Interview with: Matthias (Tesi) Baur, Founder and Senior Consultant International Business, Exhibitions and E-Commerce at MBB-Media.
From 23 to 24 March industry leaders active or interested in doing business in the Middle East and Africa are meeting in Beirut, Lebanon for UFI’s regional seminar. The UFI Open Seminar in Middle East – Africa titled “Adapting to change and getting ready for the future” is designed to offer a valuable insight into how the exhibition landscape is developing globally and regionally. Nothing demonstrates the value of an exhibition as well as a successfully closed business match. For years exhibition organisers have experimented with and offered a wide range of matchmaking systems to their customers. Some have been successful, others less so. Matthias Tesi Baur, Senior Consultant, MBB Media; London (UK) will lead a session dedicated to the maintaining and enhancing exhibition matchmaking services in light of technology development. We asked Matthias to give us a preview of his address.
What makes a matchmaking programme a key component of the trade fair programme? “The answer to this question is easy! A matchmaking component is a key component of a trade show if it is able to close targeted matches based on the visitors’ interest. However, as easy as this answer sound, it begins to get complicated with the word “targeted”. Business interests are as diverse as the business itself. A matchmaking system must deliver a solution that matches the complicated and unusual business interests of a visitor in an easy way and it needs to have a usability that doesn’t require and technical skills from the user. That is a highly challenging task for a matchmaking programme but necessary to become a key component.”
How does the technical development influence the practise of matchmaking? “The technical development is the basis for all good matchmaking systems. Other industries have shown how an “easy match” works. Facebook is still a prime example. It works so easily to set up a private event on Facebook but the technical development and usability knowledge behind these kinds of websites are enormous. The big question is what we can learn from that usability workflow for our industry and how we can bring that to life.”
How would you rate the value of social media within matchmaking programmes? “Social Media is leading the way. Social Media is no longer purely focused on the private or B2C sector. User behaviour in terms of business decision making processes is changing rapidly. The first generation of Social Media natives will enter soon their first job position and not much later their first senior positions. At this time Social Media will have to be a part of a trade show experience. Otherwise we are in danger that the young generation of decision makers will turn their back to our industry.”
Visit the event website for more information and registration details on the UFI Open Seminar in Middle East – Africa and follow news around the event on Twitter: #ufibeirut.