If you are part of a small and medium business (SMB) and have never heard of Business Matchmaking, then this is the right place for you to get started. So, what is Business Matchmaking? Business Matchmaking is a networking event typically hosted by a non-profit organization or educational institute with the purpose of connecting small businesses with major corporations and government agencies.
Many SMBs are constantly challenged by figuring out ways to increase their revenue and find means to connect with major corporations and government agencies. The Business Matchmaking event is a prime opportunity for SMBs to meet with various potential customers and have a guaranteed time slot to present their products and services.
How does the Business Matchmaking work?
The event producer or host creates a matchmaking event, either as a part of a bigger trade show/expo or as a dedicated matchmaking event itself.
Types of Matchmaking events:
Open – Sellers (SMBs) make the appointments
Semi-Open – Sellers make the appointments, but the buyers need to approve them
Closed – Buyers (Major Corporations/Govt. Agencies) make the appointments based on their procurement needs with no input from sellers
Custom – Event admin can mix and match the above options to customize an event that works best for them.The setup of the event includes information about the type of #b2bmeetings that will take place, how many appointments each small business is allotted, and the duration of each appointment.
business logo, marketing material, social information and any other related videos about their business. The event administrator initially opens up the event registration for buyers and sponsors of the event. Buyers not only provide their profile information but also highlight their current and future needs about who they are targeting to meet. Once there is an adequate pool of buyers, the registration is opened up for SMBs.
SMBs are asked to purchase a ticket for the event during registration. They are then required to update their profiles with detailed information about their business, personal image,
It is important to have a complete and well written profile to maximize potential buyer meetings.
Scheduling meetings can be done based on the type of the event that the administration chooses to conduct. Event management software companies facilitate buyers and sellers in logging in, updating their profile, and scheduling appointments.
Sometimes, an event administrator might decide to create matches on their own while only giving buyers and sellers the power to update their profile. On other occasions, they will allow either buyers, sellers, or both to personally make schedules on their matches.
Matching can be done by allowing buyers and sellers to search profiles and filter companies based on criteria such as NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) codes, commodity codes, business categories, diversity type, revenues, size of the company, and geographic location.
Scoring – Some softwares also assign a score to each matching criteria and then sort the companies with highest scores on top, making it easier to identify potential matches
Auto Scheduling – The event admin can also decide to schedule on their own while allowing buyers and sellers to provide their preferences. Based on buyer and seller preferences, the Business Matchmaking software automatically generates matches and schedules appointments using an algorithm with no conflicts
With the addition of a Business Matchmaking App, buyers and sellers can directly make appointments onsite to fill any last minute cancellations. The app increases productivity to completely fill the event schedule.
On the day of the Matchmaking, the event admin typically organizes tables, assigns table numbers, and labels each to identify the matchmaker (buyer).
Buyers are checked in and handed their schedules along with a profile of each SMB they will be meeting with. Sellers are checked in and handed their individual schedules along with a directory of buyers and their needs. The check-in and ticket validation process itself can be automated using a check-in app.
Matchmakers typically remain stationary at their table while SMBs move from table to table meeting with the buyers found on their schedule, similar to a speed dating event.
There are plenty of opportunities not only to meet with potential buyers but also to network with peers and build lasting business relationships.
Where do I look for these Business Matchmaking Opportunities?
Some of the organizations that host Business Matchmaking in the event industry are:
WBENC (Women’s Business Enterprise National Council) – wbenc.org
NMSDC (National Minority Supplier Development Councils such as GNEMSDC and EMSDC) – gnemsdc.org – emsdc.org
Universities – University of Hartfords Entrepreneurial center () Coming up on June 1st, 2017
LIECDC ( Long Island Community & Economic Development Conference )