Exhibition matchmaking services in light of technology development


Interview with: Matthias (Tesi) Baur, Founder and Senior Consultant International Business, Exhibitions and E-Commerce at MBB-Media.

From 23 to 24 March industry leaders active or interested in doing business in the Middle East and Africa are meeting in Beirut, Lebanon for UFI’s regional seminar. The UFI Open Seminar in Middle East – Africa titled “Adapting to change and getting ready for the future” is designed to offer a valuable insight into how the exhibition landscape is developing globally and regionally. Nothing demonstrates the value of an exhibition as well as a successfully closed business match. For years exhibition organisers have experimented with and offered a wide range of matchmaking systems to their customers. Some have been successful, others less so. Matthias Tesi Baur, Senior Consultant, MBB Media; London (UK) will lead a session dedicated to the maintaining and enhancing exhibition matchmaking services in light of technology development. We asked Matthias to give us a preview of his address.

What makes a matchmaking programme a key component of the trade fair programme? “The answer to this question is easy! A matchmaking component is a key component of a trade show if it is able to close targeted matches based on the visitors’ interest. However, as easy as this answer sound, it begins to get complicated with the word “targeted”. Business interests are as diverse as the business itself. A matchmaking system must deliver a solution that matches the complicated and unusual business interests of a visitor in an easy way and it needs to have a usability that doesn’t require and technical skills from the user. That is a highly challenging task for a matchmaking programme but necessary to become a key component.”

How does the technical development influence the practise of matchmaking? “The technical development is the basis for all good matchmaking systems. Other industries have shown how an “easy match” works. Facebook is still a prime example. It works so easily to set up a private event on Facebook but the technical development and usability knowledge behind these kinds of websites are enormous. The big question is what we can learn from that usability workflow for our industry and how we can bring that to life.”

How would you rate the value of social media within matchmaking programmes? “Social Media is leading the way. Social Media is no longer purely focused on the private or B2C sector. User behaviour in terms of business decision making processes is changing rapidly. The first generation of Social Media natives will enter soon their first job position and not much later their first senior positions. At this time Social Media will have to be a part of a trade show experience. Otherwise we are in danger that the young generation of decision makers will turn their back to our industry.”

Visit the event website for more information and registration details on the UFI Open Seminar in Middle East – Africa and follow news around the event on Twitter: #ufibeirut.



By | 2017-12-08T10:35:48+00:00 January 18th, 2016|All, Digital Innovation, Exhibition Industry|0 Comments

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  1. Dr. Urs Seiler January 18, 2016 at 12:33 pm - Reply

    Matthias Thesi Baur makes a few valuable points and I would like to add my own, trade fair industry specific experiences. Matthias says social media is leading the way while the first generation of social media natives will soon enter their first job position. This is true and it is already happening.

    More than 2000 brands and 12’000 buyers use the latest generation of Balluun365 for the fashion conglomerate ShoptheFloor. Keypoint of this new technology is what Balluun calls «B2B social commerce», i.e. trade fairs own social media, with which they keep the lead within their industry.

    80% of success is showing up – Woody Allan:
    Social media are going to cause a major change in the communication and sales process. The traditional sales process has been linear in nature. But the new buying process is more complex. The traditional value chain has become a value network. Cold calls are out in the new buying process and the B2B buyer has shifted from classical ways of buying to online buying. Woody Allan’s quote that «80% of success is showing up» is not applicable anymore. Unless you show up online, this is. As Matthias quite rightly states, social media are leading the way in meet and match activites at trade fairs.

    Older generations have grown up with and are used to the linear sales process. But the millennials generation and the generation Y were born with cell phones and computers in hand – «with 87% of millennials saying that their smartphone never leaves their side.» (Jeffrey L. Cohen: Understanding the millennial B2B buyer will change how you sell).

    This shows: There is a growing gap between the communication and sales tactics of the pre-millennial salesman and the way the millennials do their research. This is why professional meet and match programmes on social media will become essential for trade fairs. Just as Matthias says: Nothing demonstrates the value of an exhibition as well as a successfully closed business match.

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