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Go Old School – Build Your Event Social Network with Magic Markers

Get_Connected_Wall_01Are you looking for a super-fantastic way to bundle networking and interaction into a single activity?

Then you might like this idea. I found an old school way to build a social network using magic markers – it is called the “Get Connected Wall.”

The “Get Connected Wall” allows your attendees to create a extra-large social network of everyone at the event! It can be done during a cocktail reception – in real time – with magic markers and a super-sized piece of paper.

This awesome idea is the brainchild of Anna Okupinski, Event Manager for Scan Source, Inc. Anna created this idea to give a tech crowd a low-to-no-tech way to network and connect with each other.


How Do You Make Your Own Get Connected Wall?

  1. Go get a ginormous piece of paper and mount it on a large flat wall. Anna recommends checking out for paper. Make sure that you have a few extra people to help and plenty of tape, tacks and other sticky items to mount the paper on the wall.
  2. Then give attendees nametags where they can write their name (and possibly one or two things about themselves) and stick them anywhere on the wall. Anna suggests using “Hello My Name is” stickers to control the size of the name on the wall.
  3. Using magic markers, ask attendees to draw connections between themselves and other attendees that they know. On the connection – they should indicate what they have in common or how they know the person. If they don’t know someone, then they need to go meet them and figure out what they have in common. (Hot Tip: have a few people set-up to kick off the activity by putting their names up on the wall)
  4. Finally – Voila – you have a graph of your entire event. At a glance, attendees can see who else is here, how they could be connected and what they might have in common with the other attendees.


5 Reasons Why I Like The Get Connected Wall

  1. I was captivated by this idea because it was a simple tool to encourage networking and interaction. It creates a lot of value for attendees that are interested in finding like minded people, connecting with old friends, etc.
  2. This solution helps attendees answer three of the five networking questions that I think are important for their networking success: Who else is here? What do I have in common with other participants? and How do I find or connect with them?
  3. Creates a semi-structured networking and interaction activity that can be integrated into a welcome reception or networking cocktail.
  4. The Get Connected Wall – gets people talking and finding out where they have common ground and common interests. If you use this activity at the beginning of your event – you can get everyone connected right away.
  5. Understanding how everyone is connected to each other allows you to introduce people to each other during the event. This creating value for the attendees and makes you look like a star!

Bottom Line

This is a simple idea that is easy to execute, doesn’t cost a fortune and creates value for your attendees. It allows you to do new school things (social networking and interaction) in an old school way (magic markers and big-old-sheets-of-paper).

“Some of the connections end up being silly (both have a tattoo, fan of cheeseburgers, etc.) but no matter what it gets people talking to each other!” – Anna Okupinski

Share this Idea

If you like the “Get Connected Wall” consider using it at your next event, telling your like minded friends about it, sharing it on twitter or leaving a comment on this post. Better yet – send Anna a “Thank you” tweet to @annaoki. Wherever you share this idea – be sure to mention Anna and her awesomeness!

Photo Credits: Aaron Moller (@aaronmoller)

Written by

Samuel J. Smith is the Managing Director of Interactive Meeting Technology, LLC. He wakes up every morning to save the world from stuffing attendees in chairs for hours on end at events. Oh, and he has small children who usually want some breakfast.