Have you heard about IBM Event Connect? It's an event management software, allowing participants to connect through a social network, ahead, during and after an event. The social approach is great to extend the event beyond these few days that are so expensive for everyone - the planners as well as the participants.
Available prior to the event, participants can meet other attendees and presentors to plan their event. It is a clear advantage to be able to find new contacts in a network of people with similar interests and whom you may decide to plan to meet. The conversation can mature sooner than if it just starts at the event. This is similar to the experience you get when you take a course remotely and then meet the other course participants in person: you don't start from scratch and you are already clear on who you want to prioritize to meet.
More ecologic, an event management tool saves a ton of weight on the participants shoulders and a ton of work to the event planners with the simplified logistics. The analytics also allow the planners to adjust the delivery in real time, like to add more high demand sessions and be able to communicate it to the participants. It also provides them insight for the planning of their future events.
With the large scales of today's conferences, you want to make sure you don't miss anything or anyone when you invest to go there. Conferences are for accelerated networking because so much is already available locally and virtually. If I go out of my way to participate to a professional event, I want it to be worthwhile. A tool like IBM Event Connect provides accelerates the quality of the networking, leading to higher quality discussions sooner and a more satisfying event experience. This is good for both the participant and the planners!
Find out more about IBM Event Connect by visiting regularly its home page which I also bookmarked in this community.