event meetings

#Eventtech Meeting Planning Software – Pros and Cons

It is every exhibition organiser’s dilemma. How do we sell enough exhibition booths or sponsorship and at the same time ensure that all our sponsors have met their potential customers and achieved an acceptable ROI.

Although sponsors can often have hundreds of different reasons for looking to sponsor an event: product launch, recruitment opportunities, brand reinforcement, company policy to sponsor all shows, networking. Normally the key metric a sponsor will measure whether a shows is a success or not is the amount of leads generated. It’s all well and good getting the key players in their market to the event, but how do you actually ensure that once at the show the buyer meets the seller?

Hosted buyer programmes whereby key buyers are shipped in for an event with hotel and airfare often subsidize or paid for and in return are expected to have a full schedule of meetings. There are popping up all over the place for events. They are however often expensive to run and manage, if your show can’t afford this when what can you?

#Eventtech is looking to step in to this void and help planners pre arrange meetings. There are a plethora of different options out there. From software integrated in to your main event app to standalone apps and websites.

We have now trialled a few different platforms, the majority have the same key element. Seller A is able to get in contact with Seller B and request a meeting at a specific time in a certain location at the show. Seller B can accept or decline, a schedule for the show is provided for them and they then hopefully turn up to all the meetings.

Or that is how it is supposed to work in theory. In realty however the results can be more varied. If you are running a trade show for example where the drop out rate of registered attendees may me much higher, the meeting agenda can be thrown out of the window. This can sadly end up having a negative affect on your show exhibitors, they expected a full schedule of meetings from when the software was explained to them, but they may end up with anything from 30-80% when we trialled the software. The result being that sponsors who may have been happy if you used no software, had their expectations set too high and now they aren’t happy with the results.

From the tests we’ve carried out we’ve found that trade show are a tough place to use meeting planning software. If you don’t have a hosted buyer programme we would add a few words of caution about using them. Always fully brief your exhibitors on exactly how the software works and the drop out rate they can expect, explain this is an added bonus and they shouldn’t expect the world from it.

 

In our opinion this piece of #eventtech can be great, but only if you can guarantee a high turn out from your attendees. Using at a conference with a far lower drop out rate or an event you know which has a high attendance rate it can provide fantastic results.