Todd Hoskins chooses and uses tools, products, and practices that could belong in an entrepreneurial business toolkit. He’ll be checking out how useful they are to folks in a business environment.
Cool Tool Review: Weave the People
A Review by Todd Hoskins
A few years ago I attended an intimate, oceanside conference outside of San Diego. The 70 of us in attendance spent the weekend participating in roundtable discussions, eating, and sipping cocktails. Sunday afternoon, while checking out of the resort, I met the people I wish I would have connected with on Friday. We exchanged contact info, but the opportunity was largely lost, as we live on opposite ends of the country.
This is a common frustration with meetings and conferences. How can people with matching interests, needs, and talents find one another?
Despite the growth of social technology, there is no replacement for the value and possibilities that can emerge from meeting face-to-face. Gladwell is right – there are limitations inherent in the “loose ties” of online connections. There is a reason that tweetups are popular and location based technologies have taken off. People want to meet, and any “friend” or “connection” is peripheral until you shake hands, share a meal or drink, and can establish trust looking at each other directly. Albert Mehrabian has proposed that words constitute only 7% of communication – the rest is tone and body language.
So, the Internet is an incredibly powerful medium for exploring, finding, and learning about people. Then, at some point, the relationship has amplified possibilities when we move from cyberspace to sharing physical space. This is exactly why Weave the People is such a valuable tool, by accelerating the discovery process, allowing organizations and people to connect with their wants and needs in group settings.
It works like this: If you are hosting a conference, meeting, or event, contact Weave the People, and they will work with you to develop a series of questions. These questions are designed to help you meet your goals for the event, whether you want to increase the connectivity of your employees, match vendors and buyers, or just help people have fun.
Weave will help you poll your prospective attendees, then “weave” together profiles in a simple, visually appealing layout. Send the link in advance of the event, and the people who are attending have a chance to navigate through the profiles and make decisions based on their motivations for being in attendance. For the less-socially-gifted, this is a gift in itself. You automatically have conversation starters that are pre-approved.
I love the fact that Weave has a high-minded mission and philosophy, getting to an “authentic we,” utilizing technology to increase our humanness rather than our isolation. But it just works as well, making meetings more enjoyable and a better return on investment.
You can watch some demos here.
Summing Up â Is it worth it?
Enterprise Value: 4/5 â Very reasonable in cost. Mobile app (in planning) will make this even better.
Entrepreneur Value: 5/5 â Finding employees, partners, investors, and advocates at events just got easier.
Personal Value: 5/5 â Not all questions need to be business-related. Bringing the personal and professional profile elements together creates deeper, more sustainable connections.
Let me know what you think!
Todd Hoskins helps small and medium sized businesses plan for the future, and execute in the present. With a background in sales, marketing, and technology, he works with executives to help create thriving organizations through developing and clarifying values, strategies, and tactics. You can learn more at VisualCV, or contact him on Twitter.