H2H – Human to Human – meetings. This is the name that was given to the event I attended recently in Lisbon and Faro. My expectations were high. Will it be a perfect new frame for meetings? Will it make a difference? I was extremely curious. In retrospect, it was a great time for me, but from my professional point of view I had to ask myself: “What was the objective of this meeting after all?” and “Did it match the goal for all of us, the potential buyers and the paying suppliers alike?”
It was great for me, but did it meet the objective?
In reality, there was a group of service providers within the meetings industry, presenting their “goods” to a selected number of potential buyers, myself included, in special venues and in unconventional ways. And also at this H2H event, most of the times the match-making did not really work. That leaves me always wondering, what are the real reasons for a hosted buyer to attend any of these events?
I must admit that for me, in this specific occasion, it was my curiosity that made me participate. Are there some really new and innovative ideas behind the glitter of the claims and slogans, or is it more of the same, at the end ‘cooking with water’ like everybody else doing these kind of workshops.
Here is my final review:
Plus: an amazing event, an inspiring workshop.
Each single part of the event was great – team, hotels, activities, and more – in a destination that is amazingly attractive. The best networking possibilities and one-to-one connecting opportunities I have experienced so far. I am sure we all made good friends with many of the participants. If the purpose was to show all participants how a well-designed meeting can be done, so that it will be memorable, and on top, created and done by Mike van der Vijver, I must say the workshop was a great success. We all know he is one of the best in this field.
Minus: for the hosted buyers it missed the target.
If instead the objective of the event was to find the right match between paying suppliers and well-researched and matching buyers, I must say there was nothing different or unusual. Most hosted buyers were not very happy with the majority of their business appointments.
Learning: make your objectives clear and stick to it.
As Mike said in one of his educational slots during the programme, the most important part of any event is to have the objective of the event extremely clear, and built all the rest around it. If we overlook this primary part, if we have not established the objectives or get side-tracked during the process, can we still talk about a successful event, after all?