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Welcome to Events – a new LinkedIn feature

Towards the end of last year LinkedIn started rolling out Events, a feature aimed at providing members with “an easy way to create and join professional events that interest them” apparently.

As we always say, (and interestingly LinkedIn’s research showed that nearly 80% of LinkedIn members agreed with this), professional networking is critically important to success. We are the biggest fans of networking over a coffee, and face to face meetings are key to building good relationships.

The idea is that the Events feature will help users to “grow active, professional communities by building authentic, face to face relationships” a bit like meeting people over a coffee.

At the moment, most LinkedIn users only have the ability to join an Event they are invited to as the facility to organise an Event is currently being tested out by a small group of LinkedIn members only before they consider rolling it out to a wider test audience and full membership.

When the function is fully operational LinkedIn members will be able to act as an organiser of an Event giving them the ability to:

• Create the Event on LinkedIn, including all the relevant details such as date, time etc
• Invite attendees from their connections
• Share the Event with their network to encourage other people to attend
• See who is attending and liaise with them
• Withdraw an invitation or remove an attendee
• Post updates about the event and change/amend any of the Event details
• Follow up with attendees post the Event

Attendees who have signed up for the Event will be able to:

• See who else is attending
• Send invitations to their own connections who they think might be interested in attending the Event
• Chat with other attendees using the Event page feed before, during and after the Event
• Invite other attendees to connect with them

Now those of you with a good memory might recall that around 8 years ago LinkedIn had Events but then withdrew it, so why now and what’s different? Well their research is that as we do more and more online it might be time to bring meetings back and we are with that result too.

Does LinkedIn offer more to meeting organisers than any other tool set? Yes, it does in terms of making it simple to inform attendees of the other professional attendees, sending invites simply etcetera, but with this comes a downside which as yet is not well defined.

The core of the meetings functionality is a thread, like a hashtag, for an Event. Whilst that makes it easy for you to identify every attendee, it also makes it easy for any competitive element to identify every attendee too and that might not be so good.

So, at this stage our view is positive, but we caution around the exposure aspect until it is better defined, or the security aspects are explained more.

12 February 2019