It’s not always your fault that people don’t click during your networking events or dynamics.
You’ll discover plenty of reasons why attendees fail to build meaningful relationships at events. Not finding common business ground or general personality clashes are just some of them.
However, in some cases, your poor decisions may lead to those unsatisfactory interactions.
No, I’m not talking about choosing the wrong ice-breaking game to make your audience feel more comfortable. And I’m not referring to the catering or rivers of champagne you’re offering the attendees to help them relax and loosen up.
I’m actually referring to not choosing the right digital solution to empower your guests to build truly relevant connections.
I know, it’s not an easy task.
There are so many options that it’s almost impossible to find the best one right off the bat.
But as a planner, before designing an event, it’s your responsibility to assess your attendees’ needs and scour the internet for solutions.
Becoming tech-savvy nowadays is as necessary and basic as knowing how to use a smartphone.
To survive the tough competition, it’s important to learn how to differentiate between a good and bad digital solution and figure out which one is right for you.
Don’t worry—this article will help you distinguish between different networking tools. But first, let’s see why you should use interaction systems in the first place.
Why networking tech is essential for your attendees’ interaction
Planning flawless networking events or dynamics is no longer the key to success.
The digital tools you use have just as much impact on the face-to-face experience as the overall logistics.
Here’s how networking tech can positively influence the outcomes of your planning efforts:
It gives your attendees access to the networking pool
One of the most dreadful and least efficient things about an event is to attend (for the promise of meaningful networking) and have no idea who’s going to be there.
Not knowing the other attendees’ names or who they’ll interact with will negatively impact people’s networking experience.
Technology (whether we talk about B2B matchmaking software or networking apps) will let your attendees browse the list of potential prospects and decide how to make the most out of the networking event or dynamic.
It decreases attendees’ uncertainty levels
Another important aspect about networking events is the stress and the anxiety attendees may feel about interacting with total strangers.
By using networking technology, you’re giving your guests an efficient tool to diminish those uncertainty levels and prepare themselves accordingly for their networking interactions.
It equips your attendees with vital interaction tools
Your event can gather a ton of attendees with multiple interests and agendas. However, there are always matching points that can skyrocket the face-to-face experience.
Networking technology can help you provide your attendees with the necessary tools of interaction before the event.
These tools can help them ignite dialogue with interested parties, which, subsequently, can be continued during the event. Apart from that, it can allow them to set up a concrete description of their networking needs and event expectations.
It navigates attendees through the networking environment
Good networking technology (whether it’s B2B matchmaking software or networking apps) is like a road map for your attendees. It will always provide the necessary information to facilitate their interaction with the networking environment itself.
It helps attendees discover relevant prospects
This is what a networking event or dynamic is all about!
Imagine going to an event and interacting with dozens of people, and not one person there is right for your business, project, or career.
How frustrating is that? Good networking technology can help you solve this problem and provide a gratifying interaction experience to your guests.
What makes a networking solution truly first-rate?
Is it the list of features, or maybe the brand or pricing?
Before going into that (those are topics we’ll tackle in other articles), let’s focus on what type of attendee interaction technology you should seek.
Considering this, one of the questions I usually get is: How are networking apps different from B2B matchmaking software?
Aren’t they the same?
In a nutshell, no. Here’s why:
The difference between B2B matchmaking software and networking apps
The right networking solution will affect not only your attendees’ experience, but also the entire design of your event. So before choosing one, let’s see what makes the networking apps different from B2B matchmaking software, and which tool is better aligned with your needs.
Difference #1. The use context and goals
There’s a slight contrast between networking events and event networking. You can plan events that offer interaction activities between the participants, or you can run B2B (or brokerage) events especially designed for networking between attendees.
So what’s the difference between these two?
A simple networking dynamic during an event is an uncoordinated activity, which usually happens during coffee breaks or cocktail dinners. Guests make small talk with each other, and hope they’ll run into someone interesting.
A B2B networking event, instead, is mainly focused on getting people to interact and talk to each other.
Networking apps can’t be used for B2B events.
You can employ them during networking at events, because they can help attendees know who else is attending the event, check out other guests’ LinkedIn profiles, and maybe send those people a private message.
B2B matchmaking software, on the other hand, can do so much more—from automatically matching attendees according to their interests to scheduling networking meetings by themselves.
And here’s a little twist: You can have a B2B matchmaking dynamic during an event.
In other words, instead of ice-breaking games to help your attendees relax, you can use powerful B2B matchmaking software to set up a well-coordinated meeting session. Depending on your goals and event-related contexts, you can choose what networking tool suits you best.`
Difference #2. Finding the right people
One of the biggest differences between networking apps and B2B matchmaking software is the way attendees can search for potential interaction prospects.
When using a networking app, usually your guests have to browse through a list of event attendees, send messages to the people they’re interested in connecting with, and find a way to interact with those people both before and during the event.
By using B2B matchmaking software, you can enable the “I’m offering” and “I’m looking for” modes, so people will have to articulate their networking goals before the event.
Based on their responses, you’ll create different attendee profiles and segment the audience in groups. Subsequently, you can decide which group profiles are compatible, so people in one group can request meetings with people in other groups.
Moreover, the good thing about B2B matchmaking software is the possibility of running attendee quality control. Participants must meet a series of requirements to qualify for the event.
In other words, compared to networking apps, B2B matchmaking software will facilitate an automatic match between the attendees, saving them from having to do it themselves. The system does the work for them.
Difference #3. Full automation of planning logistics
Besides improving the attendees’ interaction experience and empowering the event design, different types of networking tools will also impact the way you plan these dynamics. A networking app will help you list the attendees and allow for private messaging. It can also connect attendees’ LinkedIn accounts for more information.
B2B matchmaking software, on the other hand, provides you with an entirely automated and controlled environment. This will help you not only run, but also plan the networking event or dynamic efficiently.
For example, you can set up the guest types and registration questions. By doing so, you'll enable your attendees identify and express their networking expectations and needs. You’ll also have the power to match automatically the offer and demand, and let your guests schedule meetings with people who interest them the most.
You can also accept or veto the attendees before the event, accepting only the ones who meet your established criteria.
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There’s a full range of options and features B2B matchmaking software has to offer to planners and professionals.
To learn more, check out this page, and discover how a B2B matchmaking system can forever change the way you run networking events or dynamics.