There is a clear difference between traditional networking sessions—the ones you just add to the event program, usually during the coffee breaks—and B2B matchmaking dynamics.
When attending events, your guests may feel uncomfortable talking to strangers. They also aren’t always able to find relevant connections. Silly ice-breaking games, rivers of alcohol and exquisite catering won’t help. If you want to provide truly gratifying and meaningful networking experiences, you need a different approach. Considering this, B2B matchmaking is your chance to make networking relevant and efficient. Here’s how.
Step 1. Achieve a higher degree of compatibility between the offer and demand. By using the right B2B matchmaking tools, you can ask your guests (when registering to attend the event) to specify their networking preferences and interests. By enabling the “I’m offering” and “I’m looking for” modes, you’ll help them correctly articulate their networking goals.
Having this information, you can create different attendee profiles, segmenting your audience into groups. Subsequently, you can decide which group profiles are compatible, thereby letting people from one group request meetings with people from other groups.
Step 2. Attract valuable attendees. Good networking means good planning and high-end attendees. How can you expect to organize a meaningful networking session if the people who attend have nothing good to offer? The good thing about B2B matchmaking sessions is they offer the possibility of running attendee quality control. The participants have to meet a series of requirements that confirm their qualification to attend the event.
Step 3. Control the networking time blocks and the meeting duration. When running a B2B matchmaking dynamic, you can always decide the exact time frameworks when guests can book the meetings. You can also determine the duration of the one-on-one meetings by setting up the amount of time you consider necessary for the attendees to interact with each other.
Step 4. Allow your guests to create their networking agenda. A B2B matchmaking system enables the attendees to schedule short meetings during the event with people who are important for their businesses or careers. Your guests have absolute control over the networking dynamic. Not only can they scroll through the list of guests, but they can also decide with whom they want to connect.
Step 5. Reduce the uncertainty factor. When engaging in a traditional networking session, your attendees have almost no information about the people they’ll meet. That is why they can’t prepare themselves accordingly. During a B2B matchmaking dynamic instead, your guests won’t stroll around aimlessly, trying to hunt down someone with whom they could exchange a few words. They will have a personalized meeting schedule, will know exactly what is on their itinerary and will be able to taking full advantage of their time.
B2B matchmaking empowers your attendees with absolute control over their networking experiences. Your guests will feel much more comfortable when interacting with strangers and be able to generate truly meaningful connections.
Esteban Ochoa and Mauricio Palacio are co-founders of Eventtia, an event management software designed to empower event professionals to gain full control over planning logistics and event marketing, and provide their attendees with awesome experiences.