Matchmaking events are held to assist conference attendees in creating connections. Attendees can use this service to learn more about one another before the event, as well as to connect during the event and after it has ended.
What is the mechanism behind this? Attendees build profiles, match up with people who work in similar industries or share similar interests, and make requests to meet at events.
Read our checklist below for things to prepare before, during, and after the SAME matching event, and prepare your itinerary ahead of time to make the most of your time at the conference.
BEFORE THE EVENT
The profiles of the clients attending a SAME matchmaking event are usually provided, but you should spend some time gathering additional intelligence information, such as visiting their websites, researching their current market, and budget spending, to ensure you are adequately informed before the meeting.
Before showing up to the event, you should have already worked out your product or service pitch. Presenting a pitch effectively to potential clients is key to close business.
1. Research! Do your homework
- Define your targeted potential client’s profile.
- Set your goal to be achieved in the event.
- Schedule necessary meetings.
3. Define which part of the event fits your business needs.
- What is your target market?
- What is your geographic reach?
- What documentation or certifications do you need for each profile and country or region of interest
4. Prepare your pitch
- What does your company do best and any achievements?
- What does your product or service offer?
- How does it benefit for those who are going to purchase it?
- How is it different from other competitors?
- What is the story behind your product or service?
5. Prepare your marketing Materials
- 1 page capability statement
- Business Cards
DURING THE EVENT
During the matchmaking event, always be ready to position your product or service to potential clients.
Here’s the checklist to highlight the main steps to follow during this phase of the event:
1. Ready to position your product or service to potentials clients
- Understand different business culture.
- Build your business network.
- Gather contacts of your potential clients.
2. In your meetings
- Be intentional
- Focus on building relationships.
Additional Tip: Learn to listen to your potential clients. A frequent mistake during matchmaking events is when you pitch too much and does not care to listen to the prospect. In the eagerness to present you product or service, it may happen that you are not listening to what the client seeks and expects, which can result in a presentation that does not serve the interests of the counterpart.
AFTER THE EVENT
Remember the contacts you gathered during the event are not just collections, it can yield your business future works and profit. Therefore, it is necessary to continually build relationship with these potential clients.
You also need to debrief the event you’ve attended to know if it benefited your company and if you should still consider participating in those events in the future. Identify areas of improvement and what went well so you can continue those in future events.
1. Follow up
- Maintain a relationship with the contacts you’ve obtained from your clients.
- Send a thank you email after the meeting that includes all the necessary information in a clear and concise manner.
- Keep in touch with the potential customer sparingly, without being obnoxious, and by demonstrating that you are always available.
2. Debrief the event
- Analyze if the type of event you attended could generate benefits for your company. This can help you prioritize your participation in future events.
- Define what went well.
- Define what can be improved.
3. Own your data
- If a potential client was identified during the event, put in your database.
- Identify potential projects as leads.
Additional Tip: Be careful when sending emails. The first should be a thank you and a reminder of your contact details, so don’t expect to close deals right after that first message. Wait a few days to follow up on this communication if there is no response.
To summarize: Make sure to go through all three phases of the SAME matchmaking event round: (1) before the event, when preparation is essential, (2) during the event, when building relationship and listening to your potential clients is vital, and (3) after the event, when it’s time to keep the conversation going and turn it into effective business. You’ll be ready to take part in the SAME matchmaking event and network with the industry professionals once you follow these checklists.