The appointment-based event is gaining popularity with those who want to raise funding as it turns a conference into a series of dealflow meetings. Both investors and entrepreneurs are making more use of the One-on-One conference to find prospective matches.
For those not familiar with a one-on-one conference, the venue offers the participants the ability to see who will attend the event and schedule meetings at the event. The conference also offers panels, keynote speakers, and workshops. In a one-on-one conference, one participant invites another for a meeting. If the invite is accepted, the scheduler provides a date/time/location for a meeting. The meetings are typically 15 to 30 minutes in length. The objective is to meet as many qualified contacts as possible. Detailed follow up comes after the event.
In running several of these events I’ve seen how some find better results than others. Here are some tips on how to make the most of your next one-on-one conference:
Preparation—a one-on-one conference takes a great deal more preparation than the typical panel/speaker filled conference in which the participants find contacts through general networking. The conference will provide a scheduler system with profiles of attendees. You must log into the scheduler system several weeks in advance of the conference to setup appointments.
Fill out your profile – most schedulers offer a place for the participant to fill out their profile. It’s important to make it compelling to others so they will accept your meeting invites.
Make it interesting—give the others a reason to accept your meeting invite or to initiate an invite. Show the values in your business and make clear what you have to offer.
Indicate who you are seeking to connect with—it’s fair game to include what you are looking for as others can determine if they fit.
Research the other candidates -–in addition to scheduling, it’s important to research the other participants. Since some conferences have hundreds of participants, this could take some time so start early.
Login daily to see who else has just joined—new participants join the conference every day in the run up to the event so you have to check back to see who joined recently.
Know the network—it helps to know the community and network as it will help narrow down your list of contacts to pursue.