Type: Virtual Event
Organizer: Business Finland
Event Type: Trade Promotion Agency
Business Finland is the Finnish government organization for innovation funding and trade, travel and investment promotion. They organize various events and delegations for businesses to come together and accelerate growth. Conferences range from how to do business with different industries, in different countries and on different continents.
Business Finland knew that virtual events were on the horizon and had been planning to make the move. The pandemic was the catalyst that pushed them to finally do it. At first, they tried Microsoft Teams. They quickly realized that it was fine for smaller, less complicated events. However, Teams didn’t satisfy their need for a business matchmaking solution. So they arranged a few demo sessions with event management platforms, including b2match. Lotta Eiroma, Manager, Delegations at Business Finland said:
“There were a few deciding factors for b2match, but the biggest was the marketplace. I was very impressed. It was one of the bonuses of the product.”
The b2match marketplace is like a catalogue of highly targeted networking opportunities. It offers detailed descriptions created by event participants of products and services that are being looked for or are on offer with photos, videos and files. When finding an interesting request or offer from another participant, attendees merely click a button to request a 1-to-1 meeting to discuss things further. The virtual meetings are conducted on the b2match all-in-one event management platform.
During the demo, the team at Business Finland also liked the usability of the platform, for both participants and event organizers.
For participants, it was important for Business Finland that their attendees had to log in once. Not multiple times to use multiple tools to attend one event.
For Business Finland organizers, they realized they could jump into the b2match event management platform and set up an event relatively quickly. They could easily integrate Microsoft Teams into the b2match platform for their plenary sessions. Once they changed their events from physical to virtual, they quickly realized the benefits. Anna-Stina Sandfors, Senior Project Coordinator, said:
“There was a lot of manual work that needed to be done for the physical events. For example, creating and printing catalogues, which has been replaced by the b2match marketplace. We also no longer print the agenda.”
A personalized agenda is generated through the b2match platform for each participant to help track not only plenary sessions, but 1:1 business networking meetups too.
Having facilitated virtual events with b2match, there have been some key learnings for Business Finland. Lotta Eiroma said:
“Pay special attention to the setup of the platform, especially the areas of activity and marketplace. It is good to refer to co-workers who have specific industry knowledge.”
A good setup of these two sections of the platform is important. It allows event participants to create and fill out their marketplace entries to best suit the smart search function. This helps facilitate efficient b2b matchmaking. Anna-Stina Sandfors said:
“Remind attendees to do the work before the event.”
It’s the key to effective b2b matchmaking events. Attendees want as much information as they can get before they decide to use valuable event time to set up a 1:1 meeting with each other. A detailed profile and marketplace entry will boost meetup numbers significantly.
To learn how b2match, an all-in-one event management solution specialized in business matchmaking, works: