Understanding your attendee networking goals

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At large conferences with several tracks for multiple roles, attendees sign up with different goals about who they’ll meet and what conversations they’ll have at your event. EventManager reported that 82% of corporate event organizers said networking is their attendees’ number one priority at events in 2018. As an event organizer, it’s up to you to understand the specific networking goals of your attendees and give them the tools to meet them. Doing so will help ensure that your attendees return to your event year after year. Using an event networking app, you can kick start the networking process to make it easier for attendees to have the right conversations that make an event successful to them.

Here are three common networking goals attendees have and how you can use an event app to help meet them.

Expanding professional networks

The most common goal event attendees have is to expand their professional network. They travel to events to learn and meet others who can help advance them in their careers. Often your attendees are using your event to meet with peers who they can collaborate with or can give them advice on overcoming business challenges and achieving success. Other attendees may have long standing admiration for a particular speaker and have picked your event to hear them speak and hope to connect further for an in-depth conversation.

How an event app can help

Creating attendee profiles and enabling tagging lets attendees see who else is at the event and easily find attendees similar to them using tags. Tags can be applied by event organizers through registration systems to represent roles or topic tracks at events, or tags can be self-selected and added by attendees based on anything they choose, like what they’re interested in learning or areas of expertise. When an attendee finds someone they’d like to meet, whether an old colleague or a new connection, they can message them through the event networking app to find a time to meet.

Sourcing new suppliers

MarketingCharts research found that trade shows and conferences are one of the top-3 sources buyers turn to when researching a vendor's products and services. This makes it no surprise that one of the key networking goals for event attendees is to meet vendors. Whether checking out booths to be inspired by innovative partner solutions, browsing a trade show hall of vendors, or knowing exactly which sponsor they came to meet, finding a supplier is often top of mind for your attendees.

How an event app can help

Event apps can help attendees make connections with vendors that are most valuable to them. Listing your vendors in your event app and using maps with wayfinding makes it easy for attendees to find their way to the booth they want to see in your exhibitor hall.

Using a tool like JiffleNow, attendees can request vendors contact them with a time to meet. This means your attendees are making the most of their busy time and your exhibitors, whether vendors or partners, are having valuable meetings with the right people as well.

Generating leads

Organizations often send their sales team to events to warm the pipeline and meet potential customers. Not only are vendors with exhibition booths on the lookout for the right leads, attendees are under pressure to return back to the office with a fresh stack of business cards to fuel their pipeline. For attendees looking to generate leads, meeting with existing prospects is also a key part of their time at the event. From introducing customers and prospects to build the trust of new business or catching up with an existing opportunity to further the deal, the face-to-face time events give play a critical role in moving deals and leads forward.

How an event app can help

For your lead-generating focused attendees, one of the best features of an event networking app is attendee networking. They can message potential prospects and if there is mutual interest, arrange an onsite meeting. Using beacons, you can take this a step further using ‘Around Me’ to highlight which attendees are in the same room as you and then make the connections in public. Intelligent recommendation engines can also play a key role in helping match similar attendees based on their profiles, opening up new potential business opportunities to your attendees.

Learn more about how to improve networking at your events with event technology in the whitepaper, Networking at Events. Click below to download.