Software-based business networking at events is a hot topic. A current Converve survey of trade fair, congress and event planners show what is particularly important for event organizers.
The main target of many business events today is networking. Of course, event organizers consider how to best organize business networking and matchmaking at their trade fair, congress or event.
More than 60 responsible meeting planners from around the globe took part in the survey between March and May 2017, giving an insight into their business matchmaking strategies.
The most important results from the study are summarized here. A whitepaper with the detailed results, further links and comments from trade fair, congress and event organizers will be released shortly.
Almost Half of Those Surveyed Plan to Use Business Matchmaking Tools
A quarter of the surveyed trade fair, congress and event managers have already implemented matchmaking software. 46% of those surveyed don’t use any software yet, but are planning to at one of their next events.
Question: “Have you already used software for business matchmaking at your event(s)?”
About 30% are not planning to use software for business matchmaking. The reasons for this obviously interested us a lot. As a result, we asked what a matchmaking platform needs to offer for these event managers to consider implementing it. The dominating topics here are visitor acquisition for and image improvement of the event, which were equally mentioned – clearly ahead of generating additional exhibitor income.
Great Importance for the Success of Business Events
The event managers who already use matchmaking software, or are planning to, consider the service to be very important with regards to the success of their business event.
On a scale of 1 (= absolutely unimportant for the success of my event) to 5 (= significant), they evaluated B2B matchmaking with an average of 4.
Targeting User Experience
The US business innovation expert, Brian Solis, put it concisely in his book ‘X – The Experience When Business Meets Design’, as follows: “Experiences are more important than products now. In fact, experiences are products.”
This is also clear from the feedback gained from the survey, pinpointing which B2B matchmaking features or services are particularly important. The first three most important are user experience, especially from a visitor’s perspective in the frontend, as well as for the exhibitors and event organizers in the backend
A business matchmaking platform above all needs to be easy to use and set up. This is closely followed in our survey by the factor of responsive design, which also pays into user experience. The platform needs to work just as smoothly on mobile devices as on the desktop.
Question:”Which features of a business matchmaking platform are most important for your event(s)?
Another important factor for event organizers is that users of a business matchmaking platform should have a direct overview of available meeting slots – this simplifies visitor planning considerably.
70% of Event Organizers Use Special Marketing Measures to Advertise the Matchmaking Service
A great matchmaking platform is not enough by itself. Event organizers know that the success of a platform ultimately depends on how many visitors and exhibitors can be motivated to actively use the platform.
This requires special marketing measures, meaning that it comes as no surprise that the large majority of those surveyed (70%) plan special measures to point exhibitors and visitors in the direction of the matchmaking platform and to convince them of the benefit of its use.
Among the individual measures, the instrument of online marketing clearly dominates, above all the use of e-mail newsletters and special landing pages. Call centers are used more seldom to e.g. support exhibitors in setting up their matchmaking platforms.
Investment in Business Matchmaking Offers are Expanding
Of the surveyed event managers already using business matchmaking, or those planning to in the near future, 86% intend to expand and professionalize their offers in this sector. 14% want to keep their B2B matchmaking offers at their events at the same level – no one however is planning on reducing their B2B matchmaking offers.
Question: “For the future, we plan…”
This is a clear signal that event organizers no longer leave their networking success up to chance, rather actively want to be hands on and take action in contact initiation.
If you would like to receive a detailed version of the study results, please send an e-mail to info(at)converve.com and we will happily send you a publication.