Matchmaking is a buzzword in the exhibition industry. More and more Start-ups are developing solutions to better fulfil their mission of bringing exhibition participants together digitally. The market of industry matchmaking service providers can be confusing and new players are entering the market nearly every month.
This is reason enough for us to pick one such service and ‘grill’ the owner of that matchmaking solution by digging deep to see what is on offer. I will examine goMed2Med which was launched at UBM’s flagship’s show CPhI in 2016. In this interview, I ask the application’s owner, Dr. Heinrich Handel-Mazzetti, to explain why his tool stands out in the market and will meet him again after the next CPhI show for a facts-check to see how the tool performed during a real-life exhibition.
Interview with Dr. Heinrich Handel-Mazzetti:
1. Tesi: Dear Dr. Heinrich Handel-Mazzetti, you are the founder of B2B’s matchmaking application, goMed2Med. Please tell me how you developed the idea for this business and when did you begin to offer your solution.
Dr. Heinrich Handel-Mazzetti: Thank you very much for inviting me to this interview. The primary goal behind the idea was to connect companies with each other in an efficient and flexible manner. Existing systems, even social media, are too generic. Therefore, we started some years back with gomed2med.com, an application used in the medical devices and pharmaceutical industry to connect members based on mutual needs.
From this application, we developed our match and meet tool — expomatching.com. It is specifically designed for events, trade fairs, and congresses to connect exhibitors, attendees, and participants to any trade fair, months before the event, to support participants in saving precious time during the show to find useful meeting partners based on mutual needs. UBM uses our tool during several shows, at CPhI worldwide 2016 and 2017, CPhI India 2016 and 2017, Pharmapack and Medtec. The expomatching.com application can be adapted by our team regardless if it is pharma, medical devices, construction, or travel. Choose your fair and we will deliver a match and meet application custom made for you as an organiser.
2. Tesi: There are many matchmaking applications on the market. What is unique about yours?
Dr. Heinrich Handel-Mazzetti: Yes, there are many matchmaking solutions on the market, but generally they are only a database of active and not active users. Those solutions offer a simple search possibility where the user can search for potential meeting partners. Using such ‘search engines’ you must search again and again, you do not even know when the database was last updated.
Across the board, the experience of using our matchmaking tool is quite different. After you set up your profile and your ‘I am looking for’, which can be prepopulated outside of event registration, you get automatically matched if somebody fulfils your needs, your ‘I am looking for’. When matches are made, email notifications are sent automatically. Additionally, these matches are added to your account, and from there you can arrange meetings directly. This means that once you set up your account, you can be matched automatically. You can check matches and organise meetings using our integrated personal agenda, and you can choose to meet at your stand or in the meeting area. You can even block timeslots when you are not available, and you can arrange meetings only if both partners are available.
It is a very sophisticated tool, saving you time and importantly, you will get matched automatically with potential business partners you have never thought of. This we call automatic matchmaking based on mutual needs.
3. Tesi: Do you already have practical results when the application was used at a trade show? What has been the user feedback?
Dr. Heinrich Handel-Mazzetti: Of course, most feedback has been very positive, even if the tool is new on the market. Our expomatching.com application is a software adapted to the needs, experience, and feedback we get. The agenda system was adapted — even the type of matches is adapted to the needs of the organiser. Do you want to match visitors with other visitors? Or only exhibitors with visitors? You decide, we give you the tool.
Most users think Expomatching is a tool that is like others on the market, comparable with a search engine. It is not. It is a software solution supporting your attendees and afterwards you, as the organiser, will receive a deep insight into your clientele. It is a game-changer on how to prepare for a show, both for visitors and exhibitors.
We all know that participating at shows is something you must prepare for. Look at exhibitors — they spend a lot of time and money preparing the booth, the leaflets, and the staff attending the show. If I consider all the costs, this time is very expensive.
If you can arrange your meetings earlier, even months before the show starts, you can create value for money. You don’t have to wait for attendees to walk by during the show, simply match with them using expomatching.com and prepare your schedule in advance. I have been participating at trade fairs and congresses both as exhibitor and as a visitor for more than 30 years. Prepare your appointments beforehand and the show will be a much bigger success.
4. Tesi: Software development never ends. What were the lessons you learned at CPhI last year, and what improvements were made?
Dr. Heinrich Handel-Mazzetti: Every show needs a different setup, every organiser has different needs. We adapted our system to the registration of CPhI, Pharma has different needs, CPhI worldwide is a different show, and then we have CPhI India. We have also adapted the meeting system — meeting times are different, locations are different. Is there a matchmaking area? Are there dedicated areas that are sold separately by the organiser? We have even just introduced a multi-language matchmaking.
We know that it is the quality of meetings that matter, not just the quantity of meetings — expomatching.com enables users to prepare for their meetings in advance, making their attendance that much more valuable. Importantly, we offer our customers great support. We have a back office assisting with questions, suggestions, and needs from users. If they need advice, we support them. During the event, it is always nice to meet them personally, as our team also takes care of the matchmaking area during the event. It is always nice to meet the people you supported and share a cup of coffee, if there is time between meetings, which we arranged for them.
5. Tesi: Looking forward – what is the next big show where your matchmaking solution will be offered?
Dr. Heinrich Handel-Mazzetti: We start with CPhi Frankfurt, which will be held end of October. Next is CPhi India, which will take place in Mumbai in November this year, and then we prepare for Pharmapack Paris in February 2018. Importantly though, we open the matchmaking for Paris in October, given the December holiday period. 2018 will be very interesting for us as we negotiate with organisers for events in totally different industries.
6. Tesi: Can I come back after the show to ask how your application performed and what users’ feedback your received this time?
Dr. Heinrich Handel-Mazzetti: I would be pleased to answer your questions and tell you how we were able to face the challenge to serve over 50,000 attendees.