COVID-19 has brought an abundance of changes to the business community, which are a hot topic for conversation for digital technology. In this context, the pandemic has left a legacy of digital challenges that have been met with great success. Business-to-business (B2B) matchmaking meetings are one of those inclusions that have changed for the greater good of the business community.
The virtual format of the B2B meetings is here to stay and the evolution of this format is continuing to grow. There are still a number of countries not allowing their citizens to leave for business or allowing people from other countries into their country due to the pandemic. In order to bridge the gap and continue ongoing business development, the virtual format for B2B matchmaking has filled the void. A recent survey by McKinsey & Company in late 2020 found that between 70-80% of B2B business decision-makers preferred remote contact. This provides further evidence to support the virtual B2B matchmaking movement.
Benefits of virtual 1-on-1 B2B meetings
There are a number of benefits for companies to opt for virtual 1-on-1 B2B meetings however cost appears to be one of the more appealing features. Reducing the company outlay for travel, accommodation, and other associated costs to conferences are savings for businesses adopting this modern format. The increased opportunity to meet more businesses also provides a financial incentive. This allows trade show hosts to cater to a wider audience and increase B2B communications in different regions or even globally. ROI focuses on the measurable outputs and increasing the number of qualified meetings will affect the business’ ROI by having more connections to help drive the end results.
Another benefit is the time saved for the attendees. The time it takes to get to an event can be costly. This is time away from work that is not contributing to building the business. With a virtual event, no time has to be lost and attendance can occur in the comforts of your home or your office. This is also a benefit for employers as they do not have to pay for travel time. Along these lines is also the cost associated with loss of productivity due to changing time zones for those traveling to other countries. Time travel is not in the distant future, virtual 1-on-1 business matchmaking meetings can take its place.
Businesses that attend face-to-face trade shows are often larger and have the capacity to pay and send staff to these events. Now that virtual B2B matchmaking can occur alongside the virtual trade shows, smaller businesses that could not afford the extra outlay originally can be included. This too broadens the capacity to meet new clients and network with others in the industry that may have not made a face to face trade show, opening up the door for new business relationships.
Virtual B2B matchmaking attendees have signed up to meet other businesses and increase their success rate. A form of self-selection occurs from the point of sign up, as those signing up and committing to the virtual matchmaking are genuine and looking for others to engage with. These businesses are investing in business connections and looking for opportunities to seek the competitive advantage and increase their productivity or sales opportunities. Businesses who sign up for virtual matchmaking are not there to waste their time or other businesses time. Finding these businesses in face-to-face trade shows without the assisted matchmaking technology was not as successful.
It is worthwhile noting that B2B meetings are titled business to business but they do not have to be person to person, as more people can join if it is suitable for the meeting. Numbers are not limited. People often think that it is a small meeting, however if there is personnel that would benefit from the meeting and assist with the introduction and the relations it is worth bringing them into the meeting. This would naturally occur at face-to-face conferences when colleagues are drawn into new discussions and this too can happen during virtual matchmaking meetings.
Another significant gain for virtual B2B meetings is the ability to access your matches’ contacts that helps to expand your networks and gain further referrals. Without limitations to the location of the virtual meeting a wider and more diversified network of contacts can be made and a broadening of potential suppliers and buyers can meet. The only constraint is the time zone challenge however with 24 hours in the day this tends to be an easy challenge to overcome.
Another added bonus to B2B virtual meetings is that they can be organized ahead of the trade show, during, or afterwards. This can help you schedule your time and maximize the opportunities to meet with as many potential contacts during the event. Everyone these days is time poor and including efficiency while matching it with success creates further opportunities for business growth.
Current movements in B2B matchmaking will see novel ways of engaging the participants and capitalizing on the success of the tool. New algorithms, better digital technology options and new ways to showcase your business will push this networking tool forward. The pandemic was the impetus for change in the style of B2B matchmaking meetings however the genesis of the concept predated it. Being forced into isolation and decreasing travel internally and externally in countries accelerated the movement and its acceptance as an effective business tool. Substituting face-to-face contact was not negotiable as the economic impact of coronavirus would have challenged the lifespan of many businesses. The alternative of continuing trade shows and moving to a virtual format was the obvious continuation that needed to happen.
The right platform for B2B matchmaking
With Aladdin B2B’s hosting platform a larger number of pre-qualified leads with direct relevance to your business and industry can be made. Using technical algorithms that bring businesses together, their proprietary matching system guarantees relevant prospects for your matchmaking meetings. This system provides a number of strengths over standard matchmaking as they provide inbuilt rating systems along with comprehensive profiles to ensure quality meetings.