zaterdag 6 oktober 2012

The Matchmakers

A few years ago I created and organized, together with a.o. Roel Dekker, 2 national events for de Baak in the Netherlands: Dutch Innovation Seminar and an annual event where "Creative Entrepreneurship" was the main theme. It was there we introduced the Matchmakers @ de Baak, and yesterday that idea came up again when I met with one of the IoD branches (Dorset) and we talked about their full day conference the 5th of December.

The Matchmakers back than, were business students (can be anybody as long as they have the right skills) who talked with everybody at the events to find out more about what it was they brought to the event and what it was they were looking for. In other words: "what do you need?" and "what do you bring?".  After collecting everything on little cards, all the input was visible on the Matchingbord with on one side the needs (people, knowledge, a buddy for sparring, talking with one of the speakers, money, connections, skills, ....). And on the other side the offers (specific skills, knowledge, a network, money,.....). And the Matchmakers delivered! Matches were made: people were connected, problems were solved, business buddies were made, skills were shared, investors were found, questions were answered. Never before had networking been so powerful. At the end when we asked the participants about the Matchmakers @ de Baak concept, they told us that never before they had experienced "networking' (not easy for everybody..) as so much fun, easy, effective, effortless, ..... They even spoke about "the ROI of the event". And you must know that the fees were quite high, well "good price - quality":-), so they really gained a lot from participating.

Looking back, I think that the X factor of the Matchmakers is to organise and facilitate networking at events. To direct the networking part of the event the same as you direct the program, the speakers, the workshops. Because people don't just come in at -networking- events and openly share their needs or tell everybody what it is they want to bring to others (adding value). So maybe they meet a lot of people and collect lots of business cards ..... and than ..... ? Maybe they just stand, feeling awkward, insecure, alone, ........ Or maybe they talk with a lot of people who are at their table .. but not the ones they want or need to speak to in order to be more succesful ....

This week somebody told me that here in the Poole and Bournemouth area it is all about "who you know" rather than "what you know" to be succesful in business.  I think this is more true for England than it is for Holland. With organising networking at events, the "who" and "what" you know can be combined. Even better, with reframing it to what is it that you need and what is it that you bring we can create massive win-wins!

(with thanks to The Passionate PA : without knowing your The Passionate PA triggered my The Matchmakers)  

2 opmerkingen:

Jos zei

Hi, it would be an interesting idea to put this line of thought also on online communities and social networks.... How to facilitate networking out there? Do you have any ideas on this?

Marianne van Munster zei

Yes I have ideas, do you :-).