A brokerage event is more than one-on-one meetings between professionals. A truly valuable interaction should involve the careful matchup between the networking profiles of your attendees.
What does this mean?
When attending a B2B matchmaking event, your guests have specific goals and interests. Students will want to engage with potential employers. Business professionals will attend to meet specific suppliers. Startups will expect to interact with potential investors or VCs.
The essential core of a brokerage event is to provide a safe environment where the match between the offer and demand integrates your attendees’ interests.
Not understanding your guests’ goals could cause them a great deal of frustration and disappointment.
Mistakes you could make when matching your attendees
The rules of a meaningful brokerage event involve strict networking parameters and flawless matchmaking. If you can’t provide that, you’ll risk sabotaging your attendees’ networking experience.
Among the matching mistakes you could make, here are a few other errors that could lead your brokerage event to fail.
Mistake #1. Setting up a faulty exchange pattern
Like it or not, when attending a B2B matchmaking event or dynamic, people are interested in offering and receiving something in exchange.
This value trade is essential for a successful brokerage event.
However, there are times when you may fail to design a meaningful interchange environment.
For example, instead of setting up a networking experience around concepts such as “I’m searching for” and “I’m offering,” you may confuse these business categories.
As a result, you’ll end up running a brokerage event without a clear exchange pattern. You may have attendees who are exclusively offering or searching for something.
Mistake #2. Identifying the wrong needs
When you don’t thoroughly understand what people are offering and seeking, you won’t be able to provide a strong platform for meaningful matchmaking.
Subsequently, your event won’t meet your attendees’ expectations.
Mistake #3. Accepting everyone to “the party”
This might be the biggest error of all—not caring about the quality of your attendees’ networking experience.
Not having strong qualification criteria or letting in anyone and everyone who registers may set your event down a dangerous path. Not everyone is suited to attend your brokerage event.
Mistake #4. Asking irrelevant questions
From understanding your attendees’ needs and goals to making sure your guests are truly qualified to attend the event, you must build a system that will allow you to evaluate all these aspects.
One of these tools is the networking form and preparing the registration questions.
Asking the right registration questions will help you correctly qualify attendees and understand their networking goals.
By asking irrelevant questions or not asking the right questions, you may sabotage the event, building the entire experience around insignificant or incorrect information.
Mistake #5. Managing multiple networking profiles poorly
Things are easy when you’re planning an event with just two networking profiles, but as soon as you start adding in more profiles, the game gets a bit more complicated.
How do you match multiple categories? Not knowing how the value exchange works between different networking profiles may lead to trouble.
To keep this from happening, it’s your responsibility to set up a well-defined brokerage event, following a series of planning steps.
How to match the offer and demand the right way
Step 1. Define the attendee types
There’s a clear distinction between attendee types and networking profiles.
Brokerage events usually may have different audience types, such as VIPs, hosted buyers, speakers, students, employees, etc. These categories will help you set up different parameters.
First, you can establish different fees (for example, a discounted rate for students, or higher fees for VIP access).
Second, you can grant certain attendee types specific activities and/or restricted access (for example, you can give VIP attendees access to one-on-one time with the speakers or an exclusive cocktail reception).
In addition, this segmentation is crucial for an efficient marketing campaign that’s perfectly aligned with different types of guests.
Let’s take an example: You decide to run an event about smart cities. Using the option of classifying the stakeholders, you can segment your audience into the following attendee types: city managers, entrepreneurs, researchers, urbanists, architects, and students.
There are two ways to classify attendees: by their area of expertise (urbanists, architects, city managers, entrepreneurs, etc.) or their professional status (employees, students, self-employed individuals, etc.). Using these categories, you can design the registration parameters and the networking exchange dynamic.
Step 2. Keep the business categories simple
Don’t overcomplicate things. The value exchange pattern must be clear.
That’s why we recommend you segment your networking attendees into two business categories: “I’m searching for” and “I’m offering.”
This dynamic will be at the core of your brokerage event, ensuring clear parameters of engagement and helping people to state their goals.
Step 3. Build meaningful networking profiles
Considering the attendee types and business categories, you can start designing the networking profiles. Comparing to attendee types, these interaction profiles refer exclusively to your guests’ networking identity, which helps cinch compatibility.
When guests register for the brokerage event, they’ll need to specify their networking preferences and interests.
You’ll then use this information to create different networking profiles and segment your audience into groups.
As a result, you may end up having two scenarios.
In the first case, the number of attendee types will match the number of networking profiles.
In the second case, the attendee types can be grouped into two different networking profiles.
From there, you can let people from one group request meetings with people from other groups. In conclusion, by defining these categories, you’ll better understand your attendees’ networking potential and make sure they’ll meet other attendees’ interests.
Step 4. Design efficient networking forms
This is crucial to confirm the correct matchup between the offer and demand.
A networking form will help you understand what your attendees are looking for in terms of face-to-face interaction.
For example, if your networking profiles are “Investors” and “Startups,” you’d activate the “I’m offering” option for entrepreneurs or startup representatives and the “I’m looking for” option for business angels and VCs.
You’ll also need to think a series of questions for each profile.
The networking form could include questions or information requests for startups such as, “Describe your products or services,” “Add your pitch presentation,” “What is the investment amount you need?” “Describe your business model,” etc.
To guarantee you’re getting the right attendees, you can ask questions such as, “What is your decision-making level in the company?” “What is your area of expertise?” “What size is your company?” etc. Obviously, these questions will depend on the character and goals of your brokerage event.
Step 5. Employ the veto option
If you choose to operate with an all-inclusive B2B matchmaking platform when planning a brokerage event, you’ll have the possibility to “handpick” your attendees, in order to assure a high-quality networking experience.
When potential attendees fill out the networking form, you can reserve the right to veto those who don’t meet the requirements.
Consequently, if a person applies and doesn’t meet your criteria, you can always send a rejection email and encourage him or her to reapply for future events.
Call to action
The success and quality of your brokerage event depends on the accuracy and efficiency of matching the offer and demand.
Your attendees’ interaction experience will greatly depend on how well you can identify their networking needs and provide a high compatibility factor with other guests.
To make this process quicker and more efficient, don’t hesitate to schedule a demo with us and try the B2B matchmaking platform that we’ve specially designed to create the most meaningful match between the offer and demand.