Gather – Enhanced Short-Term Social Event Discovery and Planning

Presenter: Robinson Greig

Research Category: Humanities and Arts
Student Type: Undergraduate
Additional Authors: Ashley Treni, Maple Kuo
PI: Robinson Greig
Award: Innovation
Award Winner Category: Humanities and Arts

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Think about how many times gatherings between friends fall apart due to varying interests, group availability, and group mentality. Gather is a tool that makes the planning of gatherings easy, painless and most importantly, successful.

The discovery and planning of social events is a three-stage funnel: identifying possibilities, filtering by interest, and then finding friends to join. This natural transition from possibilities to events is limited by two constraints: 1) the individual’s ability to identify possible activities, and 2) the compatibility of friends’ availability and interests.

Existing platforms, such as Facebook events, cater to larger events, like birthdays. The planning of small, day-to-day social get-togethers, like quiz night at a bar, is left to word-of-mouth or unstructured mobile communication – which leads to plans falling through.

There is a need for a simple method for groups of friends to discover interests and plan events together.

Gather is an app that leverages an expanded social network to enhance short-term social discovery and planning.  Users first discover activities in a database produced by his/her social circle and external sources (i.e. local newspapers, movie listings, etc.).  The user can then express interest in activities, and see who within his or her social circle is also interested and available in joining.  Lastly, the individual may invite or be invited to join others to do an event.  By connecting with existing friends or old lost friends in the users phone contact list, the likelihood that a user finds someone with shared activity interests is increased.