It’s a situation you can’t escape: if your intention is to plan B2B meetings instead of networking sessions, be prepared to experience your worst nightmare: huge amounts of work with insanely poor results.
It typically goes this way:
- YOU (before the logistic craziness kicks in): How hard it can be to plan B2B meetings? I’ve had to deal with situations that are more difficult.
- YOU (fully immersed in the planning process): What was I thinking? I quit! Let others plan B2B meetings. This is not for me!
- YOU (after the event): This was a total disaster. I should stick to networking dynamics.
There’s nothing more valuable for your guests than the possibility of attending B2B meetings.
First and foremost, they actually get the chance to interact with people of interest. Second, they get to skip over all the awkward small talk and the aimless “wandering around” in search for somebody to exchange business cards with (so lame). Third, it gives them the empowerment to generate meaningful connections (something that happens rarely during traditional networking events or sessions).
So if you’ve been thinking about replacing the old-fashioned networking sessions with B2B meetings instead, have no doubts: you are making the right decision.
Yet, if you have little or no experience in organizing this type of dynamic, you may encounter a series of unexpected frustrations that are enough to make you change your mind and stick what you already know, even if it’s not entirely effective.
To help you understand these challenges, here’s a list of the top 5 frustrations to be aware of when you’re planning B2B meetings, along with the one easy way to avoid all of them.
Frustration #1. Emailing your attendees to ask what they’re looking for
Imagine that you have a list of 300 guests and you have to identify each guest’s networking preferences. This means that you have to send 300 emails and, subsequently, read 300 replies. And that’s the best-case scenario, because as you know, some people won’t reply. Which means you have to follow up, then follow up again, and again … And it’s unavoidable, because it’s impossible to plan B2B meetings without knowing your attendees’ expectations.
Then once you finally have everyone’s data, you have to register and process it. You also need to clarify some of your attendees’ networking preferences, which means more emails and follow up.
Needless to say, not only will you lose precious time, you also have no guarantee that the information you receive is entirely accurate or useful.
Frustration #2. Manually scheduling attendees’ meetings
Now that you’ve sent all these emails and documented all your attendees’ expectations (or, more specifically, their networking goals), you have to put aside all the planning and logistics work and assume the role of a “manual Tinder matcher.”
This means have to find the compatibility level between your guests and schedule all of their meetings. This could take days, and time you don’t have. And if your intention is to plan B2B meetings, you can’t let your guests come to your event without having an agenda packed with meetings and interaction opportunities.
Frustration #3. Using Excel spreadsheets
Let’s face it: If you aren’t an Excel wizard, the vast amount of updates and information to keep up with can transform well-structured spreadsheets into a chaotic mass of data you can’t even decipher, let alone use.
In other words, when you turn on your computer and open your event folder (or even on your desktop), be prepared to face the overwhelming feeling of not knowing where to start, what Excel spreadsheet to access, or if all of the updates are incorporated into the right version.
Frustration #4. Transmitting the amateurish vibe
Let’s take a minute and see the event from a B2B meeting guest’s point of view.
So, here you are, about to attend the event. You were promised that you’d get to meet potential prospects for your business, and you are super excited. However, instead of a guest list, you receive an email asking about your networking preferences.
How do you reply?
Are you sure you know exactly with whom you want to meet? You may respond and mention suppliers, or managers, or business CEOs, yet you’re a bit uncertain. After a few hours (or days), you receive another email, asking you to be more specific.
So now you have to put aside the work you are doing and reply, again, this time feeling an even greater level of uncertainty. Then, when you finally attend the event, you end up having meetings with people who aren’t so relevant to your business after all.
Now that you’ve put yourself in an attendee’s shoes, you can see how amateurish and unprofessional it looks to plan B2B meetings this way.
Frustration #5. Running low-quality networking events
After all the hard work and time you put into planning your B2B meeting, is there anything more frustrating than realizing that you failed to deliver a positive and meaningful interaction experience to your attendees? That they all went home without generating good prospects and without meeting people who may truly influence their businesses or careers?
So how can you plan B2B meetings and successfully avoid all of these frustrations?
With one solution: Through B2B matchmaking.
This simple, yet powerful dynamic is your only chance to transform networking into a gratifying planning experience.
By using the right B2B matchmaking tools, your attendees will be able to easily communicate what they are offering and looking for. Subsequently, they’ll also be able to schedule their meetings and organize their own agenda, tailored to fit their individual needs.
So go ahead—abandon those Excel spreadsheets, learn to create a super-professional vibe, and run a truly high-quality networking event with B2B matchmaking.