February 06, 2020
By Abi Rubemeyer

The power of live events is undeniable. In fact, 85% of event professionals say face to face events are critical or very important in accelerating the sales pipeline and generating revenue, according to The Event Technology Engagement Study. Live events, while held for a variety of reasons, all have one thing in common: they are vehicles for networking. When planning live events, it’s important to make networking opportunities easy and accessible to everyone. Allowing attendees and exhibitors to pre-book appointments with each other at your event can have a significant impact on how successful they are at achieving their business goals.

Pre-Event Meeting Scheduling

Before technology, setting up appointments involved countless emails and Outlook challenges, which resulted in a lot of uncertainty and double booking. Without a scheduling tool designed with specific event nuances in mind, it can be a struggle for attendees to stay organized and find free time to meet with the right people. For example, an attendee’s event meeting schedule has to be built around keynote sessions, panels, and meals. By allowing attendees to schedule appointments before the event, they don’t need to miss out on any critical content during the event. Your attendees invest a considerable amount of time and money into attending events and that investment needs to lead to results. Pre-scheduled appointments are a way for attendees to make the most of an event from start to finish. Luckily, with event appointment software, it’s easy to execute a complex event meeting agenda before the event has even started.

The Stress of Attending Live Events

One-on-one meeting

Attendees, exhibitors, and sponsors have to choose the events they attend carefully. After all, there is the cost of attending the event and of being out of the office. There is also implicit stress in attending events, from the travel itself to being in an unfamiliar city. And on top of that, attendees need to prove that the time and money spent on their trip was worth it. One way you can help increase value is by putting the power in the hands of the attendees. Online registration and mobile event apps allow attendees to build their own schedules, to ensure they get the most bang for their buck. Along with building out a personalized conference agenda, with the right appointment scheduling software, attendees and exhibitors alike are able to pack their schedules with meetings that drive their individual business goals. Event management technology not only automates the scheduling process for planners, but it also takes the stress out of attending events for attendees by giving them the tools to make their investment worth it.

Increase Engagement with In-Person Conversations

Onsite meetings increase engagement between customers, prospects, employees, sponsors, and exhibitors. Attendees use mobile event apps and event websites to determine what companies will be at an event and who they need to set meetings with. By providing onsite appointment opportunities, you can turn aimless networking happy hours into purposeful, value-add meetings. In-person conversations are necessary to make a lasting connection. By facilitating those connections in a more structured way with spaces dedicated to on-site meetings with sales reps and executives, your attendees and exhibitors will see increased ROI from your event.

Foster Interaction Between Like-Minded Attendees

Group meeting at CONNECT

Networking works best when it connects two similar individuals, ones who work in the same industry, who sell something the other needs, or who have a strong network that they can activate. With the information we have at our fingertips in mobile event apps, recon can be done before an event by studying the list of companies and individuals who will be in attendance. While an attendee might run into the exact person they wanted to in a session and squeeze a few minutes of chat in during a break, giving your event attendees the ability to pre-set appointments allows them to strategize ahead of time. Event technology makes this process easy – an attendee can build their profile and then schedule meetings with other people who share their mutual interests, all on their phone before the event even starts. Pre-scheduled meetings take the uncertainty out of event schedule planning, especially if an attendee wants to meet with a busy executive or prominent industry figure. Attendees can find like-minded professionals and exhibitors and decide to meet them ahead of time, rather than fighting for their attention onsite and missing their chance.

Pre-Booking Proves Value to Attendees

Would you go to a popular restaurant on a Saturday night without a reservation? Most aspects of our life now have to be scheduled ahead of time. If you didn’t make a reservation, you might not get a table at the restaurant you want and be forced to go to whatever restaurant will take you. While you’ll still find food, there’s a greater chance that you won’t get the dinner you were dreaming about all day. It’s the same when it comes to event meetings. Attendees know who they want to meet with at events. In fact, some choose to attend an event based on the companies they know will be there. By providing the ability to pre-book appointments at your event, attendees can ensure a seat at the table with the exact people they want to speak to. These appointments lead to a better, more effective live event experience for attendees as well as for exhibitors and sponsors.

Increase ROI for All Event Stakeholders

How do you increase ROI for everyone involved at your events, including your sales reps? Give them the ability to manage event meetings more easily and discover connections they wouldn’t have otherwise. Appointment tools provide additional reporting capabilities that give ROI visibility for event meetings.

ROI For Sponsors and Exhibitors

Appointment at Cvent CONNECT

The trade show floor is where the magic happens at events. Rows and rows of booths are set up with exhibitors that paid good money to attend the event. They, more than anyone, need to prove that their investment was worth it. Appointment scheduling technology gives attendees easy access to the companies that have chosen to be onsite during your event and lets sponsors and exhibitors manage the conversations that happen at their booth more effectively than ever. Exhibitors and sponsors make a big investment to attend your event. Help them fill their booth schedules and get more high-quality leads from interested attendees who want to set meetings ahead of time.

ROI for Your Company

Your organization makes a big investment in your event program and you need to prove to your leadership that those marketing dollars are being spent wisely. Appointment scheduling technology gives you control to manage complex staff schedules by taking the scheduling conversation out of email and into a dedicated tool that has been designed with event meetings in mind. This added control means that you can also propose meetings for executives, directly encouraging strategic networking opportunities with important customers and prospects. Your sales reps can also use appointment scheduling to their advantage and connect directly with high-value attendees at pre-set times, which will help them maximize their time on the floor. By having a record of all these event meetings in one central place, you will know exactly how your staff spent their time, what conversations resulted in new leads or strategic partnerships and be able to prove your return on event.

The Logistical Benefits of Appointment Scheduling Software

Meetings with attendees

We’ve talked through the networking benefits that occur when you allow attendees and exhibitors to pre-book appointments, and how impactful these appointments are to help prove ROI for a variety of event stakeholders. If that’s not enough to convince you that an appointments tool can change the event experience for your attendees, we’ve compiled a hit list of the logistical benefits event appointment software provides.

Event Meeting Software Logistical Benefits:

  • Define unique groups of employees, customers, prospects, and exhibitors
  • Set up unique parameters for visibility and permissions between groups
  • Create time slots and locations for meetings
  • Rules enforcement to prevent double booking
  • Enable attendees to find other attendees based on registration questions and custom contact fields
  • Prevent schedule conflicts by marking selected times as unavailable in the appointment scheduler
  • Allow attendees to request appointments with exhibitors and allow exhibitors to manage appointments on behalf of their on-site staff
  • Allow attendees to access their appointment scheduler from their My Registration page
  • Automatically trigger calendar email invitations when an appointment is created or modified
  • Make new registrants available for appointment scheduling
  • Synchronization between event and sales rep calendars
  • Schedule meetings on behalf of executives and have those appointments be automatically accepted​
  • Collect a private note from the meeting requester that's only visible to a specific audience in the appointment – for example, internal attendees

Pre-Book Appointments at Your Event with Event Tech

Live events have the power to drive sales pipeline and create connections between attendees that otherwise would not have existed. To make events more impactful, look for an appointment scheduling tool that takes the headache out of planning meetings onsite, one that can manage a large, complex schedule without double booking or glitches. With the right appointment software on your side, important conversations can be scheduled ahead of time and your event will get off on the right foot before any sessions even begin. Help attendees and exhibitors prove their ROI and keep them coming back year after year by facilitating valuable networking opportunities for all event stakeholders.

Looking for the right tool to get your appointments up and running? Check out Cvent Appointments.  

Abi Rebemeyer

Abi Rubemeyer

Abi graduated from George Mason University and quickly fell in love with the events industry and everyone in it. After joining Cvent in 2017 as a Meetings and Events Coordinator she began to understand the immense complexity of events and all that comes with them. Currently, Abi oversees a few marketing initiatives at Cvent and manages/contributes to many internal events, including Cvent CONNECT.

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