This is the next post in a series of guest contributions where we invite colleagues to share their own expertise from a broad range of specialities. The following post is written by Onur Mete, Head of Marketing at b2match since 2015. Over the past two years he has helped b2match grow to over 2000 events and has published multiple articles on (brokerage) event management tips.
We all can agree that research and innovation depends on collaboration. Thoughts become things, and ideas become projects only once enough people with the necessary expertise are pulling in the same direction. When we think in terms of European research projects, this might seem harder than it sounds. Finding the right match for e.g. an H2020 project can be a daunting task and often times this process can make or break the whole initiative. For Universities or R&D Institutions travelling to multiple EU countries in order to find the right partner would simply be too expensive. Probably that’s why over the past decade a special type of event has become very popular within Europe – The Brokerage Event.
What is a brokerage event (matchmaking event)?
In terms of the concept a brokerage event is similar to speed-dating. Organisations who are interested in similar fields or are working in the same industry come together to network and find the perfect match for their projects. Usually each meeting is scheduled prior to the event and lasts somewhere between 10 and 30 minutes. The average number of meetings at brokerage events (organised with b2match) are around 250. You can find a more in-depth explanation here.
What are the advantages of brokerage events?
The Enterprise Europe Network for example is doing a great job, by obliging their partners (usually Chambers, Universities, Research Centres, Business Agencies,..) to organise brokerage events. The advantages of these kind of events are endless. Usually brokerage events revolve around a very specific topic (e.g. IoT, Renewable Energy,..) and gather participants, which are experts in this area. Having the chance to engage in pre-scheduled face-to-face meetings with a number of selected potential project partners from different countries would otherwise seem impossible and is invaluable for the participants of brokerage events. Countless EU projects have come to life through these kind of events already.
What role does b2match play?
Over the past decade, we here at b2match have supported well over 2000 brokerage events with our event management tool (many of these funded by the EEN). Working closely together with EU institutions and event organisers all across Europe, gave us a sense of what is really important in order to manage successful brokerage/matchmaking events. These insights have always been the driving force behind our developments, which include:
- Event Landing Page
- Participant Management
- Face-to-Face Meeting Scheduling (obviously)
- Participants Marketplace (participants can post their offers and requests)
and many more.
We hope to contribute to the popularity of brokerage events all over the world, but especially in Europe in order to have more thoughts becoming things and more ideas becoming actual projects. You can check for brokerage events in your area using the EEN event registry or the b2match events list.
For more on how to make the most of a brokerage event such as these check out our blog post “How to make the most of a brokerage event”. For further help and to ensure you’re ready for new opportunities have a look at our EU Brokerage kit to help you achieve the most from these meetings! Or if you think you have expertise you would like to share in a blog post then contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.