WHAT IS HOSTED BUYER?
Unique to the meeting and event industry, hosted buyer programs are springing up everywhere.
Simply put, hosted buyer programs are created as a way to engage buyers (planners) and sellers (suppliers) outside of the traditional trade show. Accepted hosted buyers set appointments, share RFPs and talk “electronically” through specific matching software with suppliers they want to meet before the conference. Relationships are established pre event so onsite face-to-face appointments are productive. The key benefit for both parties is the time efficiency with real business on the line.
The Buyer (Planner)
The buyer is qualified pre-selected planner who has submitted an application and was chosen because of his or her purchasing power, potential for business, geographical representation, etc. Each program has different requirements for qualification. Some specialize in domestic business and others international.
The qualified buyer will receive most or all of his or her travel expenses (air, hotel and conference registration) paid for by the conference or show planner, with money received from participating suppliers participating in the program. That is where the name “hosted buyer” comes from. In most cases, such as with MICE WEST AFRICA6, the buyer receives dedicated face time with supplier participants, attends the entire conference for free and experiences valuable education, earning clock hours to enhance his or her career.
The Seller (Supplier)
The supplier participant is one who knows a traditional trade show isn’t the easiest way to provide measurable sales ROI and doesn’t want to stand in a booth all day hoping for a buyer that may have business to just wander by. Instead, the supplier knows that the meetings they schedule are with buyers that want and need their specific services.
The supplier pays to participate in the program (often less than what is paid to exhibit in a trade show) and those funds are used in-part to host qualified buyers. Participating suppliers have no influence over the decision process of which buyers are accepted into the program. Most programs include suppliers from all sectors of the meeting and event industry making the experience truly a one stop show for the buyer. Sectors of business that usually participate include: Chain and individual hotels, CVBs, technology companies, AV companies, airlines, DMCs, photographers, promotional merchandisers, decorators and more.