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Leveraging Social Software for Community Development at Events

Shelly D. Farnham, Peter T. Brown, and Jordan L. K. Schwartz


Professional networking is a primary goal of people attending conferences and events. Over the past year we have develop online social networking and community tool for events, Pathable, to help attendees meet the right people. Pathable provides an online directory of attendee profiles, communication tools, and a recommendation system optimized to help people find eac based on commonalities. We performed a questionnaire study at a pathable-enabled event to assess the importance of social networking, and found that quality of conversations and sense of community were strong predictors of who said they w year after year. In addition, the more people used Pathable to meet others at the event, the greater their event attachment and sense of community. Based on lessons learned from an of seventeen Pathable-enabled events, we provide guidelin leveraging social software to optimize professional networking and community development at events.


Publication typeInproceedings
Published inCommunities and Technologies 2009
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