A few months before PyConPH 2018, I chanced upon Eric Holscher's blog post on Breaking Cliques at Events, specifically in difficulty in meeting new people. This striked me as a very important point as I personally relate to the idea that as an introvert, I find it difficult talking to people without anything to talk about. Especially talking about things that would be mutually interesting to both parties. Right there and then, I knew I just had to try this out for this year's PyConPH.
The approach we did was to have people gather around topic facilitators during lunch. The topic facilitators were people from the volunteers and speakers.
We made the announcement just before dismissing everyone for lunch that there will be people holding up papers with a topic around the place. If the topic interests them, we encouraged them to go there and talk about it with other people interested in the same topic.
The response was very positive! People were chatting and making new friends!
Another thing we did was put bookmarks of the same design in their swagbags and encourage them to find people with a different design to trade with.
Do you have other tips on making people interact more during conferences? I'd love to hear your thoughts and stories. Talk to me on twitter.