The core elements of development and growth revolve around meaningful relationships and professional connections. People can’t launch new businesses or startup endeavors without building a strong networking foundation first. Although we are comfortably living in a digital era, face-to-face meetings, brokerage events, and networking dynamics remain a centerpiece of the event industry.
According to the Meetings Means Business: Business Leaders Survey, 99% of executives believe that face-to-face meetings had helped them succeed.
Meanwhile, the authors of the 2018 Global Events and Meetings Forecast specify “regional meetings leaders across regions agree that bringing people together virtually may be helpful for smaller meetings or to complement a live face-to-face meeting, but virtual meetings will not replace face-to-face.”
People will want to meet and interact with others to increase their chances of creating truly meaningful connections and business relationships.
In this context, thanks to their smart format, brokerage events (or B2B matchmaking events) can definitely increase the networking efficiency.
Reasons why brokerage events TRULY work
Reason #1. They achieve a higher degree of compatibility between the offer and demand
When planning brokerage events, you can ask your guests to specify their networking preferences and interests on their registration form.
Certain B2B matchmaking platforms let you use “I’m offering” and “I’m looking for” modes, which allow guests to articulate their networking goals. Subsequently, you can easily create different profiles, letting people from one group request meetings with those from other groups.
Reason #2. They attract valuable attendees
Efficient face-to-face meetings revolve around good planning and high-end attendees. You can’t run meaningful networking events if the people who attend don’t have anything valuable to offer.
The great thing about the brokerage events is they give you absolute control over attendee quality. Only those participants who meet a series of requirements will be able to confirm their qualification to attend the event.
Reason #3. They offer control over the networking time blocks and meeting duration
When planning brokerage events, you can determine when and for how long guests can book the meetings. You can also determine the duration of one-on-one meetings by setting up the amount of time you consider necessary for the attendees to interact with each other.
Reason #4. They allow your guests to create their own networking agenda
If you are planning brokerage events using a powerful B2B matchmaking platform, you are giving your attendees the opportunity to schedule short meetings during the event with people they feel are important for their business.
They have full control over the networking dynamic. They’ll also have free reign to scroll through the list of guests and decide with whom they want to connect.
Reason #5. They eliminate the uncertainty factor
When engaging in a traditional networking session, your attendees have almost zero information about the other attendees ahead of time, and so they can’t prepare themselves accordingly.
With brokerage events, your guests aren’t strolling around aimlessly trying to “hunt down” someone to talk to. Instead, they’ll have a personalized meeting schedule. They’ll know exactly what’s on their itinerary and be able to take full advantage of their time.
Without a doubt, brokerage events, or B2B matchmaking dynamics, are the best environment for people to connect and build truly meaningful relationships. However, there are a series of design and planning mistakes you might make that could sabotage the success of the networking dynamic.
To keep this from happening, let’s take a look at the errors you should avoid (and how to avoid them) when planning brokerage events.
5 errors that will harm your brokerage events
Error #1. Ineffective or poor communication
Whether your attendees are new or not to brokerage events, their experience might suffer because of lack of instructions and communication. One of the most important elements of successful brokerage events is how well you communicate it.
You can’t expect to set up a high-quality networking session if you don’t adequately explain and prepare your guests for it.
That’s why it’s your responsibility to offer a detailed explanation on how brokerage events actually work. If your event has a webpage, for example, be sure to dedicate a module to the networking session that explains how the dynamic works and why it will make a difference in your attendees’ professional lives.
Error #2. An unfriendly networking system
The success of your brokerage events depends greatly on the B2B matchmaking platform you choose to run the event. Thus, one of the biggest mistakes you may make is choosing an unfriendly system that makes the networking experience difficult for attendees, instead of stress-free.
Choosing the right B2B matchmaking software will make things easier for your guests. Since your attendees have to introduce their own data and schedule their own meetings via the platform, this will help them have gratifying experience, weeks before the event.
Make sure the B2B matchmaking software you choose is user-friendly, easy to navigate, and efficient.
Error #3. Misaligned matchmaking criteria
Not understanding your attendees’ needs and expectations can cost you dearly. You must be vigilant about the matchmaking criteria selections, especially if you have various types of attendees.
For example, you don’t want to allow meetings between the hosted buyers and investors. You’d want both groups to meet startup entrepreneurs. So be very careful when deciding and establishing the matchmaking criteria.
Error #4. Poorly equipped venues
The space where one-on-one meetings will take place is equally important as the software you use. Make sure the venue is a comfortable environment, with multiple tables and seating arrangements. Apart from that, make sure each meeting space is accommodated for potential digital presentations. Wi-Fi access is also a must.
Error #5. Lack of on-site assistance
Although participants have a prescheduled meeting agenda and know exactly with whom and when they should meet, they still may need some additional help. It’s crucial to always be ready to assist them during the brokerage events. Ask a few volunteers or staff members to be always present in the networking room in case someone needs assistance.
Planning and running brokerage events will save you lots of pain and frustration. First, you’ll empower your attendees with full control over their networking experience. Second, you’ll establish a series of parameters to help your guests build meaningful and crucial business relationships. Third, you’ll design a quality control system that ensures only truly valuable attendees will be at the event.
However, it’s important to consider all the other details that can greatly impact your guests’ overall experience.
Make sure you thoroughly communicate the dynamic’s rules. Choose a bulletproof B2B matchmaking system that will provide a gratifying usage. Carefully select the matchmaking criteria, making sure you know exactly what your participants’ needs and expectations are.
Take great care of the networking venue and equip the space with all the necessary commodities. Finally, always be present and recruit a few volunteers or staff members to accompany the attendees during the entire session.