If you've ever been to an EA conference, you know what I'm talking about.
There is an overwhelming emphasis on "1 on 1s".
These are meetings that are booked at a specific time, with another person, through Swapcard (or whatever the conference software is). Each is exactly 30 minutes.
Conference venues quickly end up being designed around "1 on 1s". Two-person tables. Isolated corners.
This is a bad idea.
First, there is the obvious formality. Soul-crushing. Blocks a real connection with the other person.
It becomes a business meeting. "How can I extract the maximum value out of you?" Here's our agenda: we are going to talk about these three things together."
Focusing on 1 on 1s forces dehumanizing interactions. You could be getting into a wonderful conversation -- but then they have to go. "Sorry, I'm meeting someone else in ten minutes".
What's even more dehumanizing is, the rigid 30 minute sessions force you to start ranking people. Now it's a race to meet the "most successful" people. You're forced to plan out your entire conference before you've even left your bedroom.
WHAT'S THE SOLUTION?
Reject 1-on-1s, and return to humanity.
Return to a genuine interest in randomly meeting other people. Return to being friendly, warm, and fun.
The best people I met in the strangest of places.
Waiting for the toilet.
On the stairs.
I waved at a guy, thinking he was someone I had met earlier. He wasn't. But it turned into a long, fascinating conversation.