LinkedIn Launches Events Hub For Face-to-face Networking
After 15 years of trying to convince that world that “networking on the interweb was the future”, LinkedIn has finally thrown in the towel and launched an offline event offering.
Computers are good, I suppose, but you can’t beat the real thing.
LinkedIn Events is now live worldwide to all members.
As a member, you can find professional events on LinkedIn, see invites in your ‘My Network’ tab and discover events shared by your network in your feed.
Once you have chosen to attend an event, you can see the details of who else is going and connect with other attendees.
Similar to Facebook Events, attendees can communicate with each other by publishing content to a dedicated event page, both during and after the event.
LinkedIn Puts Community At The Heart
The new events feature is a smart move from LinkedIn and complements its renewed community focus.
The initial launch functionality is very similar to that of LinkedIn Groups, providing a real-world complement to go alongside.
Although LinkedIn has been trying to resurrect Groups since early 2018, they are somewhat suffering from several years in the product wilderness, with most users forgetting they were even ‘a thing’.
Hopefully, events can provide a shot in the arm for Groups.
At launch its primarily an organic play.
Users can create an announcement and invite first-person contacts, but there is currently no way to promote the event via paid means.
When inviting connections to events, you can filter them by location, company, industry, and school. Events can also be shared publicly if they’re open for anyone to attend.
Attendees are kept in the loop with auto-updates, ensuring they are engaged leading up to the event with algorithmically timed notifications for important updates.
Social Events Gold Rush
LinkedIn attempted Group renaissance and events launch are hardly unique.
Both are increasingly becoming core features for Facebook, and most other social channels are trying to creatively devise their own comparative offerings.
Groups tie in with social’s new privacy focus, best signified by Mark Zuckerberg’s ‘Privacy Manifesto’ laid down in March 2019. While Events tie in with the growth in both local and location marketing focus.
At Facebook F8 in May, Facebook announced a new Events tab which is set to launch.
The new feature will show users more of what’s happening around them, and will include refined recommendations, local business listings and new tools to help organise outings with friends. So, therefore perhaps a bit less dry than LinkedIn, at least initially.
Elsewhere, in May, Google soft-launched its own fledgling events offering via Google Maps. Again, with more of a consumery feel.
The feature works through Google Map's existing Contribute section where you could previously rate businesses and add crowdsourced information.
You can set an event’s name, location, date and time, and assign various other tags and images to describe what’s taking place.
Much like its Google and Facebook equivalents, LinkedIn Events is free to use at launch.
However, it is not hard to imagine LinkedIn's offering having a advertising or commercial tie in, ‘the Eventbrite for Enterprise’ almost rolls off the tongue…