Maybe Six Degrees of Separation is no longer relevant?

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Barry Siskind

UFI’s Community Manager

Six degrees of separation, the theory popularized by playwright John Guare in his 1990 play of the same name, states that each one of us is six or fewer steps away from any other person in the world.

Today’s busy exhibition visitors want to network and meet new people but do not have the time to weave their way through the six degrees welcome new ways to short-circuit the cycle.

Smart organizers know this and fill their exhibitions and events with opportunities for people to meet such formal networking activities, hospitality and receptions and pre-arranged meetings. These activities are expensive and time consuming to arrange which begs the question “Is it worth it?”

In a recent article in Exhibition News, Geoffrey Dixon of UK based research and consultancy firm Vivid Interface expands on the benefits of organizing opportunities for people to connect face to face.

According to Dixon, “The more the event is focused on meetings, the more senior the level of visitors and exhibiting personnel.” Research has proven that twenty percent of visitors have meetings with potential distribution channels and eight percent with companies they are considering doing business with. Dixon goes on to state that “intervention products can influence the nature and structure of an event with, for example, “paid-for networking, one-on-one meetings and digital communities.”

He ends with a warning that those organizers who leave meetings to happenstance risk harming the long-term resilience of their brands. It’s an age when people are looking for quick results and matching high value buyers with sellers seems the logical solution.

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