Matchmaking is a process of matching people together – based on their interests, beauty, skills or business needs. It’s used in the context of sporting events, online gaming, business and many more. In this post, we’ll focus on the business aspect of matchmaking at events and why it is much more important to have a tool than you may actually believe.
When thinking about business, words like “time”, “investment”, “connections” come to your mind as easy associations. With a matchmaking tool, your participants can master the value of all three of these aspects.
Who am I looking for?
In a crowd, each face looks similar and it doesn’t tell you much about a person’s business needs (unless you’re very judgemental). With a matchmaking tool, an exhibitor will be able to conduct his research based on specific data points that match his own interests. You will never again receive feedback saying “I didn’t know who to speak with, I felt lost and had no idea with whom to network with”. Make sure your exhibitors will know who to speak with when coming to your event – they may come from far away or put a lot of effort into including you in their budget. Be mindful of their needs.
A real-life example from Krowden (formerly NetworkTables) – we had 50 meetings more scheduled during an event with a matchmaking tool than during a separate event without one. 55:5 ratio! And we spent much more time on preparation by scraping information from the web. Surfing boards, good food, coffee on wheels and famous bands are a nice extra gift for your participants but it is all about meetings.
Any time that is not used for talking about business is a time lost. With a matchmaking tool, you’re easily able to indicate where the meetings are, what time does it start and what’s its duration. Running around in a suit to find a specific person will make him/her sweat and not use their time properly – which is a just made-up definition of counterproductivity.
“Return on investment is a ratio between net profit (over a period) and cost of investment (resulting from an investment of some resources at a point in time)” [wiki]. How much time did your exhibitor invest to prepare for the event? How much did he pay? What did he get back? If the last question doesn’t leverage the first two, you may not see him next year. Return of investment comes with matching people who can help each other with growing their business. It’s extremely hard if you leave it all up to luck but much easier with a matchmaking tool.
Only valuable connections
Getting only good quality leads that convert into sales or valuable partnerships that help each other with growth is the biggest reason for exhibitors to exhibit at your trade show. With a matchmaking tool, exhibitors can filter businesses based on their interests. If business A is interested in recycling and the environment, they won’t see businesses specializing in housing. This type of filtering allows to find relevant matches faster and increases the chances of finding a valuable match.