MeetingPlay Makes Networking More Fun

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With a background in e-commerce from Marriott, Joe Schwinger, CEO and Co-Founder, MeetingPlay, is no stranger to the tech space. “Five years ago, I knew the future of meetings would mean providing experiences that went beyond normal,” says Schwinger.

Enter MeetingPlay, which acts as a meeting therapist of sorts. “When you come to us, we don’t ask what features you want implemented. We ask what your goals are and what your hurdles are,” says Schwinger. MeetingPlay designs an app that drives event engagement.

“We had one client that needed to get people talking. We took the data and created profiles, almost like Match.com. Based on your job, you got matched with 16 other people at this event that you needed to find and meet." That’s where the “play” part comes in. Attendees were given a bingo-style board with faces and were tasked with finding the people they needed to meet. Features such as proximity sensing alerted attendees when they were near one of their matches, but it was ultimately about the personal connection. “You saw the person, scanned their badge and talked. We created an environment that was fun,” says Schwinger.

MeetingPlay isn’t just all fun and games. “For corporate planners who need to prove the value of an event, this is perfect. Our wearable beacons provide data such as which sessions are people attending, how many people actually showed up to breakfast, etc. Event venues can even set prices of booths at conventions based on data received by our beacons.” 

Now in its fourth generation of the platform, MeetingPlay offers more than just bingo-style ice breakers. “For a liquor company launching a new brand, we devised a program that incorporated augmented reality. Guests would scan different targets and then see 3-D images based on the story the brand was telling,” he explains. Largely white-labeled, the fully customizable apps are popular with both attendees and planners because of how effective they are. “Our apps get used 75-80% of the time that first time and 90-95% from then on,” adds Schwinger. 

Attention spans are short these days but not everything can be summed up in 40 characters. On the flip side, how long do you have before attendees start losing focus (and patience)? I thought of this yesterday while I was locked in a room in an off-site, all-day meeting. One of the drawbacks of working for a magazine that spotlights the meetings and events industry is you pay attention to all of these tiny details that others may not even notice. Case in point? The first thing someone did in the meeting was close all of the blinds. Ugh.