Having been on both sides of the booth (from exhibitor to show manager), I have seen the increasing demand to maximize face time between buyers and suppliers. More and more shows are looking to add a hosted buyer component to better match these two audiences. While every Hosted Buyer Program (HBP) is slightly different, implementing one for your show can probably deliver big results very quickly.
My first hosted experience was as a buyer. To be honest, I was skeptical. I couldn’t pick exactly who I wanted to meet. I was going to be meeting with suppliers I might not be interested in and worst yet, I would have to sit for hours in the booth as each supplier came to me. Sure, I was getting my entire trip comped but I had my doubts.
My first appointment (a company I had never heard of) arrived, and I was ready to introduce myself and explain my company’s business. The supplier sat down and immediately shared how much they already knew about my company and why they would be a great fit. We were already down to talking business in the first few minutes, and I had never heard of or considered this company before!
After several similar experiences, I realized what I thought would feel like hours actually went by quickly. I learned about many new solution providers, all within the comfort of one place. I didn’t have to take a sales call from a company I had never heard of or spend more than 15 minutes with each supplier (unless I wanted to, as a follow up). I was hooked. I walked away with better relationships with companies I already knew and started created new business connections with others I would have never met otherwise.
Time is valuable for both sides of the exhibition equation, and I am excited a2z is launching a Hosted Buyer Program management solution that will take all the pain out of matchmaking and scheduling HBP appointments.
If you have never considered hosted buyer, now is the time. Contact your a2z account manager for additional information.
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