’s a lot of friends to make over a two-day span, so we’re working hard to keep it as personable and intimate as ever.

So we ask: What’s the most creative ways you’ve seen a conference encourage mingling amongst attendees? Let us know by dropping your answer in the comments. To inspire you, we asked our Twitter followers earlier this week and here are some of our favorite answers:

load comments (12)
  • Dan_ZenPresence

    Have tables with different appetizers or snacks. Fruits at one, pastries another, etc…Assign people to gather at tables in various orders that mix and mingle them.
    Dan @ ZenPresence

  • Parvesh A. Deosarran

    We have a networking app comming out in december 2012 (@CosmicRose_nl). With the location-based functionality of Swopper, all the business profiles of professionals around you are automatically downloaded on your smartphone. This allows you to actively approach the one you need for your project, or some advice, etc..Follow us or send a tweet for details.

  • Pluto

    Organize coffee breaks/meals/drinks with assigned seating or stations. Food & drink are the best ways to socialize.

  • Scott Wagers

    Having pairs of cards, or trinkets that are distributed. When you find the person with the same one you both get a free drink when you present the matching pair at the bar. You spend a lot of time asking everyone if they have your match. An automatic icebreaker.

  • jdelvat

    At the SAP controlling conference in San Diego this year, a game was organized with a $100 gift card to win: collect as many names as possible (

    I think the other side of the question is also interesting: how conferences are preventing networking: absolutely no break time, nowhere to sit or pause after breakout sessions …

  • Srinivas Rao

    One of the things I read in a book somewhere was that people at an event were given a lock or a key and forced to find each other so in order to unlock things. The result of course is that they’re all forced to interact. Might be challenging with 900+ people, but also force people to interact all wekeend long. If I can afford it, this conference is really high on my list of things I want to attend.

  • Carl Lens

    At LIFT conference in Geneva we feasted on the biggest pan of cheese fondue I have ever seen (800ppl). Cheese fondue = great for networking (It’s a bit too Suisse for you guys though… ).

  • Ton
  • Peter Davison

    I think a lot of people would appreciate the pre-during-post conference opportunities to reach out to each other. I am the Co-Founder and CMO of Trendr.

    Trendr is the simplest way to discover, meet and collaborate with business professionals around you in real-time.

    We appreciate the creativity and open innovation that is shared out at 99U Conference. Our platform is already available on iphone and android. Been used recently at Legacy Conference 2012.

    Love to chat with the 99U team. You guys are doing great stuff!!! Peter

  • ralph

    Murder mystery!

  • Joe

    One good way is to require participants to dine with others they have not met before. It’s a great way to meet people and socialize over a meal, where the pressure is low to perform. It’s uncomfortable the first time, and then you start to enjoy it.

  • Alan McCubbin

    At a sports nutrition conference I went to everyone was divided into 5 or 6 teams of about 10 people, and each team contained a mixture of people (including the presenters and other leaders/experts in the field). The first afternoon of the conference consisted solely of sporting competitions (light hearted of course) in these teams. The seating at the conference dinner that night was also arranged so the same teams sat together and included a light hearted trivia session. Worked a treat – young, inexperienced people got to play soccer side by side with their heroes in the industry and pick their brain all afternoon.

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