We have a relatively small group of employers and a bigger group of students. This can also apply to buyers / suppliers, mentors / mentees, or simply men and women (speed dating). How to arrange a perfect seating rotation to maximize the number of meaningful meetings?
Meetings: One-on-one or in Groups?Usually there are a lot more students than employers, suppliers than buyers, mentors than mentees etc. There are two ways to deal with that:
a) More than one student meets an employer at a time (they sit together)
b) Some students wait in a lounge area
VIPs and Preferred Areas of InterestThere are two concepts in MixerSeater that will be of much help in our scenario. VIPs stick to their tables throughout the whole event. So you need to mark your employers (buyers, mentors, etc.) as VIPs.
To match students with the employers they want to meet, add areas of interest named after each company an employer represent. And have student indicate which areas they do prefer (which companies they want to meet). There can be more than just one company representative – in that case just assign them to the same area of interest.
In a simpler model there should be just two categories (areas of interest): for example Mentor and Mentee. This will also work
How many Rounds?The number of tables is easy: this should be the number of your VIP participants (employers, buyers, mentors, etc.). Number of seats? This will be 2 if you want to organize a one-on-one event. Though you can put a larger number there and host a group-based speed networking event.
In case of one-on-one events the number of rounds is quite easy to determine. Just ask yourself: how many meetings will your VIP guest endure? If you decide to host a group-based event, however, you can run into meeting duplication at some point. So just regenerate your seating arrangement a few times and see if there are many duplicate meetings. If so – there are probably too many participants at one table or the number of rounds is too big.
Excel File or Online Seating Chart on Mobile Phones?When you are sure that all registered guests will arrive at your event, you can export your seating chart to an Excel file.
However, if you think that lots of people will not show up eventually, you can wait with your seating chart generation until the last possible moment. Then you just publish the schedule and it is instantly available on participant mobile phones. No need to install any applications. Only an internet connection is required
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