news and views.
Ali Morrill promoting Orchard at an event

How to stand out from the crowd at a Business ‘speed dating’ workshop

“What is a speed-dating workshop” I hear you say?

A speed dating workshop is a series of pre-scheduled meetings between International event buyers and UK event suppliers from the MICE industry (Meetings Incentives Corporate Events).  The meetings are of short duration encouraging both parties to focus on their objectives and to establish business relations.  

It is a quick exchange of relevant information, a sharing of business needs from one another and most importantly, the beginning of a new business relationship.  The majority of appointments serve to start relationships that lead to mutually beneficial business deals. When you have to acknowledge that each buyer is also meeting a large number of suppliers, you have to be able to ‘stand apart’ from the crowd. 

People seated opposite one another at a business speed dating event

Each meeting gives you one short sharp introduction to the buyer - they need to remember you!  

From experience, nobody wants to be bored by death by PowerPoint - are the buyers really going to remember another photograph of another meeting room of another venue? The key way to make an impression is to make yourself memorable by building a quick rapport.  Ask the buyer the questions; find out exactly what their needs are. For example, do they have an event they are looking to organise and if so, find out what are their key objectives?  This will then give you a brief overview of your services and match your product offering exactly to their needs.  If you find out that actually, they do not have any requirements, then there is no need to launch into a full presentation – that would be a complete waste of time, and energy, for both parties!  

International buyers love to find out what is going on – what the latest and newest venue/team building idea is; what you have done recently that has created a WOW event?  Your meeting gives you a few crucial minutes to make an impression.  

Finally, it is ALL about the follow-up. 

This is key to the ongoing success of these workshops.  There is no point in attending these workshops unless you have an ongoing objective and measurement tool in place:

How are you going to communicate with your new contacts? 

How are they going to remember you and your company? (Bearing in mind, that some buyers may not actually require your services for a number of years).

A phone showing the message 'Hi! Great meeting the other day. Let's discuss...'

ALWAYS, ALWAYS follow up. 

You’ve only got a few minutes to make that connection – so make sure you sweat each and every one of those minutes. You will only ever get out of them what you put in! 

news and views.