As an event organizer, one of the biggest game-changers you can offer at your event is the ability to connect your attendees, exhibitors and delegates in new and meaningful ways.
Plenty of event apps out there now say they offer ‘event networking’, or even ‘event matchmaking’, as part of their deal. But what do these actually mean? Here are 7 insights you can use to get ahead with the business networking you can offer –
As you know, most of the legwork starts well before the event itself opens. Why should networking be any different?
- Pre-event Business Matchmaking. A regular Networking app just won’t do this. A Matchmaking app might, but it’s likely a manual process. Your attendees may be stuck with filling forms, or searching your database for the right contacts. Or you pay for a roomful of data-entry personnel to match them up. Pricey.
Grip’s pre-event professional matchmaking solution is to have attendees register using a social media account of their choice (such as LinkedIn), with our Artificial Intelligence engine then matching relevant parties.
- Pre-event Meeting Booking. Who doesn’t like to go to an event with a bunch of business leads they can start working on right away? Again, a regular Networking app is unlikely to offer this, and a Matchmaking app could well leave you to do the organizing yourself.
That means lots of paperwork, more data-entry costs, and the usual chaos of last-minute changes – if you’re up for it.
Pre-event meetings with Grip happen after both parties have indicated a mutual interest in each other’s areas of business, and agreed to a timeslot to meet. This can keep changing as often as both parties need it to.
- (Smart) Pre-event Attendee List. Is your Attendee List a long list of names that event-goers have to scroll through, send messages to, and play Networking Roulette with?
Do better than that with Grip’s solution. Our AI takes attendee preferences and curates suggestions from the namelist, based on mutual interests. So no one has to scroll through 10,000 names to find, say, 5 that they might want to meet. They can take that interest forward and arrange meetings.
On the Day
The big day’s arrived. The delegates are trickling in. The clock is ticking to do a deal or establish a new connection.
- Onsite Attendee List. Do you have to throw the book of who’s coming at your attendees, literally? Don’t be fooled by event apps offering ‘onsite attendee lists’; see point 3, above.
Grip’s Smart Attendee Plugin offers a personalized, evolving list of relevant business contacts, delivered straight to attendee’s media device or laptop. Celebrity attendees and speakers have as much privacy as they can handle, with a curated list based on their indicated preferences, ensuring that only the right business leads get in touch.
- Onsite networking. This is where, and when, the business happens. Most networking and matchmaking apps leave attendees to make their own arrangements, neglecting this important opportunity to make the proverbial networking hay while the sun shines.
With Grip, attendees can network in real time. That means that, in the midst of the event, they can ‘swipe right’ (that’s a ‘Yes’) on individuals on their personalized list whom they’d be interested to meet. Depending on how they interact with that list, a fresh set of contacts could be suggested, and so on.
It doesn’t (and shouldn’t!) replace the random serendipitous encounter by the snack bar. But not leaving networking to chance means — no attendee will have to wonder if they’re in the right place, at the right time, to meet the right person. Ever.
- Onsite meeting scheduling. If you’re going to offer real-time event networking, then it’s a small but significant step to offer onsite meeting scheduling, so that newly-minted connections have a chance to get down to business while they’re still onsite. And yes, we do that too.
- Post event follow-up. The networking continues. Not with tonnes of feedback forms, but a simple, rich, data-centric report that shows event organizers (and sponsors) which sectors connected the best with which during the event.
For attendees, recommendations on who best to network with will continue, meaning that connections can be made even after the event. Organizers can opt to start free communities on Grip that continue the conversation even after the event is over.
Does your event networking app offer 7 game-changing event networking features?