I recently used two platforms that offer networking tools for conference attendees – Crowdvine and Eventful. Awesome concept! Using their technology, we can see who are the attendees, read about them (who are they, why are they attending, etc — of course, this info. is available only if the attendee has shared it), and connect with them (schedule meetings at the conference, send messages).
I found Crowdvine to be a really cool and useful tool. I used it at the recent Web2.0 expo at SF. It made the conference extremely productive for me – in the sense that I could meet with relevant business partners/customers and in an organized manner, making effective use of my time. What they could do to add an additional layer of convenience is – provide a way to access my network/contacts/meeting data for that conference offline as well… the wi-fi at many events sucks, and so if they have a tool that offers contacts data offline, that will be useful. They could also do with a mobile client.
EventMingle sucked big time. User experience was bad! While Crowdvine has neat tagging and search features to find relevant folks to meet, EventMingle’s search engine seemed rather rudimentary.