Corporate catfishing hits events apps

35% of conference-goers believe attendees lie on networking apps.

It’s probably a bit like a business version of Tinder or any one of a myriad of dating apps – you put in your details on the app for the event you are attending in the hope of connecting with future customers or making new connections.

But how accurate the information on these conference profiles? Are you in danger of having your time wasted or risk losing business?

“Networking apps have become invaluable in helping professionals to make the most of their time at an event and make valuable connections with likeminded people and businesses”

Events production agency AVCOM’s research found that more than one-third (35%) of conference attendees have suspected that someone they ‘matched’ with on a networking app was lying about themselves or their job.

The research, carried out by Censuswide, surveyed 200 professionals in Ireland who attend corporate events. It found that some 38% of those surveyed have declined to meet with someone they ‘matched’ with on a networking app because their personal bio was unprofessional. Furthermore, 21% have avoided meeting someone because they didn’t like their profile picture.

Network to good effect

Despite these pitfalls, AVCOM’s survey shows that networking apps have become an integral and valued element at corporate events. The majority (70%) of conference-goers say that networking apps help them to expand their business network. More than half (55%) say that when a networking app is available, they will ‘always’ use it at an event.

The research by AVCOM also revealed the value of networking to businesses, with the average business owner saying their company lost €3.3m in potential revenues in 2020 and 2021 due to lost networking opportunities caused by Covid restrictions. The lack of in-person events also had an impact on event attendees’ networking skills, with 57% of respondents saying their ability to ‘work a room’ disimproved when in-person corporate events returned.

“The rise of networking apps comes at a time of great change in the events industry, with technology now being core to the success of an event,” said Paul Murphy, managing director, AVCOM.

“As we have seen from our research, networking is extremely valuable to businesses in terms of expanding individuals’ networks and importantly, generating new revenue opportunities. Networking apps have therefore become invaluable in helping professionals to make the most of their time at an event and make valuable connections with likeminded people and businesses.

“But, just like the world of online dating, people don’t like to feel that their time is being wasted. If someone comes across as unprofessional, or their job description doesn’t seem quite right, they may find they don’t get the most out of a networking app and therefore the event they are attending.

“At AVCOM, we have seen how technology helps to connect people and we work with event organisers to unleash its value. It can enhance attendees’ experience and when used correctly and imaginatively, its potential is limitless.”

Main image: Paul Murphy, managing director, AVCOM

John Kennedy
Award-winning editor John Kennedy is one of Ireland's most experienced business and technology journalists.