b2match Community Platform: Increase Participant Collaboration
Oct 22, 20214 min read
On November 15, Interreg Central Europe opened a new call for project proposals. It marked the beginning of a new phase of funding projects aimed at transnational cooperation. Their goal is to tackle challenges and find solutions for a smarter, greener, better connected, and more integrated central Europe.
What is Interreg?
Interreg represents a series of programmes created by the European Commission to stimulate cooperation between regions in and out of the European Union. Funded by the European Regional Development Fund, their goal is to strengthen the economic, social and territorial cohesion throughout Europe.
One of their subdivisions, Interreg Central Europe, deals with supporting cooperation among regions and cities from nine central European countries: Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
During their last phase from 2014 to 2020, they funded 138 cooperation projects. To kickstart 2021 they were ready to take things to the next level. They wanted to start off the new phase with style. And that's why they chose the b2match event community platform. Katarina Hanzelova, Community Manager at Interreg Central Europe Programme said:
"We would like to say many thanks for all your support in the last half a year! Together we have managed to bring our community to a whole new level..."
b2match and Interreg: How It Started
After shopping around for many platforms, Interreg Central Europe decided to use our tool to launch their Applicant Community Platform. They were looking for a way for people to:
- Easily register to a platform
- Present project ideas
- Connect with potential partners
- Transform ideas into complete proposals
They realized that our Community Management Platform not only delivered on this entire wishlist, but did it with incredible effectiveness and efficiency, which is what they really needed. Our platform has a built-in tool for virtual event networking that allows participants to have online meetings without the need to register for a specific session.
With our all in one event management software, Interreg applicants can easily register on the platform. They can create their own b2match profile, or register with a Google or LinkedIn profile. They only have to register once.
After registration, applicants can fully develop a profile. This helps the applicants be found, or find interesting people to exchange messages with and create a network of valuable connections. This is due to the built-in event matchmaking feature, allowing them to send each other meeting requests and have online video meetings without downloading any external software. The applicants have everything they need in one place.
Our customized Marketplace is the perfect tool for applicants to describe their project ideas and categorize them. Our IT team made sure to adapt our tool according to Interreg’s needs. First, we expanded our existing Marketplace opportunity by adding superordinate and subordinate categories. These represent Interreg’s four funding priorities and nine specific objectives of the call:
- Strengthening innovation capacities
- Developing smart skills
- Supporting climate-neutral energy transition
- Increasing climate change resilience
- Taking circular economy forward
- Safeguarding the environment
- Greening urban mobility
- Improving rural and peripheral transport connections
- Strengthening governance for integrated territorial development
Moreover, we added two more input fields so that the applicants can clearly state what kind of partners they are looking for. They can select one or multiple countries from a dropdown menu listing all 27 EU member states and choose one organization type from a list defined in the organizer’s tool.
These different levels of categorization combined with our smart search function allows for easy filtering while looking for interesting project ideas or partners. The result is a clear overview of various project ideas with an easy way to get in touch with their creators.
After building a community of over 2,000 applicants representing all kinds of organizations from local public authorities to large enterprises, Interreg Central Europe was ready for the next big step.
Structured Organization of Consultation Requests
For applicants, creating a successful project is not an easy task. That’s why Interreg’s experts offer their applicants individual consultations to help them shape their ideas into legitimate project proposals.
However, handling hundreds of incoming consultation requests was an obstacle Interreg had during their previous calls. In order to make their workflow go as smoothly as possible, b2match developed a specific feature which helped reduce their workload.
After applicants create their project idea on the platform, they can request a consultation with an Interreg Central Europe expert. The consultation request is connected with a specific project idea and applicants can only have one consultation per project idea.
Once the request is sent, one of the consultants can assign the consultation to themselves or to one of their colleagues. They have a clear overview of all the consultation requests with additional filters that help them organize the requests according to different categories.
After the consultation is scheduled, the applicant is notified with an email and an online video meeting is automatically generated.
The Interreg Applicant Community platform is a perfect example of how organizers can use b2match to create something more than just an event. Just like Interreg Central Europe, organizers can create a digital innovation platform where people gather, discuss ideas, share knowledge, diagnose problems, identify opportunities and find ways to achieve their goals.
To find out more about our Event Community Platform, speak to our sales representatives now.
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