a2z helps E2E Summit Implement Harmonious Hosted Buyer Program
The purpose of the Executive-to-Executive (E2E) Summit is to bring together the top executives from manufacturers and contractors in the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing trades for focused one-on-one hosted buyer meetings that foster innovation. The appointments last 45 minutes each. Participants are guaranteed up to 15 meetings in a 48-hour period. By leveraging a2z’s Connect platform, event organizers were able to streamline the matching process and create a business version of “eHarmony” (a dating app) for contractors and manufacturers.
Intelligent Matchmaking & Automation in Action
Matching companies with buyers—doing research to determine which manufacturer’s products are the best fit for the types projects in which contractor companies are interested—requires a lot of legwork. It involves phone calls, surveys, the collecting of “wish lists” and keeping files up to date. E2E was performing those tasks and then creating an Excel spreadsheet to serve as the master meeting schedule. The process was time-consuming (three weeks for one person) and sometimes there was overlap (companies scheduled for different meetings in the same time slot).
a2z’s Connect platform for automating hosted buyer program matches and appointment setting at trade shows addressed E2E’s particular requirements. The Connect platform allowed manufacturers to enter descriptions of their companies and products. It enabled contractors to go in and do their own research, select favorites, and complete surveys about their interests and company demographics—all data that was previously gathered manually. Connect then created a suggested appointments schedule for each participant using an intelligent matching algorithm and one click of the button.
Realizing Remarkable Results
E2E organizers immediately felt the impact of automating the matchmaking and scheduling process for their 2016 summit. It previously took one person three weeks to prepare the spreadsheet of matches and appointments. Connect could do the same thing in about three minutes. “When we used a2z Connect to create the first round of meetings, it completed about 70% of the meetings. We were then able to spend about three weeks refining everyone’s meeting schedules, which we were never able to do in the past because we never had the time. It was also more accurate because with the spreadsheet we always had some overlap,” Kaitlan Klitzke, project manager at E2E Summit.
Planning for Long-term Success
Klitzke has plans to place a2z at the center of year-round engagement for the E2E Summit community. She will use Connect’s capabilities, including its ability to survey contractor companies, to collect data and use the game features of a2z’s ChirpE mobile app to keep contractors engaged with each other at other industry events. “We’ve nailed down getting everyone to network during the event. We are slowly mastering the ability to prepare participants for the event using a2z Connect. Now we’re trying to get everyone to use the platform to stay in touch and follow up with each other after the event,” she says.