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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