The biggest mistake you can make when introducing a networking session as an optional activity during a coffee or lunch break is to believe that people will interact naturally during their downtime. Moreover, you may feel confident that your guests will exchange business cards with the right people and build valuable connections. Well, sorry to break the news, but this won’t happen unless your redirect your energy on planning a great B2B meeting.
B2B meetings are more effective than old-fashioned networking sessions—compared to aimless interactions, a great B2B meeting provides the perfect context for generating real prospects.
B2B meetings are an adaptable and fast way to engage your guests in meaningful networking discussions with people who are truly relevant for their businesses, careers, or projects. Furthermore, you can easily set up a great B2B meeting regardless of the context or type of event.
So whether you’re planning a conference, trade show, round table, or an international congress, you can always use the right tools to design a great B2B meeting and add meaning and real value to your attendees’ network.
Here’s how you can do it:
Step #1. Explain the B2B meeting structure to the attendees
Introduce the dynamic as an independent activity in the event schedule. Let your guests understand that this is not a drinks and chit-chat session. This way, they will interact with a different mindset, knowing that they are part of a great B2B meeting and have access to a more efficient networking experience.
Step #2. Restrict access to the networking session
Present the networking dynamic as an “extra” that requires an additional payment. By having the attendees pay for the networking session, you’ll reduce absenteeism and mark the intentionality of the activity.
Step #3. Define the space for 1-on-1 meetings
Apart from the venue rooms dedicated to other event activities, prepare a comfortable environment with multiple tables and seats for the networking sessions. Note that the design of the networking space will depend on how many guests are willing to participate.
Step #4. Keep control over the time framework
Don’t forget to customize the networking time slots according to the event schedule. By using the right B2B matchmaking software, you can restrict the interaction time and block different time frames for other event activities. Additionally, a great B2B meeting means facilitating an easy transition between meetings. Make the entire networking process easy to navigate by clearly marking the duration of each session and letting your guests know where to go next.
Step #5. Assist your guests
Whenever you plan a great B2B meeting, your participants have a prescheduled meeting agenda. They know exactly with whom they should meet and when; however, they may also need some additional help or have questions. So be ready to assist your attendees at all times. Ask a few volunteers or staff members to be always present in the networking room.
Call to action
Don’t hesitate to plan a great B2B meeting at your next event. By doing so, you’ll not only improve the overall quality of your event, but delight your attendees with amazing opportunities to engage in worthwhile interactions with people who can positively contribute to their businesses, careers, or projects.