Report Spotlights Increasing Importance of Pre-Scheduled Meetings to Drive Revenue

June 16, 2023

As event organizers look to further boost revenue during an economic downturn, they are increasingly relying on pre-scheduled meetings to create more valuable and impactful interactions at gatherings, according to the recently released B2B Relationships Report by DAHLIA+Agency and AI-powered event platform Grip. The two entities collaborated on the research in an effort to understand the reasons for the surge in demand for pre-scheduled meetings, including the event software to power them.

The report examines the findings from its survey and one-to-one interviews and defines a new four-step discipline, Event Relationship Management (ERM) to help organizers deploy the strategy.

The survey included 91 senior-level event executives and interviews with seven leading pre-scheduled meeting practitioners from organizations such as Clarion Events and the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA), resulting in the following findings:

  • 67% of event organizers are looking to run one or more pre-scheduled meetings programs at their events in the next 12 months. 
  • 72% of organizers revealed they would generate more revenue if they offered pre-scheduled meetings or expanded their existing meetings offerings.
  • 87% of event organizers believe pre-scheduled meetings at events are an important industry trend in 2023.
  • 97% of organizers said they’d like to increase the number of valuable B2B relationships made between participants at their events.

“Serendipity is a highly regarded attribute of face-to-face events,” said Dahlia El Gazzar, CEO of DAHLIA+Agency. “However, structured meetings programs deliver more measurable customer satisfaction, value and revenue. It’s synchronized meetings for the win.”

El Gazzar added that the pre-scheduled meetings concept is important during an economic downturn because marketers want to know exactly what they are buying from event organizers.

“They want to know they are buying meetings with pre-qualified people that lead to longer-term relationships,” she said. “Time is the highest valued asset at events.”

According to Tim Groot, founder and CEO of Grip, the financial benefits of these types of events are clear.

 “Our pre-scheduled meeting calculator shows that an event with 50 suppliers and 15 meetings per supplier could generate $901,500 in additional revenue for an event organizer,” Groot said. “This is a huge win during the current downturn and explains why pre-scheduled meetings are surging in popularity.”

To meet the demand, Grip launched MustMeet in late 2022. The robust meeting scheduler allows event organizers to monetize buyer-supplier meetings. MustMeet uses AI to help organizers increase revenue and demonstrate ROI by automatically scheduling, managing and hosting a range of meetings for event participants with ease. 

The benefits to buyers and suppliers include being able to conduct months’ worth of meetings in only a few days (or less), accelerate their buying and selling processes by only connecting the right people, and learn from leading industry experts and peers, according to Groot.

Grip’s MustMeet, in addition to its mobile app, which enables participants to book additional meetings with each other using AI-powered recommendations and matchmaking, help facilitate the steps in the new ERM discipline that is detailed in The B2B Relationships Report.

The four steps include:

  • Curate: Learn customers’ needs.
  • Engage: Schedule meetings between compatible participants.
  • Nurture: Facilitate follow-up meetings.
  • Reconnect: Schedule meetings between the same participants or companies the following year.

“The implications of investing in ERM — of which pre-scheduled meetings are a critical building block — are compelling, and a solid long-term revenue generator for event organizers,” El Gazzar said. “A business model that depends on increasing the volume of attendees every year is expensive to maintain. However, focusing on repeatable, high-quality meetings could lower the cost of attendee acquisition and yield more long-term benefits.”

To download a copy of The B2B Relationships report, click here.

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Every day, MGM Resorts hosts organizations and individuals from around the world with a diverse array of business purposes, needs and expectations. But they all have one thing in common—a host committed to making their meetings sustainable and unforgettable through close partnership and responsible meeting practices. Harnessing the Sun Meetings at MGM Resorts are predominantly powered by the sun, thanks to its innovative 100-megawatt solar array. As the largest directly sourced renewable electricity project in the hospitality industry, the solar array features 323,000 panels and produces up to 100% of MGM Resorts’ daytime power needs in Las Vegas.* Built in 2021, the solar array reduces the carbon footprint of meetings—and all of MGM Resorts—while still delivering an enlightening and electrifying guest experience. Leading Water Stewardship Knowing water is essential to operations, guests and employees, MGM Resorts has long employed various conservation measures and has doubled down on its commitment in recent years to become a leading corporate water steward. In 2022, MGM Resorts President and CEO Bill Hornbuckle signed the CEO Water Mandate, a United National Global Compact, becoming the first gaming company to endorse the initiative. The company replaced more than 200,000 square feet of real grass with drought-tolerant landscaping in Las Vegas and pledged to reduce water use by 33% by 2025 and by 35% by 2030. Between 2007 and 2022, MGM Resorts saved more than 6 billion gallons of water through water conservation. Fostering Diversity, Equity & Inclusion MGM Resorts serves a world of diverse people, perspectives and experiences by cultivating a workforce culture that embraces all of humanity. From mindful recruitment and hiring practices to meaningful social responsibility initiatives, MGM Resorts is a welcoming and inclusive space for veterans, individuals with disabilities, people from diverse backgrounds, LGBTQ+ community members and more. The company’s commitment to supplier diversity drives innovation by extending competitive opportunities to local and diverse-owned suppliers, while the MGM Resorts Supplier Diversity Mentorship Program provides diverse-owned businesses tools and resources to enhance and grow their businesses. Paying it Forward MGM Resorts knows that great companies must serve the greater good. That’s why paying it forward is part of its approach to meetings and events. Through the Feeding Forward Program, MGM Resorts collects and preserves unserved and untouched food from conventions held at its properties, then safely donates to food-insecure people through a partnership with Three Square, Southern Nevada’s primary food bank. Since 2016, MGM Resorts has donated more than 3.7 million meals, with a goal of 5 million meal donations by 2025. Donations include unserved perishable prepared foods from events, perishable unprepared food from MGM Resorts’ kitchens and nonperishable food items from minibars and warehouses. From world-class venues and experiences to industry leading responsible meeting practices, MGM Resorts is proud to host meaningful and sustainable events. *Not including The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas