Matchmaking at Shunde helps buyers find sellers

By Patrick Avenell in Shunde

SHUNDE, CHINA: In the build-up to the start of the 2009 Shunde whitegoods expo, the organisers resembled a lonely hearts club, playing matchmaker with exhibitors and visitors via the exhibition’s website. This is a feature that will continue at next year’s show as it has proven useful for not only those two parties, but for the organisers themselves.

A joint venture between German expo specialists Koelnmesse and the People’s Government of Shunde, the exhibition, which closes today, has benefited from the matchmaking process that was enabled well before the event started. As Koelnmesse vice president Michael Dreyer explained, it was important for visitors to come prepared, rather than aimless.

“For all exhibitors and overseas visitors, on our website, and together with our organisers, we created a matchmaking platform where visitors can actually scroll through the list of products and the list of exhibitors and wherever they find interesting topics or products, they can set up appointments before the show, via our website, with the exhibitors,” Dreyer said.

“They can come here with a schedule of pre-appointed meetings, which makes the visit much, much more efficient.”

Dreyer continued to say that this process benefits the organisers as well, as it gives Koelnmesse an idea of which companies and products attract the greatest interest. This information can then be used to make the next event more relevant for visitors and delegates.

“It also gives us a better feeling as to exhibitors: what is the demand, what are the products most of visitors are fixing appointments with.”

Ultimately, this tool is designed to better engage the visitor with an appropriate exhibitor. In turn, the exhibitors know in advance who will attending their stand or stall for a chat, and can tailor their presentation to suit.

“[The exhibitor] can streamline their product presentation, they can bring the right salespeople to the exhibition, things like that, so that’s quite a strong and powerful tool to enhance the exhibition experience, not just for the exhibitors but particularly for the visitors,” said Dreyer.

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