Hosted Buyer programs can add exponential value to your events. A Hosted Buyer program brings pre-qualified buyers together with suppliers to do real business on your show floor. The hassle of finding the right supplier or buyer is removed from the participants’ shoulders and they can then focus on securing business, the ultimate return-on-investment for your event.
Connect™ clients can seamlessly offer a Hosted Buyer program using a2z’s global admin and Connect’s matching technology. Suppliers will already be using Connect to market their products and services and to engage buyers. Buyers will be using Connect to research exhibitors and make connections for in-booth meetings. This supplier and buyer data is used by the Hosted Buyer program to match a select number of pre-qualified buyers with suppliers and then the system assigns a pre-determined number of meetings for each. Connect is a game changer because it drastically reduces the time and effort event managers, as well as participants, have to put in to maximize their ROI from the program.
To identify your event as a good match for a Hosted Buyer program consider the following criteria:
- Your industry segment makes repeat and frequent purchases, making long term relationships important.
- There is a large pool of buyers in the industry who can make purchasing decisions.
Now that you feel your industry is a good fit for a Hosted Buyer program, consider the following best practices before getting started:
Define the Program
o Determine a schedule for the application process and appointment scheduling in advance. Stick to the deadlines you choose.
o Determine how many suppliers will be participating. You may allow all of your suppliers or limit it to just a portion of your suppliers. Decide if the suppliers will need to pay extra to participate in the program.
o Determine how long each meeting will be and how many meetings each supplier will have during the designated Hosted Buyer meeting times.
o Choose how many buyers you need to participate in order to fulfill this meeting schedule.
o Buyers should apply to be a part of the program.
o Qualify buyers carefully to allow only purchase decision makers and valuable participants.
o Incentivize buyers to participate in the program by offering reimbursement of travel, registration and meals.
o Require a buyer to attend a minimum number of meetings to qualify for reimbursement. This weeds out those buyers who are not serious about doing business at your event.
o Be sure that in your application process you collect all of the pertinent demographic and purchasing information that the system will need to make matches.
o Designate a meeting place or lounge area on the show floor where Hosted Buyer meetings will take place. You can create a VIP feel in this area.
o Consider offering meeting times outside of the show hours to accommodate busy schedules. This may be especially important if your event’s show hours are limited.
o Communicate the details of the program often and far enough in advance to allow potential buyer participants to apply. Also, choose the participants far enough in advance of the event so that they can plan their trip accordingly.
o Offer a support email or phone number and a FAQ webpage for specific Hosted Buyer questions. Give them special treatment!
Request a demo to see how a2z’s Hosted Buyer solution combines the power of automated scheduling with intelligent matchmaking.
More to explore:
- The Buyer Side of Hosted Buyer – An #Eventprofs Perspective
- Successful Speed Networking for Buyers and Exhibitors, the ISA FASTMATCH® Way
- a2z Launching New Networking & Matchmaking Solution at #ExpoExpo