How PMBC utilizes Connect Space to grow and strengthen Michigan's Economic Development.
With Connect Space, Pure Michigan Business Connect has attained an average of 90% meeting attendance for 40+ Summits annually.
New Contracts Generated
Buyer/Supplier Meetings Created
Pure Michigan Business Connect’s (PMBC) mission is to create opportunity between Michigan’s small and medium size businesses with local, national, and global companies for supply chain opportunities. To date they’ve been responsible for $8.0 Billion, 50+ Purchasing Companies, 40,000 + Jobs supported, 10,000+ Buyer supplier organized meetings.
There’s a large demand for PMBC’s matchmaking summits because they save purchasing teams so much time and money in procurement. In the face of this growing demand, the PMBC team is constantly looking towards the future of how business gets done and wanted a tool that would take them there.
PMBC wants to usher in the next generation of business development
Couldn’t collect data for quality meetings
In order to truly provide value it wasn’t enough to blindly match buyers with suppliers. The PMBC team cares about the quality of their meetings, they want to facilitate interactions that both parties get value from. To do this PMBC needed to collect the right information that would ensure meetings were relevant and important to both buyers and suppliers. PMBC couldn’t ask the questions they necessarily needed to learn about the needs of their buyers because the software solution they were using at the time didn’t have the functionality they needed.
Scattered data collection and storage
A buyer meets with the same supplier they’d met at the previous year’s matchmaking summit. A buyer and supplier meet, but it isn’t clear what they’re meeting about and neither really gets much value. While infrequent, both of these scenarios happened enough to leave some summit attendees frustrated and the PMBC team looking for answers. Company information was scattered across different mediums, so it was difficult to ensure consistency between events and that meetings were of the highest quality. The solution at the time was more art than science.
A missed meeting = A missed opportunity
Things happen, people have family emergencies, miss flights, and more, that’s not the problem. The problem was being able to reschedule those meetings efficiently and in a way that still provided value for both parties. Sure, they could ask a company that was in attendance if they wanted to fill a newly empty meeting spot, but how could the PMBC team be confident that that company could actually meet the needs of the buyer? How would they know that there’s even any interest from the buyer to meet with that supplier? They needed a solution where they could reschedule meetings in real-time with alternatives that were selected by the buyers themselves to ensure the meeting was still valuable to both sides. Again, the quality of meetings is crucial in a matchmaking event.
A poor experience for everyone
Before we partnered with PMBC it took roughly 25 hours to review all of the applications for one matchmaking event. Collecting quality data and keeping it up-to-date were major bottlenecks in the team’s process meant that most of the team’s time was spent keeping up with the flood of information they were collecting and held the team back from providing the complete service they knew they were capable of.
The attendee’s onsite experience also suffered. Storing schedules and registration information in different mediums made keeping track of attendees difficult. Sending updated information to attendees was slow. This all led to attendee frustration as they were left with partial information and empty meeting slots. Curating a valuable and non-stressful experience is key to keeping any movement alive, so PMBC needed a solution that enabled them to provide the next generation of business development.
So what does a next generation business development platform look like?
PMBC first used our solution at Automobili-D, a section of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit focused on connecting the mobility startup community with major players in the automotive industry, enabling them to facilitate key connections that will lead to further innovation.
Connect Space enables PMBC to handle registrations, email communications and push notifications, and host all of their initiatives in one place. They’re able to keep all data around their events in one location leading to more consistent data across events and more efficient data management. With our event planning tools PMBC can manage their entire matchmaking program from creating registration to the day of one-on-one meetings.
Meetings based on data
By using Connect Space Forms PMBC gathers the necessary information to facilitate high-value meetings. Buyers input their needs and any additional decision criteria, Suppliers can select the needs from buyers they feel they can fulfill and explain why they’re the best solution all in an easy-to-digest interface. Both parties are clear on what they’re meeting about, leading to valuable interactions and excited attendees.
PMBC needed a solution that helped them roll with the punches. With Connect Space, buyers can rank suppliers that want to meet with them. Meeting time and space is limited at events, so it’s possible Buyers aren’t able to meet with every supplier that day. In case of a missed meeting PMBC can quickly reschedule onsite from a vetted list of alternates. Buyers receive the promised number of meetings while not sacrificing the meetings’ quality.
More business is done from phones than ever before so in order to have a truly next-generation business development platform PMBC needed a mobile component to the solution. Our mobile app is a powerful set of business development tools at attendees’ fingertips. PMBC can keep guests informed through the app with push notifications called Bulletins. Attendees can view an attendee list, send connection requests and contact them once a connection is made. We’ve already discussed the time and space constraints inherent in any matchmaking event, our mobile app is the solution: Attendees can send meeting requests to set up their own meetings.
Between our mobile and web apps, PMBC can facilitate a highly interactive experience where members can keep track of connections from previous events while staying updated on all upcoming events as well. With a full ecosystem at their disposal PMBC can provide value beyond the day of the event.
Our collaboration led to the following results for PMBC:
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