Event Matchmaking: Presenting Your Matches

Once you have data from the registration of your event or trade show attendees and exhibitors, the next step is to create matches through matchmaking, or appointment-setting software, which encourage attendee-to-exhibitor, attendee-to-attendee, and exhibitor-to-exhibitor network. Whether it’s in trade shows, expos, meetings, or conferences and the like, matchmaking software can dramatically increase partnerships, boost sales at events, and give you better event ROI. While matchmaking apps will have greatly varying features, matches are usually created in two basic ways:  Recommendations or Scheduling.

We would like to point out there is no definite right or wrong approach to setting matches. Oftentimes, it boils down to your audience’s preferences and needs, as well as what your team prefers to work with.

Whether it’s in trade shows, expos, meetings, or conferences and the like, matchmaking software can dramatically increase partnerships, boost sales at events, and give you better event ROI.

 

Recommendations

Pros: Recommendations are a safe and flexible option for setting matches, proactively giving event participants with recommendations on who they can meet, with the guarantee their recommended matches are based on their persona. Attendees and exhibitors can simply scroll through recommendations and choose whom to meet at their own pace. 

Cons: Many event organizers make the mistake of buying matchmaking software, sharing it with event participants, and letting them meet recommendations on their own. The problem with this is that many attendees and exhibitors may be busy or not be tech-savvy enough to know how to use matchmaking apps.

For Example: Recommended matches are ideal for large event floors, where attendees traditionally struggle to locate booths relevant to their business needs. A recommendation system encourages serendipity by recommending attendees to booths that may have been out of their radar, providing solutions they normally wouldn’t consider

Scheduling 

Pros: Scheduling matches means taking the most hands-on approach to helping attendees and exhibitors network with one another. In essence, you’re taking care of the dirty work for your event participants, providing a list of meetings your event participants are required or incentivized to attend

Cons: Organizers have to be extra careful when matching attendees and exhibitors without their input. The effectiveness of scheduling often boils down to the ability of the software to identify participants and match with what it deems the ‘best’ matches. It could either work out amazingly, or create a frustrating event experience.

For Example: Scheduling systems are ideal for certain B2B events where organizers rely on captured leads as a KPI. The organizer may choose to offer hard schedules between exhibitors and attendees to guarantee meetings take place and ensure both parties have time to provide value to one another. 

Conclusion

Ultimately, matchmaking accomplishes the following:
•    It increases interaction between attendees and exhibitors
•    Follows up on captured leads
•    Avoids the loss of hot leads to emails and phone calls by connecting them right away, helping guarantee sales
•    Increases engagement among attendees, and boosts exhibitor satisfaction

When you demonstrate the value of matchmaking software to your event’s participants so they get involved sooner, get more excited about the technology and drive hard-line revenue into your event's bottom line.


Not sure how to match your attendees and exhibitors?
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Written by: Tabitha Naylor