Did you know that 82% of event planners say that networking is their attendees biggest priority? This stat comes to us through research conducted by Event Manager Blog. Chances are you fall into the 82% bucket, right? We’re right there with you. Networking is a huge driver in attendance and ticket sales and understanding the difference between networking and event matchmaking will be critical to your success.
In the beginning, there was networking
Networking means cultivating a productive and industry-relevant relationship. Before the age of apps, event networking meant a short chat and exchange of business cards. Once apps entered the scene, the process of collecting information was simplified into a quick scan with a tablet or smartphone.
Today, event attendees can use a mobile event app or event networking app to browse an attendee list and research fellow guests with whom they’d like to connect. Apps can be used to research speakers and to connect with people one-on-one using a personal messaging system within the app.
Event networking does not necessarily mean matchmaking. However, attendee matchmaking or an event matchmaking app is a specific tool used to enhance networking. Let’s take a deeper dive into MeetingPlay's attendee matchmaking tool as an example.
Matchmaking adds an algorithm
We use our experience to present clients with an example networking questionnaire, then work together to tailor the survey to their specific event. Attendees receive the networking questionnaire, comprised of personal and professional questions. We capture our guests answers and use a matchmaking algorithm to present attendees with their top matches.
For example: “What product/brand are you most excited to learn about?” can help us connect the attendee who is interested in eco-friendly kitchenware with the attendee who is an expert on eco-friendly kitchenware. Those who have the same answer to “Where is your favorite vacation spot?” might also show up in one another’s top matches. We can also use our records to match first time attendees with those who have attended in the past.
This is all at the discretion of the planner, built around the specific goals of the event.
For an in-depth look at how we used this feature for a client, take a look at this post.
How app features take matchmaking to the next level
My network: Attendees can use this section of the app to see their match’s photo, profile and additional information, including why they were matched. This is quite helpful in creating conversation starters!
Proximity notifications: Using wearable beacon technology, we alert attendees when a match is nearby. This eliminates the stress of searching for a face in a crowd and enables a more natural interaction in any area of the event. For example, an attendee may be waiting for the elevator when they receive a notification—the perfect opportunity to strike up a conversation right then and there.
Meeting scheduling: MeetingPlay’s scheduling tool displays available time slots for both parties as well as a meeting location. Attendees can use this feature to simplify the process and lock-in some face-time.
Prompts: the most valuable feature in our matchmaking tool is the prompts. Our app will prompt attendees throughout their journey, removing the stress of thinking about networking and allowing them to relax, focus on and enjoy the event itself.
We strongly suggest using an attendee matchmaking tool for your next event. Start promoting the idea before the event starts and encourage your attendees to engage asap. The more people who jump in early on, the stronger each attendee’s Top Match List will be!
You can also use your onsite check-in kiosk to remind those who have not yet completed the questionnaire. You can even give them the option to do so on the spot, using the kiosk screen. This option is usually a win-win as it’s hassle free for both the attendee and check-in staff.
How Can MeetingPlay help?
We launched our attendee matchmaking algorithm and event matchmaking features 2 years ago and have execute hundreds of event networking apps since then. We can easily share examples of apps built around the goals of meetings just like yours. And, with our dedicated account managers, we'll be there with you every step along the way to make sure your attendees are getting the most out of this tool.
As always, If you’re looking for more in-depth advice on apps and event tech, subscribe to the MeetingPlay blog. If you want to learn more about the MeetingPlay app or talk it over with an expert, don’t hesitate to schedule a free demo!
MeetingPlay is a mobile event app provider who develops intuitive, engaging and information-rich solutions infused with innovative technology, providing experiences that everyone will be talking about.
Contact us today to find out how you can tap into the power of meaningful connections.