Hosted Buyer Myth-Busting
Think you know hosted buyer programmes? Think again…
While everyone in the meetings and events industry may have heard of hosted buyer programmes, for most event planners who haven’t taken part in one the way they work can be a bit of a mystery.
Luke Roberts, hosted buyer account manager for The Meetings Show, is here to dispel some of the common myths around hosted buyer programmes and explain why they can actually be well worth signing up for.
Myth 1 – It’s too much of a commitment
One of the things we hear most often from meetings and events planners is that they don’t want to sign up to the hosted buyer programme because it’s too much of a commitment, and they don’t want to be trapped into an agreement.
This really isn’t the case – we completely understand that plans change and that’s why we run a flexible hosted buyer programme that allows you to make changes nearer the time. If you sign up for the three-day programme but later find out you’re going to be too busy for three days out of the office, you can drop down to one day without losing your place on the programme. Similarly, if you think one day isn’t going to be long enough at the show, you can increase to two or three days; just speak to the team and let us know what you need.
Myth 2 – Hosted buyer appointments are too time-consuming
There is a misconception that being a hosted buyer means your diary is jam-packed full of appointments for the entire time you’re at the show, but this is definitely not true.
Hosted buyers at The Meetings Show are required to attend six 15-minute appointments a day – that’s just an hour and a half out of a show that’s open for eight hours. You can do all of your appointments and still have plenty of time for walking the show floor, attending education sessions and catching up with industry friends, or if you need to get back to the office you can easily fit all of your appointments into just a morning or afternoon.
Myth 3 – I’ll have to meet with exhibitors I’m not really interested in
At The Meetings Show, hosted buyers choose all of their own appointments – you’re not forced into anything! If you don’t need to meet with lots of suppliers, you can choose the one-day attendance option where the minimum number required is just six.
Who you meet with is all down to you too, as you manage your own appointment diary. This means you can use your time productively and only see people you genuinely are interested in – we don’t want to waste anyone’s time!
Myth 4 – Only one person per company can attend
All of The Meetings Show’s hosted buyers are pre-qualified, which means we need to find out about the company they work for, the type of events they organise and what budget they have, but two or more people coming from the same organisation isn’t a barrier to being accepted.
If there are multiple people within your organisation who are all involved with planning meetings and events, more than one can apply to join the hosted buyer programme, as long as you’re individually responsible for planning different events. So just because your colleague has already signed up, don’t think that you can’t too; if you both attend you can meet with twice as many exhibitors, attend twice as many education sessions, and introduce each other to more industry contacts at the show.
Myth 5 – It’s only worth going for the full three days
The Meetings Show has three attendance options for hosted buyers: one day, two days or three days. People can sometimes think that you only get good value out of attending if you’re on the full three-day programme, but if you only have time to come for one or two days there are still big benefits to attending as a hosted buyer, rather than just as a visitor.
Particularly for local and London-based buyers, the one-day attendance option can offer the most effective use of time. You can fit all of your appointments into one day out of the office, making it easy to justify the value of attending, plus you still get access to the evening and post-show events, even if they’re not on the same day you attend.
So, if you’re planning on attending the show on Thursday, you could still go to the Millennium Gloucester evening reception on Wednesday; or if you’re attending on Wednesday you can still register for one of the post-show fam trips which will depart on Thursday. Plus, you benefit from access to the hosted buyer lounge while you’re at the show, and get the support of our team in planning your diaries – with no more time spent out of the office than if you come as a visitor.
Author, Luke Roberts - The Meetings Show
For more information about The Meetings Show 2019, which takes place on 26 & 27 June at Olympia London, visit www.themeetingshow.com