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LiGo: Networking Tool [Review]

By Becki Cross

LiGo by Limefy is a wearable device which helps attendees to network effectively and make meaningful connections. Here is our review.

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One of the top reasons people attend events is for the networking opportunities, however connecting can sometimes be awkward even for experienced and confident networkers. For introverts however striking up conversations can actually be a big cause of anxiety and stress for them. LiGo aims to solve the problem of networking and matchmaking at events and has just launched a wearable tech solution to encourage and facilitate meaningful networking for everyone.

LiGo: What Is It?

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LiGo is a wearable device which looks like a clip and attaches to the attendees clothes or lanyard. When you are close to a ‘match’ it lights up in the same colour and alerts both parties that they should speak. This wearable tech also links to a mobile app which shows a picture of the person you are seeking and their LinkedIn profile. It also connects to a website which collects a timeline of the event and everyone that you spoke to for over 3 minutes.

To programme the tool event planners specify and configure the main categories and base interests they want to include. Set up by the attendee then consists of two easy steps: ‘who I am’ and ‘who I would like to meet’. A proprietary algorithm (patent pending) allows for fine-tuning based on additional crowd sourced information. A match only occurs when the responses from two people match perfectly, not if the match is one sided.

The Main Categories of Features Are:

Matchmaking. Participants are guided to the people they should be talking to, rather than relying on chance. It is also an icebreaker to help both parties connect.

Reporting. The devices collect real time and location-based data which is useful to the organiser, sponsors, clients and exhibitors. The attendee also has an accurate record of their connections at the event, including time and duration of the interaction, photograph and a brief profile.

Monetization. The wearable device can be branded with sponsor's logos. There are opportunities for banner ads, sponsored splash screens and push notifications within the app.

Review

LiGo is a mix of wearable technology and a mobile app that can help attendees to make most of their time at event by connecting with “right” people.

Surely everyone has experienced that awkward moment when you walk into an event knowing no one, only to find that everyone else is settled in cliques and deep in conversation showing no signs of wanting to be interrupted. Other times you return from an event frustrated with the networking opportunities as you didn’t actually manage to speak to anyone noteworthy or find the key people you had identified you wanted to connect with. LiGo offers an alternative to these scenarios by offering ‘planned serendipity’ and facilitating meaningful networking.

At a busy networking event it is easy to spend a few minutes puzzling over some of the cards received, matching up the name and the face and trying to write notes on business cards to remember important points and reasons to stay in touch. A chronological timeline of interactions with photos and brief profiles removes these problems and makes follow up a natural step.

The linked app only works on smartphones with Bluetooth capability so early mobile phones (before iPhone 5/iOS 8 or Android 4.0) and Windows phones are not supported. Not all attendees may want to use the matchmaking technology for example if their main purpose is education at a conference or they are simply shy and not there to make dozens of contacts. This can significantly lower the number of app users and sabotage the efficiency of the matching technology. At B2B trade shows and events though it is likely to have a great reception. On average 60-70 % of attendees will enable Bluetooth to use the tool. The good news is that once the attendee profile details are set up WiFi is not essential for the tool to work. The wearable device can however work independently of a mobile phone if the organiser prefers.

Using supplementary beacons planners can automatically monitor who attended a seminar in a specific room, and how long they stayed for, without any need for a physical check in process. An organiser can get lots of insight from their event in real time, such as what matches are happening and where, what sessions are most popular and which are under attended. With LiGo an organiser can better understand traffic patterns of their event and use this knowledge to better plan and implement future events. It can help to analyze the relevancy of content and overall value of the event.

Before every event the Limefy team will talk to organizer in order to better set up the app and determine stakeholders and possible scenarios. The tool officially launched last week and is currently available in the US only.

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Features

Matchmaking
- Event organisers pre-select the matchmaking criteria.
- Attendees specify who they are and who they would like to meet to ensure accurate matches are returned.
- The wearable devices with a match within a 10’ range light up in the same colour (from a palette of 7 colours).
- An alert is also sent via the mobile app showing the picture and LinkedIn profile of the matched lead in case you need help locating them or are interested in further information.
- The app also details who is in the immediate area and who is outside the immediate area, even if they are not matches so attendees can see who is close by.

Reporting
- The attendee web account gives a timeline of interactions and connections made at the event, including photo and profile.
- The event producer web account lists all attendees and event statistics for real time reporting.
- View attendee activity based on demographics and interests.
- See number of booths visited, number of sessions attended, demos, appointments and so forth.
- Record time spent at seminars, booths, etc.
- Number of connections made.
- Key insights into attendee behaviour to help future event planning and sales.

Monetization
- Possible opportunity for a sponsor to be sought for the LiGo tool.
- Branding opportunity via the wearable device on every attendees person for sponsors.
- Opportunity to sell banner ads, sponsored splash screens and push notifications within the app.
- Push notifications can be targeted to those meeting specific criteria and/or in a specific location to increase the likelihood that the message is relevant and well received.
- Sponsored advertising is also possible on the attendee web account.

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Who Is It For?

The tool is for event organisers and marketers that want to facilitate better networking and interactions at their events, with attendances of 50 people or more. Initially it is for US event planners. There are benefits of using the tool for sponsors, exhibitors and attendees.

Pros and Cons

Pros
- Improves the effectiveness of networking, which is one of the biggest motivators for attending an event.
- Opportunities for revenue and branding and targeted messaging.
- Enables planners to get to know their audience better through valuable tracking and reporting data.
- Can accurately monitor exactly who attended seminars, exhibition booths and so forth.

Cons
- Only available in the US currently.
- Wearables are a new and largely underused concept to the event industry.
- Organisers will need to plan and make provision for collecting the devices from attendees as they leave.
- Attendees need to complete the set up accurately for the best chance of success.

Prices and Plans

The solution can be leased or purchased but initially is only available within the US. Historically high costs associated with wearable tech represented an obstacle to wider adoption, as opposed to mobile apps which do not require additional hardware. However, we cannot comment on LiGo's pricing as it has not been disclosed. Please contact LiGo for more information.

In Conclusion

LiGo encourages your attendees to actively network and engage by facilitating meaningful leads. Effective networking is a major indicator of the success of your events, keeping participants, exhibitors, sponsors and clients happy and likely to return to future events.

This newly launched startup is currently focused on the US market, but if improving networking and connections is one of your key event objectives for events in America you can find out more information here.

Disclosure: Reviews are paid for placements. While Event Manager Blog receives a fee to extensively look at the tool and review it in detail, the content of the review is independent and by no means influenced by the company. If you have any question please use the contact us section.

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about the author

Becki Cross
Becki Cross is Managing Director of Events Northern Ltd, a UK event and conference management company established in 2004. Becki set up the business in her early twenties and is particularly passionate about conferences, innovation, entrepreneurship and the legacy of events. Becki is also the Deputy Editor, Community Manager and Contributor to EventMB, her dream job alongside event planning! Follow Becki via @beckitrain.
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