Event professionals know that the choice of destinations, venues, caterers, production companies and just about every other type of supplier to the events industry is immense. The temptation is to build a large network of contacts that covers all bases, but is there really any value in this scattergun approach, when these days, a simple Google search will reveal swathes of businesses that offer to supply event services?
The problem: they’re in one city, you’re in another and you don’t know them from Adam (or Eve). Essentially, having hundreds of contacts is the same as having none, because it’s impossible to know them all well, or build anything close to a trusting working relationship with them.
Hosted Buyers – the business partnership solution
A more strategic approach is to expand your network of contacts by creating meaningful business partnerships with targeted companies in key destinations. A single good contact in a destination can open the whole area to you, through their own trusted contacts. This approach can create a new world of event possibilities for your organisation, or your clients, if you’re an agent.
The ibtm arabia and ibtm america Hosted Buyer programs are designed to help you quickly build partnerships with leading suppliers across multiple destinations. It brings together quality exhibitors, destinations and associations with like-minded buyers, and facilitates the relationship building process.
Hosted Buyers have access to a full itinerary of networking and immersive events, curated specifically with the aim of making valuable business connections.
Matching buyers with suppliers
Additionally, ibtm events’ unique matchmaking system will set up appointments based on each party’s preferences to generate personalized diaries and event’s ‘pod’ format enables exhibitors and Hosted Buyers to meet on a one-to-one basis ensuring the best possible connections are made.
So, if you want to make it big, you should keep it small, and to reinforce my point, I will unashamedly throw in a couple of well-worn clichés. A business partnership strategy – such as the ibtm america’s and ibtm arabia’s Hosted Buyer programs – are the living embodiment of ‘quality over quantity’, combined with a good dose of, ‘it’s not what you know it’s who you know’.
And just to be clear, it doesn’t have to be so small, over 4,000 meetings are held on average during ibtm america, and almost $24millon worth of business was placed at the 2016 edition of the show.