Trade fair and B2B exhibitors and sponsors are demanding more and more measurable success indicators. Matchmaking helps decisively in realizing this. In doing so however, make sure you avoid these mistakes.
Often at business events it is all about bringing together offer and demand. The better this works, the more successful the event is – this applies to trade fairs, conferences and company-own events, as well as for events that live entirely from matchmaking (here is an example, Co-Brands).
If you are planning to use business matchmaking at your next event, you should definitely be interested in avoiding these five, popular mistakes.
Mistake 1: No clear goals set
The decisive question is right at the beginning – how important is matchmaking to the success of your event? What do you want to achieve by using it? Are you in a position that you exhibitors and sponsors demand measurable results? Are you planning your event for the very first time or is it already well-established?
These points are enormously important and influence how business matchmaking should benefit your target audience. The more specific you formulate these goals, the better you can measure the success of business matchmaking, e.g. we want to achieve an 80% exhibitor matchmaking participation rate, or we want at least 1,000 scheduled meetings.
Agree on goals with your exhibitors when organizing a trade event. The more you get them on board, the better.
A decisive question is whether business matchmaking should be enabled exclusively between exhibitors and visitors or also amongst the visitors themselves. This is a fundamental decision that needs to be made right at the beginning.
Mistake 2: Wrong timing
Clear planning of communication measures in the direction of providers and visitors is essential. If you start too soon with communication, your target audience’s minds are still too far away from the event. If you start too late, you may in turn not reach them at all.
Linda Hull, event organizer of the TC3 Summit in Mountain View, California lists her advice and tips regarding this topic here.
Mistake 3: Not enough communication
If business matchmaking should become an important element of your event, sufficient space to this topic should be dedicated in your communication plan. This depends initially on convincing the target audience of business matchmaking users, ideally with short, user-oriented content.
You then need to explain as clearly as possible how the matchmaking service works and what needs to be done to profit best from using it. Useful tools would be to offer explanatory how-to videos – something we provide our customers with in their own branding. Here is an example from the recent World Export Development Forum 2017 in Budapest:
Mistake 4: Underestimate software requirements
The importance of user experience should not be underestimated these days if software projects are supposed to be successful. Whether a business matchmaking platform is accepted by a customer or not depends decisively on how easy the software is to use.
By the way, this was also the result of a Survey of event planners we conducted in 2017.
User experience needs to be present on desktop, laptop and mobile devices. At the very latest at your event, visitors and exhibitors will access the business matchmaking platform countless times on their mobile devices.
Mistake 5: Matchmaking not sufficiently networked with other measures
In the best-case scenario, network visitor registrations and exhibitor management from the offset intensively with the business matchmaking platform. By doing so, you ensure the customer’s perspective of one complete process, as opposed to the customer having to manage several parallel logins and platforms.
A business matchmaking program can raise your events to the next level and offer a substantial added value to your exhibitors, visitors and sponsors. If you avoid these typical mistakes, success is as good as guaranteed!!