When Canadian Aboriginals do business with non-Aboriginals, more often than not the initiation will take place at an ABM event (Aboriginal Business Match). What are these innovative networking events actually about?
Multi-cultural melting pot
Canada, with over 34 million inhabitants, is a tapestry of diverse cultures. 200,000 inhabitants migrate to the country per year – a migration number only beaten worldwide by the USA. Canadian Aboriginals came to the country over 50,000 years ago, presumably from Siberia – long before the English and French settlers that colonized the country in the 1600s.
The native peoples, identified by Canadians as the “First Nations” constitute about 700,000 people of the current population. In addition, the Métis, descendants from Europeans that partnered with American Indians, and the Inuit people. In total, the indigenous population of Canada amounts to over 1.1 million people.
This constitutes an economically very relevant group of people – however, even in a cultural melting pot such as Canada, living together is not without its challenges.
Networking of Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals
Event organizer, Raven Events, set itself the goal with ABM events of
promoting business contacts between indigenous peoples and their
non-Aboriginal neighbors and the private sector.
ABM (Aboriginal Business Match) events follow the philosophy that enabling an intensive and effective exchange between these groups is indispensable for a successful future for the Canadian economy and society as a whole.
“This forum is extremely important in finding and forging
partnerships and connections in our fast-paced business world”, comments
Randy Bear, tribal council of the first nation of Muskoday.
Raven Events is led by QWASTeNAYe, a member of the first nation of Sliammon. Non-Aboriginals know him as L. Maynard Harry. He runs Raven Events together with ethnic German, Katrin Harry.
7 Networking Events in Canada based on the Converve Platform
ABM events focus 100% on business matchmaking. There are now seven events that are spread over Canada:
- ABM West in Penticton
- ABM BC North in Prince George
- ABM Atlantic in Membertou
- ABM Prairies in Saskatoon
- ABM Alberta in Enoch
- ABM East in Sault Ste. Marie
- ABM Vancouver Island in Port Hardy
The Converve matchmaking platform is at the heart of ABM events. Each participant creates a detailed profile on the ABM website, including business priorities, project and cooperation offers, as well as products and services.
The organizer emphasizes the value of informing all participants about the importance of having a completely filled out profile – as this is a substantial element of success in the networking event.
Tim Daniels, CEO of the first nation of Long Plain, explains “In the run up to the event, I looked at the profiles and my profile was also viewed. When I arrived, I wasn’t disappointed. My expectations were exceeded.”
Efficient 20-Minute Meetings, organized in advance
Via the Converve platform, participants can organize personal meetings during the respective 2.5-day ABM events. This enables participants to organize up to 31 meetings that are set to last 20 minutes each. This makes the two and a half days highly efficient for all involved.
How efficient this approach is, is shown by the success quota: 92% of participants at ABM events in 2015 reported that they managed to make high quality contacts for follow-up business at the event. 20% of participants even managed to close contracts during the event!
At the recent ABM West event in Penticton, for example, over 300 delegates actively took part and over 2,700 meetings were organized via the Converve platform.
“I was really impressed by the high level of participating companies. Using the ABM software, I was able to plan my day and meetings and was able to always keep control, targeting maximum use of the event. That was really the best business development conference that I have taken part in my business career so far “, comments Colleen Pennington, business development specialist for the city of Penticton.
Plans for 2017: Expansion into the USA
The ABM networking events concept is very successful for Raven Events because it is clearly oriented towards business and offers participants real business prospects.
It is therefore no wonder that Raven Events would like to expand into the USA and is planning seven to ten events there in 2017.
We here at Converve are very happy to have contributed with our software towards the success of the ABM concept!