For those of you who followed Toasty since mid-2019, you know that Toasty was created to better connect people at conferences. We called it the “business matchmaking platform”. We focused on building the best business matching technology to recommend conference attendees whom they should meet. And through this process, we realized a bigger problem.
The problem is human interaction, which we all know is fading away. And this problem is universal, not just at conferences. When you go to an event, a workshop or a gathering, this is likely what you see.
Most people are just sitting there and waiting. And while they’re waiting, they take out their mobile phones so at least they have something to do. What’s the problem? We found that the problem is not that these people are not interested in meeting and conversing with others. In fact, they’re super keen (if given the chance)! That’s why they go to an event. The problem is there are more and more barriers being placed on us to stop us from meeting new, interesting people.
What are they?
- A lot of us don’t know how to kick off a conversation in a not-awkward way
- Most of us think that approaching others to talk seems very sale-sy, like we’re there to pitch something
- When no one is “showing” an openness to meet and talk, we don’t know who is open and who is not open. And we let these barriers take over our interest to interact with new people, and gradually we stick to people we already know
Instead of focusing on business matching, we decided to solve a much bigger problem – to encourage in-person human interactions and conversations at events and gatherings, and we do so by building a live, interactive technology.
The host can set up their account and event on Toasty’s website in minutes to get a unique QR code/link to use at the event. This allows everyone in the room to scan together, answer fun, icebreaker questions, and instantly be matched with other people in the room.
This doesn’t just break the ice and remove all the barriers to meet new people. Everyone gets hints on how to kick off conversations casually and extend to full conversations. Through talking about a specific topic and sharing knowledge with one another, stronger and longer-lasting relationships are built (say bye to pure business card exchange).
So yes, this is the year of 2020, a new decade. To me, the number “2020” feels very futuristic, almost like a sci-fi movie. We know that technology is taking over a lot of things in our lives, but we’re also aware that it is time to think of technology as an enabler. We want tech to enable new relationships, collaborations, and learning outcomes – all the human elements!
This is the goal of Toasty in 2020. We have already found our first group of believers (event or workshop hosts), who also want to drive more in-person human interactions, to try out Toasty during our beta stage. If you also want to give it a shot, just let me know.
For this new year, I want to toast everyone to unlock more peer-to-peer sharing and learning. Cheers!
#community #networking #innovation #technology #events #human #interactions #saas