In the run-up to Japan IT Week, a huge event bringing EU and Japanese companies together was held in Tokyo. The purpose of running such meetings is business matching – the technique that allows international organisations and companies to identify their prospects and meet potential partners face to face.
Although there are many cultural and industry-specific features that impact business events, connection-building always lies at the core. In this article, we’ve collected some tactics that should help you accelerate event business matching on both local and global levels.
What is business matching for events?
Whether it’s a trade fair or a small-scale conference, any business event involves a range of stakeholders – from organisers to exhibitors. Business event matching is basically the technology that helps create the most meaningful dialogues between all of these stakeholder groups. There are many techniques event managers can use to advance matchmaking, including the following:
- Set up an effective lead follow-up process for exhibitors.
- Use segmentation techniques to understand the interests of different stakeholders and plan networking sessions accordingly.
- Employ content-driven event apps to help attendees identify the best networking opportunities in real time.
Reasons for using event business matching
Businesses are busy. This no-brainer is actually the best answer to the question “Why do you need matchmaking events?” While network building takes lots of time and energy, events that foster connections are perfect tools for any business organisation.
So how does it work? Imagine that you’re a fisherman. For sure, catching fish occupies lots of your time, especially if you don’t really know where to look for the fish. Then, one day, your friend tells you that the places near weeds usually have lots of fish – a single tip that could skyrocket your performance in a short period of time.
In this example, a fisherman is a business and the friend giving a tip is a matching event organiser. Obviously, getting personalised suggestions in terms of prospective partners and leads is a win-win for both. While business owners save lots of time, the organisers of events capitalise on recognition and attendance.
Ways to use event business matching
To initiate collaboration between businesses, you need a mechanism that analyses your audience and facilitates connections. Here are our top three suggestions for how to use event business matching:
1. Marketplace advertising
Following the example of EU-Japan ICT Business Matching, you can build a matchmaking process based on the direct submissions coming from business organisations. Here’s how it works:
- Participating organisations register on the platform and publish descriptions of their services or products.
- Based on the descriptions, specific business opportunities are generated and added to a centralised marketplace.
- Participants review the offers and book meetings online.
- Organisers generate personalised meeting schedules and send them to participants before the event.
2. Cross-platform analytics
Super-strong analytics should be the backbone of any business matching event. Because you can’t facilitate useful connections without knowing your audience, you should use every opportunity to collect as much information about them as you possibly can.
In this context, integrated solutions could be of great use. For instance, if you employ GEVME Registration in combination with the app for leads generation from GEVME, you don’t have to do any data transferring. The information about attendees will be pulled directly from registration forms and inserted into their app profiles.
Ensure you have a solid mechanism for cross-platform analytics in place. The key features that will help you make the process efficient are:
1) capabilities for useful CRM/third-party tool integrations,
2) a centralised platform for collected data, and
3) filtering modules and other tools for the time-efficient management of large data sets.
3. Automated profile analysis
Social media profile analysis isn’t new, but when it comes to real-time matchmaking, this technology can prove to be incredibly efficient, providing stakeholders with instant access to valuable information about their prospects on the ground. Simply integrate the module with your event app and allow attendees to decide who they want to connect with.
Tips for preparing a business matchmaking event
Many event organisers use the speed-dating event format as a model for a matchmaking meeting. While it’s definitely a great analogy, business events usually require much more pre-event planning, especially if you cater to an international audience. Check out four tips on how to make it rock:
- Hone your registration technology. A registration form is kind of an entry point where the value of participation should be established. Ensure that you use an advanced platform that has customisation capabilities, caters to different event zones, and integrates with tools like email marketing and event apps.
- Separate the spheres of interest. Different stakeholders will have different reasons for engaging with your event activities. At the registration stage, analyse the goals of prospective participants and break them into multiple interest groups. These will help you create more targeted networking suggestions.
- Have a flexible scheduling solution. No matter what the size of an event, provide stakeholders with personalised online schedules to ensure that no one misses an important meeting.
- Use smart name badges. From color coding technology to QR-code integration, there are many ways to elevate the quality of networking through smart name badges. Find the technology that fits your event format and make connection-building a lot easier.
Business matchmaking events are gold mines for both startups and established corporations seeking promising partnerships. Not only are such events perfect tools for expanding one’s contact base, but they can also teach business owners and ambitious managers to identify beneficial opportunities for business growth at events. There are three tactics that work best for a successful matchmaking event: direct offer submission, cross-platform analysis, and smart attendee profile analysis. Whether you use one specific strategy or integrate different tools, make sure you cater to all the interest groups involved in your event.