This blog post features the third trend in our series of 5 Big Trends in Meetings and Events for 2013.
Event owners tend to think of events first in terms of their own goals—selling their products, services, or ideas. In the end, however, it really boils down to attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors and their ideas of value, which are often defined by how effectively an event can bring participants together, face-to-face.
The Power of Being Face-to-Face
One of the most important elements of engagement is how participants interact with each other. More and more, event participants are striving for interactions that go beyond a few handshakes on the trade show floor. They’re looking for deeper connections that foster true business value.
A recent MPI whitepaper, Meetings Deliver, put it this way:
“Organizations are now beginning to recognize the irreplaceable role of face-to-face meetings in solidifying relationships, closing business deals, consulting stakeholders and deciding major policies or strategies.”
According to research, 40% of prospects are converted to new customers through face-to-face meetings and 28% of current business would be lost without those meetings. Event professionals will take hold of this idea and become the conduit for connections between participants at events.
Making it Happen with Intelligent Appointment Matching
Today, intelligence-based appointment matching of attendees who share common business, professional, and social interests defines performance-driven events.
With one-to-one appointment matching, event owners can:
- Create valuable one-to-one engagements between qualified individuals
- Facilitate pre-show preparation and drive focused attendee interaction
- Increase the value of the event without adding significant strain on events resources
- Benefit from the increased efficiency of consolidating appointments with agendas and session breakouts when using the completely integrated matching engine
- Automate individual appointment schedule delivery
- Provide a significantly improved measure of event value, performance and ROI to all participants.
All event participants are ready to get to work, get it done, here and now. There’s no reason to wait anymore as real business value is created through face-to-face engagement at events.
How will you incorporate face-to-face connections to bring greater value to events in 2013?