67% of event organizers to implement pre-scheduled meetings in the next 12 months as the economy worsens

67% of event organizers to implement pre-scheduled meetings in the next 12 months as the economy worsens
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Pre-scheduled meeting events, like hosted buyer, which were popular over a decade ago, are having a renaissance as organizers look to increase revenues during the economic downturn. This is a key finding in a major new report from DAHLIA+Agency which reveals 67% of event organizers are looking to run one or more pre-scheduled meetings programs at their events in the next 12 months.

The B2B Relationships report features a survey of 91 senior-level event executives and interviews with seven leading pre-scheduled meeting practitioners from event organizations like Clarion Events and PCMA. It investigates the surging popularity for pre-scheduled meetings, like hosted buyer-style events. The report’s findings include:

  • 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.

Why pre-scheduled meetings are having a moment

“Serendipity is a highly regarded attribute of face-to-face events. However, structured meetings programs deliver more measurable customer satisfaction, value and revenue. It’s synchronized meetings for the win,” said Dahlia El Gazzar, CEO of DAHLIA+Agency.  “This is important during an economic downturn when marketers want to know exactly what they are buying from event organizers. They want to know they are buying meetings - time is the highest valued asset at events - with pre-qualified people that lead to longer-term relationships.”

$1m revenue opportunity

Clarion Events, RX and Connections Luxury are just some of the event organizers running pre-scheduled meetings. The financial benefits to organizers that run these types of events where meetings happen between ‘buyers’ and ‘suppliers’ are clear. Some generate almost $1m by implementing pre-scheduled meetings, according to Grip, the award-winning AI-powered event platform, which sponsored the report.

“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,” said Tim Groot, founder and CEO of Grip. “This is a huge win during the current downturn and explains why pre-scheduled meetings are surging in popularity. Exhibitors’ marketing budgets are being squeezed and demonstrating ROI for any event spend is vital. Previously, marketers spent huge sums exhibiting at a show in the hope they would meet the right people. But now, they can buy a meeting package and have meetings with pre-qualified buyers.”

The rise of ERM

The report also detailed a new four-step discipline, Event Relationship Management (ERM):

  1. Curate: Learning customers’ needs.
  2. Engage: Scheduling meetings between compatible participants.
  3. Nurture: Facilitating follow-up meetings.
  4. reConnect: Scheduling meetings between the same participants or companies the following year.

Dahlia El Gazzar, explained: “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. 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, please visit: https://discover.grip.events/whitepaper/b2b-relationships-report

A webinar on the report featuring Dahlia El Gazzar, takes place May 3rd: https://discover.grip.events/webinar/pre-scheduled-meetings

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For more information, please contact:

  • Dahlia El Gazzar, CEO of DAHLIA+Agency: dahlia@dahliaplus.com  
  • Hew Leith, VP of marketing, Grip: hew.leith@grip.events  

About the report

The report was published 26 April 2023 and the research was conducted in March 2023. Report contributors:

  • Jill Blimline, Director Event Operations at the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC)
  • Jennifer Bishop, Strategic Director, business development and account management, PCMA
  • Tim Groot, CEO and Founder, Grip
  • Liz Irving, Chief Marketing Officer, Clarion Events, Inc. in North America
  • Matt Murnane, Chief Experience Officer, Fintech Nexus
  • Greg Reeves, General Manager, Connections Luxury

About DAHLIA+Agency

DAHLIA+AGENCY is a brand + experience + marketing agency. Its competitive masterminds have crafted and executed inspired, authoritative and provocative campaigns + experiences delivering exponential, winning results.

About the report author

Michelle Bruno, MPC, CEM, CMP, is a technical marketing writer, content strategist and technology journalist at DAHLIA+Agency, she helps technology companies and event organizers find their communication, product positioning and technology sweet spots.

About Grip

Grip is an award-winning AI-powered event platform, built for meetings and matchmaking. Featuring a class-leading mobile app, Grip helps event organizers increase attendee engagement, lead generation and revenue. Learn more at: grip.events