Social media data offers a rich source of information to understand the effects of events on networking.
Attending events is associated with a much higher rate of growth in Twitter connections among event participants than with people outside the event.
Many of the connections formed at events are between people who already have a mutual connection on Twitter, indicating that they are more likely to have met in the longer-term.
However, there are also connections between people that are further apart in the Twitter network before the event. This is particularly true for international connections.
Within conferences one can see social networking behaviour consistent with commercial incentives e.g. consultants connecting with potential clients (but not with each other), or people connecting along language lines.